St Joseph Pray for Us

“it is the Virgin Mary herself who s

eems to be doing the most to make her husband known and loved. Think about it: Centuries ago, Mary was the first person to “unveil” the greatness of St. Joseph by telling St. Matthew and St. Luke about aspects of the life of St. Joseph of which they otherwise would have had no knowledge. Saint Matthew and St. Luke never knew St. Joseph personally; they never met him or talked to him. The most likely explanation for how St. Joseph ended up in the New Testament at all is that Mary told St. Matthew and St. Luke about St. Joseph. The wife of St. Joseph is the source of information about St. Joseph in the New Testament. Mary wanted her husband to be included in the New Testament. Saint Joseph didn’t speak much, but his wife spoke for him. Today, Mary is at it again. Through her various apparitions, Mary is making her husband known by bringing him with her and teaching the Church about his importance. The Holy Trinity is the one behind it, of course, but there can be no doubt that Mary greatly delights in it and wants it as well. It seems Mary is once again asking Jesus to provide more wine for the wedding! In our time, Our Lady has helped us comprehend and love her dear and chaste husband, St. Joseph. She has told us of the mystery surrounding him and of his greatness. She has let us know something of her love for St. Joseph, that most lovable saint who for years held the Word made flesh in his arms.7 — Blessed Gabriele Allegra Let’s take a look at several of the apparitions referred to by Blessed Gabriele Allegra, as well as a few that have taken place since his death. On August 21, 1879, the Virgin Mary appeared to 15 people in Knock, Ireland. The apparition is popularly known as the apparition of Our Lady of Knock, but St. Joseph and St. John the Apostle were also present. No words or messages were given by Our Lady or the other heavenly visitors. The apparition occurred in the pouring rain and lasted for many hours. According to the sworn testimony of those who witnessed the apparition, St. Joseph wore white, was barefoot, and had his hands folded in prayer with his head slightly bent toward Mary as if honoring her great dignity as the Mother of God. It’s a mysterious and intriguing apparition, but one that is fully approved by the Church. In 1917, the Virgin Mary appeared in Fatima, Portugal. On October 13, 1917, during the last of the six Marian apparitions given to the three young visionaries, St. Joseph made an appearance as well. Similar to Knock, the skies were pouring rain on October 13 when St. Joseph made his appearance. It was also on that day that the famed Miracle of the Sun took place. More than 70,000 people witnessed the sun gyrate and spin as though it were going to crash into the earth. It was shortly before the Miracle of the Sun took place that St. Joseph appeared, holding the Christ Child, and together they blessed the world. All three visionaries of Fatima testified that St. Joseph and the Christ Child simultaneously blessed the world. The significance of Jesus appearing as a child and blessing the world with St. Joseph cannot be underestimated. The message of Fatima has great significance for our times. Sister Lucia, the longest-lived visionary of the Fatima apparitions, stated that the final battle between good and evil would be over marriage and the family. Heaven taught us on October 13, 1917, that Jesus works miracles, gives peace, and blesses the world through St. Joseph. What St. Joseph’s presence at Fatima also signifies is that a crucial component of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary — a promise Our Lady made during the July 13 apparition to the three visionary children — is for the world to receive the simultaneous blessing of St. Joseph. When the Church recognizes the blessing of St. Joseph’s fatherhood, Jesus will reign in hearts, and Mary’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. In 1968, there were a series of apparitions of Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph in Zeitoun, a suburb of Cairo, Egypt. The town of Zeitoun is believed to have been one of the places the Holy Family visited during their sojourn in Egypt centuries earlier. Incredibly, thousands of Zeitoun’s inhabitants — including Christians, Muslims, Jews, and government officials — witnessed the apparitions of the Holy Family. As at Knock, there were no words spoken and no messages given. The apparitions took place above and around a Coptic church, and were approved by the local Coptic ecclesial authorities. Perhaps the most significant insights in modern times highlighting St. Joseph’s importance were the inner religious experiences of Sr. Mildred Mary Neuzil (also known as Sr. Mary Ephrem) in the United States in the 1950s. These inner religious experiences are known as the alleged apparitions of “Our Lady of America.” Although a commission of United States bishops who investigated the matter decided that the visions and revelations of Sr. Mary Ephrem cannot be said to be of supernatural origin in the sense of objective occurrences (non constat de supernaturalitate), nevertheless, these inner religious experiences beautifully express the heart of the truth about St. Joseph that is coming to be appreciated more and more by the Church as a whole. In 1956 and 1958, St. Joseph himself allegedly spoke to Sr. Mary Ephrem (events described by the bishops’ commission as “subjective inner religious experiences”). Saint Joseph spoke to her of his virginity, purity, obedience, and love for his spouse. He also informed Sr. Mary Ephrem that God desires that the world have a greater appreciation for the sufferings the heart of St. Joseph underwent in union with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Saint Joseph spoke of the importance of devotion to his heart and spiritual fatherhood, as well as how God desires to bless all fatherhood through St. Joseph. The recognition of the wonders of St. Joseph is of such great importance that St. Joseph instructed Sr. Mary Ephrem that God wants St. Joseph to be honored on the First Wednesday of every month, especially by the recitation of the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary and the reception of Holy Communion. The alleged messages given by St. Joseph to Sr. Mary Ephrem on March 18 and March 19, 1958, are of such spiritual importance and magnitude that they need to be presented here in their entirety. Sister Mary Ephrem wrote: On March 11, 1958, Our Lady said to me: “St. Joseph will come on the eve of his feast. Prepare yourself well. There will be a special message. My holy spouse has an important part to play in bringing peace to the world.” [March 18, 1958] St. Joseph came as was promised, and these are the words he spoke at this time: “Kneel down, my daughter, for what you will hear and what you will write will bring countless souls