Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent
Solemnity OF ST. JOSEPH
Matthew, Chapter 1, verse 19-20:
19 Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. 20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
Even righteous people become afraid at times but Mark Shea a catholic writer points out that Joseph being a devote Jew may have had Holy fear as the basis of his being afraid.
“Modernity assumes it was because he thought her guilty of adultery, but the typical view in antiquity understood the text to mean he was afraid of her sanctity — as a pious Jew would be afraid to touch the Ark of the Covenant. After all, think of what Mary told him about the angel's words: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."
We should follow the example of Joseph and be not afraid to take Mary into our home!
I know one small way I have taken Mary in my home is to silently say a Hail Mary when I wash my hands to eat-praying,
“Mary help me not to wash your son’s blood from my hands as Pilot did. Help me to have no innocent blood on my hands. Let me not wash off responsibility for others.”
Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent
Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God, that Thy family, who, afflicting their flesh, abstain from food, by following justice may fast from sin.
EPISTLE. Daniel ix. 15-19.
In those days Daniel prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, Who hast brought forth Thy people out of the land of Egypt with a strong hand, and hast made Thee a name as at this day : we have sinned, we have committed iniquity, Lord, against all Thy justice : let Thy wrath and Thy indig nation be turned away, I beseech Thee, from Thy city Jerusalem, and from Thy holy mountain. For by reason of our sins, and the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem, and Thy people are a reproach to all that are round about us. Now, therefore, O our God, hear the supplication of Thy servant, and his prayers: and show Thy face upon Thy sanctuary which is desolate, for Thy own sake. Incline, O my God, Thy ear and hear: open Thy eyes, and see our desolation, and the city upon which Thy name is called: for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy tender mercies. O Lord, hear: O Lord, be appeased: hearken and do: delay not for Thy own sake, O my God: because Thy name is invoked upon Thy city, and upon Thy people.
GOSPEL. John viii. 21-29.
At that time Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: I go, and you shall seek Me, and you shall die in your sin. Whither I go, you cannot come. The Jews therefore said: Will He kill Himself, because He said: Whither I go, you cannot come? And He said to them: You are from beneath, I am from above. You are of this world, I am not of this world. Therefore, I said to you, that you shall die in your sins. For if you believe not that I am He, you shall die in your sin. They said therefore to Him: Who art Thou? Jesus said to them: The beginning, Who also speak unto you. Many things I have to speak and to judge of you. But He that sent Me is true: and the things I have heard of Him, these same I speak in the world. And they understood not that He called God His Father. Jesus therefore said to them : When you shall have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as the Father hath taught Me, these things I speak : and He that sent Me is with Me, and He hath not left Me alone: for I do always the things that please Him.
ST. JOSEPH was descended from the kingly line of David and was a kinsman of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Matt. i. 1-16). The Gospel gives him the praise of being just (Matt. i. 19), that is, a man distinguished for all virtues. And surely, as he was chosen from all other men by God to be the foster-father of His Son, he undoubtedly excelled, in virtues and sanctity, all saints then living. Of his youth nothing certain is known to us, and of his later life we know only what the Gospel relates. He was a carpenter (Matt. xiii. 55), and lived at Nazareth, in Galilee (Luke ii. 4). Being espoused to Mary, he was inclined, upon learning that she was with child, to put her away privately, not wishing to expose her to public reproach but being instructed by an angel, he took her to himself, in obedience to the command of God, went with her to Bethlehem, and afterwards, with Mary and the new-born child, fled, without timidity, to Egypt (Matt. ii. 13). At the command of the angel he returned thence, and again dwelt in Nazareth (Matt. ii. 23). From this place they went every year to the feast at Jerusalem, where it happened that Jesus, then twelve years old, remained behind them in the temple, and was anxiously sought for by them. More than this is not told us. At the time of the marriage at Cana it would seem that he was no longer living, since there is no mention made of him. Though little is said of him, that little is rich in profitable instruction. How worthy to be admired and imitated is his example his chastity, his tenderness towards Mary, his forbearing to pronounce a judgment in regard to her condition when he could not explain it, his quick and unreserved obedience towards God and the commands of authority, his love for Jesus, and his care for both the mother and the child. On account of his sanctity God has specially distinguished him by miracles, and the Church honors him in a particular manner. In the Litany of the Saints he is named among the patriarchs, and the feast of his patronage is celebrated on the third Sunday after Easter. Venerate, therefore, St. Joseph choose him for your protector in life and in death and make yourself worthy of his protection by following his example.
To encourage us to veneration for St. Joseph St. Teresa wrote “I do not remember to have asked St. Joseph for anything which he did not grant me. The great favors which God has granted me through him, and the many dangers of soul and body from which he has freed me, truly deserve admiration. It seems that God has granted to other saints the grace of assisting, in particular needs, those who invoke their intercession; but this glorious saint assists in all needs. The Lord seems thereby to indicate that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so now He grants him whatever he asks for. The same thing has been experienced by persons whom I have advised to recommend themselves to him.” “I would gladly advise everyone,” says St. Alphonsus, to have a great devotion towards this saint, since I have experienced what graces he can obtain from God. For several years I have asked him, on his feast, for some particular grace, and every time my petition has been granted. As we all have to die, we should have a particular devotion towards St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death for all Catholic Christians consider him to be an intercessor for the dying, and that he assists, at the hour of death, those who venerate him; and this for three reasons
1. Because Jesus loves him, not only as a friend, but as a father, on which account his intercession is more powerful than that of any other saint.
