.- As the father of Alfie Evans fought to defend his son’s life, I could not help but think of St. Joseph fleeing the threat of King Herod’s tyranny with the Christ child in his arms.
“Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was,” wrote Leo XIII in 1889 in Quamquam pluries, an encyclical letter on devotion to St. Joseph. “He guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch’s jealousy, and found for Him a refuge.”
Leo XIII presented St. Joseph as a model at a time when the world and the Church were wrestling with the challenges posed by modernity at the turn of the century. A few years later, the pope went on to publish Rerum novarum, an encyclical on capital and labor which outlined principles to ensure the dignity of laborers.
St. Joseph is also an apt recourse for the unique troubles facing society in the 21st century.
For a modernity that sanctions euthanasia, we turn to St. Joseph, the patron of the dying.
As the modern workplace reckons with the fallout of the sexual revolution and the #MeToo movement, we can turn to the chaste leadership of St. Joseph the Worker.
Faced with the breakdown of the family in society, the head of the Holy Family models faithful fatherhood.
In what Pope Francis has called a “throwaway culture,” we have Joseph the artisan and craftsman.
As society condones abortion, St. Joseph stands guard over expectant mothers.
At a time when the number of refugees worldwide has hit record highs, St. Joseph, himself once a refugee, watches over immigrants.
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