March 10th started the Novena to St. Joseph whose feast day is March 19th. Since this is a Carmelite website, we are very happy to share that St. Teresa of Avila was a great devotee of St. Joseph. She was privileged to know that St. Joseph helps us grow in holiness through devotion to him.
She states, “I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue, for he helps in a special way those souls who recommend themselves to him.”
"His great help is even more than asked for or expected," she explained: “I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God hath given me through this blessed saint, the dangers from which he hath delivered me, both of body and of soul.”
And who knows better than the Spouse of St. Joseph – The Virgin Mary! The following are very important words of Our Blessed Mother, Herself, to Ven. Mary of Agreda reported in her famous book Mystical City of God:
“The whole human race has much undervalued the privileges and prerogatives conceded to my blessed spouse and they do not realize what his intercession with God is able to do. I assure you, my dear child, that he is a greatly favored personage in the divine presence and has immense power to stay the arms of the divine vengeance.
I desire that you be very thankful to Divine Goodness for vouchsafing you so much light and knowledge regarding this mystery, and also for the favor which I am making you by revealing this. From now on, during the rest of your mortal life, see that you advance in devotion and in hearty love for my spouse, and that you thank the Lord for having thus favored him with such high privileges and for having given me such great joy in the knowledge of all his excellences.
In all your necessities you must avail yourself of his intercession. You should encourage many to venerate him and see that your own religious daughters distinguish themselves in their devotion to him. Whatever my spouse asks of the Lord in Heaven is granted upon the earth, and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men, if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.
All these privileges were to be a reward for the amiable perfection of this wonderful Saint and for his great virtues; for the divine clemency is favorably drawn forth by them and looks upon Saint Joseph with generous liberality, ready to shower down its marvelous mercies upon all those who avail themselves of his intercession. “
So after these very uplifting and encouraging words of Devotion to St. Joseph, may we keep him in prayer as we continue this month of March devoted to him. Below is a prayer used at the St. Joseph Oratory in Detroit Michigan along with a schedule of Masses and homilies given during this Novena before his feast day March 19th.
Good St. Joseph – pray for us now and at the hour of our death!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!