to a new way of life. Through you, small one, the Trinity desires to make known to souls its desire to be adored, honored, and loved within the kingdom, the interior kingdom of their hearts. I bring to souls the purity of my life and the obedience that crowned it. All fatherhood is blessed in me whom the Eternal Father chose as his representative on earth, the Virgin-Father of his own Divine Son. Through me the Heavenly Father has blessed all fatherhood, and through me he continues and will continue to do so till the end of time. My spiritual fatherhood extends to all God’s children, and together with my Virgin Spouse I watch over them with great love and solicitude. Fathers must come to me, small one, to learn obedience to authority: to the Church always, as the mouthpiece of God, to the laws of the country in which they live, insofar as these do not go against God and their neighbor. Mine was perfect obedience to the Divine Will, as it was shown and made known to me by the Jewish law and religion. To be careless in this is most displeasing to God and will be severely punished in the next world. Let fathers also imitate my great purity of life and the deep respect I held for my Immaculate Spouse. Let them be an example to their children and fellow men, never willfully doing anything that would cause scandal among God’s people. Fatherhood is from God, and it must take once again its rightful place among men.” As St. Joseph ceased speaking I saw his most pure heart. It seemed to be lying on a cross which was of brown color. It appeared to me that at the top of the heart, in the midst of the flames pouring out, was a pure white lily. Then I heard these words: “Behold this pure heart so pleasing to him who made it.” St. Joseph then continued: “The cross, my little one, upon which my heart rests is the cross of the Passion, which was ever present before me, causing me intense suffering. I desire souls to come to my heart that they may learn true union with the Divine Will. It is enough, my child; I will come again tomorrow. Then I will make known to you how God wishes me to be honored in union with Jesus and Mary to obtain peace among men and nations. Good night, my little one.” On the evening of the next day, March 19, 1958, St. Joseph again appeared to me as he had promised and addressed me in these words: “My child, I desire a day to be set aside to honor my fatherhood. The privilege of being chosen by God to be the Virgin-Father of his Son was mine alone, and no honor, excluding that bestowed upon my Holy Spouse, was ever, or will ever, be as sublime or as high as this. The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed. Dear child, I was king in the little home of Nazareth, for I sheltered within it the Prince of Peace and the Queen of Heaven. To me they looked for protection and sustenance, and I did not fail them. I received from them the deepest love and reverence, for in me they saw him whose place I took over them. So the head of the family must be loved, obeyed, and respected, and in return be a true father and protector to those under his care. In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you also honor Jesus and Mary. The Divine Trinity has placed into our keeping the peace of the world. The imitation of the Holy Family, my child, of the virtues we practiced in our little home at Nazareth is the way for all souls to that peace which comes from God alone and which none other can give.” Then suddenly, as he ceased speaking, I was favored with a unique and marvelous vision of the glorious St. Joseph. He seemed suspended, as it were, a short distance above what had the appearance of a large globe with clouds moving about it. His head was slightly raised, the eyes gazing upward as if in ecstasy. The hands were in a position similar to that of the priest during the celebration of Holy Mass, only they extended upward somewhat more. The color of his hair as also of his rather small and slightly forked beard seemed a very dark brown. His eyes resembled in color the hair and beard. He was clothed in a white robe that reached to his ankles. Over this he wore a sort of cloak which did not come together at the throat, but covering the shoulders and draped gracefully over each arm, reached to the hem of the robe. The cloak at times had, or seemed to have, the appearance of a brown, sometimes a purple, hue, or perhaps a slight blending of the two. The belt about his waist was of a gold color, as were his sandals. His appearance, though quite youthful, gave at the same time the impression of rare maturity combined with great strength. He seemed a bit taller than medium height. The lines of his face appeared strong and purposeful, softened somewhat by a gentle serenity. I also saw his most pure heart at this time. Moreover, I saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above his head. Standing sideways, facing each other, were two angels, one on the right, the other on the left. Each carried what appeared to be a small pillow in a satin covering, the pillow on the right bearing a gold crown, the one on the left, a gold scepter. The angels were all white, even their faces and hair. It was a beautiful whiteness that reminded me of the stainlessness of heaven. Then I heard these words: “Thus should he be honored whom the King desires to honor.”8 Whoa! If you didn’t get that, read it again. Everything that modern man needs to know about the greatness of St. Joseph is contained in the alleged messages given to Sr. Mary Ephrem: Saint Joseph’s spiritual fatherhood, virginal fatherhood, youthful appearance, kingship, crown, heart, and cloak. Saint Joseph speaks of his protection of the family, the importance of fatherhood, and heaven’s desire that a special feast day in honor of St. Joseph’s fatherhood be established. God wants St. Joseph to be known and loved! My friends, do you realize what this means? The fatherhood of St. Joseph is a game-changer! The significance of a feast day in honor of St. Joseph’s fatherhood would do so much spiritual good for the Church, families, and the world. Saint Joseph is worthy to be crowned by his beloved children! The inner religious experiences of Sr. Mary Ephrem also suggest that St. Joseph has an essential role in bringing peace to the world. Saint Joseph is evidently an integral part of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (hence, his appearance at Fatima on Oct. 13). Our Lady’s Heart will triumph when the restoration of the family, and God’s rightful place in it, takes place. None of this will happen until St. Joseph’s fatherhood is fully recognized by the Church. Now is the time of St. Joseph! He that is the lesser among you, he is the greater. — Lk 9:48 Let us allow ourselves to be filled with St Joseph’s silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God’s voice, we are in such deep need of it.9 — Pope Benedict XVI” Fr Calloway