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March: the month of St. Joseph.  Ite ad Joseph!

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March is the month of St. Joseph.  March 19th is the Feast of St. Joseph.  Let us approach this great saint and seek his intercession! 

St. Joseph, the Just Man

The Church encourages us to be devoted to Joseph because he was a model in the heroic practice of all the virtues. The example of virtuous living that he gave in the exact fulfillment of the duties of his state of life is worthy of our reflection. Read the Holy Gospel and you will see his faith, hope and charity practiced under trying circumstances. He was prudent in caring for his wife and the child; he showed great leadership in protecting them and assisting them. He was religious in every sense, with that delicacy and sincerity of conscience that is proper to the saints of God. He was just in his dealings with God and man. He was conspicuous for his fortitude and courage. He was truly outstanding in the practice of virginal chastity. More: he protected and defended Mary's virtue in the time of courtship and all during their life together. They had made a promise of chastity, and because they were resolved to live it for God they were blessed above all others. While Mary inspired him to practice this virtue perfectly, he, as a real man, understood the profound meaning of her inspiration and how it came from a heart that was steeped in the love of God. Time and again the Church has made it clear that Joseph is not a saint for only a certain number of souls, but that he can help all men.

St. Joseph in Popular Devotion

St. Joseph plays a prominent part in popular devotion: in numerous popular traditions; the custom of reserving Wednesdays for devotion to St. Joseph — popular at least since the end of the seventeenth century — has generated several pious exercises including that of the Seven Wednesdays; in the pious aspirations made by the faithful; in prayers such as that of Pope Leo XIII, Ad te, Beate Ioseph, which is daily recited by the faithful; in the Litany of St. Joseph, approved by St. Pope Pius X; and in the recitation of the Chaplet of St. Joseph, recollecting the Seven agonies and seven joys of St. Joseph.

That the solemnity of St. Joseph falls in Lent, when the Church concentrates her attention on preparation for Baptism and the memorial of the Lord's Passion, inevitably gives rise to an attempt to harmonize the Liturgy and popular piety. Hence, the traditional practices of a "month of St. Joseph" should be synchronized with the liturgical Year. Indeed, the liturgical renewal movement attempted to instill among the faithful a realization of the importance of the meaning of Lent. Where the necessary adaptations can be made to the various expressions of popular piety, devotion to St. Joseph should naturally be encouraged among the faithful who should be constantly reminded of the "singular example [...] which, surpassing all states of life, should be recommended to the entire Christian community, whatever their condition or rank."

Hymns to St. Joseph

Consecration to St. Joseph

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