2. Because St. Joseph obtained special power against the evil spirits who tempt us at the hour of death.
3. The assistance which Jesus and Mary gave to Joseph at the hour of his own death procured for him the right to obtain a holy and easy death for his dependents. If in their dying hour they invoke his aid, not only will he assist them, but he will obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary. “Ought not these words of a great saint encourage you to venerate St. Joseph every day? Should not the hope of dying one day under the protection of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move you to devotion to the foster-father of Jesus?”
Prayer to St. Joseph
O most chaste Joseph, who, by thy purity and other exalted virtues, wast worthy to be chosen for the spouse of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus, I beseech thee, by the great graces of which thou wast made partaker, that thou wouldst, by thy intercession, obtain for all parents grace to rear their children piously; for all married persons who are distressed and afflicted through poverty and tribulations consolation and encouragement; for all unmarried persons who have devoted their chastity to God the grace of perseverance; and, finally, for all the dying the grace to come, after a happy death, to thy fosterchild, Jesus Christ, Who, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.
Meditate on the humility of Saint Joseph this day; ask his assistance and special protection.
Things to Do:
· A table overflowing with good Italian food honoring St. Joseph is a traditional Sicilian custom. The feast of San Giuseppe began in the Middle Ages when Sicily was suffering from a severe drought and the desperate people begged St. Joseph for rain. When they received rainy weather in response, they held a huge "feste" in Saint Joseph's honor. Even today, Sicilians go to Mass before their St. Joseph's day dinner and then process to their festive tables, decked out in flowers, breads, and all sorts of Italian foods. The priest blesses the food, and everyone shouts, "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!" (which your children will readily do with great gusto). After the meal is done, everyone present is given something to take home, in the generous spirit of this day. Try some of our delicious recipes linked here. We especially recommend the traditional Minestrone. Italian sausage is always a favorite, as well. And you should have bread of all kinds — this recipe for Italian Decorative Breads can provide the traditional shape of your choice (St. Joseph's staff, his beard, etc). Also a traditional must with children is St. Joseph's Sfinge, (Cream Puffs). Plan a St. Joseph's potluck for this day with other Catholic families — invite a parish priest and ask his blessing over the food before you begin the meal. If you do not have the time or resources to do this, plan a smaller affair with your own family, complete with prayers to St. Joseph, a little procession with candles for the older children and your favorite hymns, and then the father of the family ought to say a special blessing over the food before you begin.
· Check out this wonderful site that explains the St. Joseph Altar more in detail, includes recipes, history, and allows virtual offerings.
· For further reading:
1. Saint Joseph Altars by Kerri McCaffety (Photographer).
2. A Table for Saint Joseph: Celebrating March 19th with Devotions, Authentic Italian Recipes, and Timeless Traditions by Mary Anne Scanlan Grasso.
3. The Saint Joseph's Day Table Cookbook by Mary Ann Giordano.
4. Read the section of Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy on St. Joseph.
5. Read Pope Leo XIII's encyclical on Devotion to St. Joseph.
6. Interested in history? Read this article on the history of devotions to St. Joseph, Finding St. Joseph, by Sandra Miesel.
· Here is a link to several meditations on St. Joseph — choose the one that is perfect for you and your family!
· Here are some ideas for teaching children about St. Joseph.
· Young girls ought to pray to St. Joseph for their future spouse.
St Joseph Facts & Quotes
· Joseph is noted in the Bible for being a direct descendant of King David in the Old Testament, which gives him a royal lineage (Matthew 1:1-16, Luke 3:23-38).
· St. Joseph actually has two feast days in the Roman Catholic Church. The March 19 date celebrates him as husband of Mary. He is revered again on May 1 as a worker. In the Orthodox tradition, Joseph is revered during the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord in September.
· St Joseph is the patron saint of the dying and of carpenters.
St Joseph Top Events and Things to Do
· Practice carpentry skills to build something. Jesus is known as the son of a carpenter, or builder. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of carpenters.
· Investigate your lineage. Genealogy can sometimes yield interesting information about where we came from. Maybe you come from royal lineage, too!
· Joseph raised a child that was not his own. Thank a man who has served as a father for someone else's children.
· Enjoy Italian food in St. Joseph's honor. He is one of the most beloved saints in Italian-American communities.
· Visit an Italian Bakery and pick up some delicious St Joseph's bread (Pane di San Giuseppe). St. Joseph's Bread is typically made with egg and has a thicker crust. It is often marked or shaped in a cross.
The ordinary activity of the Enemy is to seek the ruin of souls through various kinds of temptation. These passages offer counsel about how to turn away from evil so that you can overcome temptation and pass the tests that God allows for your strengthening.
· Because He Himself suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted. . . . We may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 2: 17– 18; 4: 14– 16
· My son, if you come forward to serve the LORD, remain in justice and in fear, and prepare yourself for temptation. Sir 2: 1
· [Jesus prayed:] “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the Evil One.” Jn 17: 15 RSVCE
· Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. Let no man say when he is tempted, that he is tempted by God; for God is no tempter to evil, and He Himself tempts no one. But everyone is tempted by being drawn away and enticed by his own passion. Then when passion has conceived, it brings forth sin; but when sin has matured, it begets death. Therefore, my beloved brethren, do not err. Jas 1: 12– 16
· The fear of men lays a snare, but he who trusts in the LORD is safe. Pr 29: 25
· The Lord knows how to deliver the God-fearing from temptation. 2 Pt 2: 9
· Have no anxiety, but in every prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your petitions be made known to God. And may the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things. Phil 4: 6– 9
The Way Resolutions
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
Now! Return to your noble life now. Don't be a fool: 'now' is not too soon... nor too late.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Goffine’s Divine Instructions, 1896
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.