ST. JOSEPH PRAYER GROUP
Devoted to St. Joseph, Protector of the Church
The St. Joseph Prayer Group meets in the church on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m. in front of the St. Joseph statue. This is a group for those who have a special devotion to St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin and the Foster Father of Jesus. They were formed to pray for Peace and Justice throughout the world. Everyone is free to join the group at any time to participate in the prayers. If you have any questions, please call the Coordinator, Lucy Marikian, at (626) 281-3706.
St. Teresa of Avila, a Discalced Carmelite nun and mystic, took St. Joseph as her spiritual patron after his intercession cured her when she was young. Click on “Devotion to St. Joseph” (in the dark red column to the left) for an article entitled, “Go to Joseph,” for information about devotion to St. Joseph. The following quote, taken from her autobiography, concern her devotion to St. Joseph:
“I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that he delivered me both from this trouble [a temporary paralysis] and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him. I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good. If anyone cannot find a master to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as his master and he will not go astray.”
The following article gives us more insight into St. Joseph:
ST. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN,
VIRGINAL FATHER OF JESUS
AND PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
St. Joseph was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscuritiy as a carpenter, until God raised him to the highest office ever accorded a moral man, by choosing him to be the spouse of the Virgin Mother, the virginal father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says Holy Scripture, was a just man. He was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus: he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house. Above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls.
His conversation was with Angels rather than with men. When he learned that Mary bore within Her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take Her as his wife; but an Angel bade him put his fear aside, and all doubts vanished. When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an Angel told Joseph in a dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed both him and his little Family to many inconveniences and sufferings; the journey with a newborn infant and a tender virgin was long, and the greater part of the way led through deserts and among strangers. Yet St. Joseph alleges no excuses, nor inquires at what time they were to return.
St. Chrysostom observes that God treats in this way all His servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing with afflictions, seasons of consolation. It is the opinion of the Fathers that when the Holy Family entered Egypt, at the presence of the Child Jesus all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled, and in many places fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages fruitful in Saints.
After the death of King Herod, of which St. Joseph was informed in another vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the land of Israel, which he readily accomplished. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the land, and apprehensive that the son might be infected with his father’s vices, he feared to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done, for the education of the Child. Therefore, directed by God through still another angelic visit, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas in Galilee, and to his former habitation in Nazareth.
St. Joseph, a strict observer of the Mosaic law, journeyed each year at the time of the Passover to Jerusalem. Our Savior, in the twelfth year of His age, accompanied His parents. Having participated in the usual ceremonies of the feast, the parents were returning with many of their neighbors and acquaintances towards Galilee, and never doubted that Jesus was with some of the company. They traveled on for a whole day’s journey before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and they could find no trace of Him among their kindred and acquaintances, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost haste to Jerusalem. We are left to imagine their tears and their efforts to find Him. After an anxious search of three days they discovered Him in the Temple, discoursing with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as aroused the admiration of all who heard Him. His Mother told Him with what grief and earnestness they had sought Him and asked, “Son, why have You dealt with us in this way? Behold, Your Father and I have searched for You in great affliction of mind.” The young Savior answered, “How is it that You sought Me? Did You not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” In this way Jesus encourages all young persons who are called to serve God to persevere in that high vocation, whatever the cost. But we are told that although He had remained in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and living there in all dutiful subjection to them.
As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage feast of Cana and the beginning of our divine Savior’s ministry. We cannot doubt that he had the happiness of the presence of Jesus and Mary at his death, praying beside him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments; therefore he is invoked for the great grace of a happy death and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that hour.