It is hard to put into words my devotion to St. Joseph, much like it is hard to describe complete love for God or JJ. I am not equating my love for JJ or St. Joseph on an equal level to my love for God. Nor do I worship St. Joseph! It is just that when you have this all consuming love for God that same love flows onto other people. God is the ultimate source of Love, so it would make sense for this to happen. Anyhow back to St. Joseph...
|St. Joe with Jesus and Lilies close to his heart!|
My devotion to St. Joseph has not always been there, there was even a time where I did not like St. Joseph! I know how could this be right? Well to understand this you must first understand my lack of relationship with my father. My mother was a single mom and my father did not bother showing up in my life until I was a teenager but I could tell he was not there for me, he was trying to get back together with my mom. I am glad they did not get back together because I later found out other dealings my father had going on and it would have been a bigger disaster if they had gotten back together.
Having this very negative view of men and fathers was a source of distance between me and St. Joe. I was upset with St. Joe especially for contemplating divorcing Mary quietly. I would think "how could he do that?! How could he not see that this is of God? He would just abandon a pregnant woman and Jesus? How is that saintly?" It was only later after patient explanation from JJ and my own life experience that I see how much love and protection St. Joe was exhibiting toward Mary by contemplating the quiet divorce. St. Joe was thrown into an impossible situation where he had to decipher what the will of God was. As I matured in my faith while I was deciding my vocation I could really relate to this, even now with IF I especially relate to this. What is the will of God for JJ and I, is it more treatments, adoption, foster care, missionary work, etc.? Having these unknowns and making a decision is not an easy task.
After I got over my issues with St. Joseph I grew to love him! One of my favorite titles for St. Joe is Guardian of virgins. When I was single I would ask his intercession when I would take the bus to work or college and would be in some sketchy situations sometimes. Knowing that he had my back calmed my fears of being kidnapped or raped as I was traveling alone. I also love the title Terror of Demons! Since I never had the over protective father in my life I always feel protected and that he is ready to fight for me when I need him. St. Joseph has been an instrumental role in healing my past experiences with my father and other men. I asked St. Joseph to be my adoptive father awhile back like he was for Jesus. I really feel like I not only have my heavenly Father but St. Joseph as well. For a girl who never got to call any man "daddy" I am comforted in knowing I have St. Joseph.
Another reason I love St. Joseph is that JJ has a HUGE devotion to him. JJ reminds me very much of the characteristics that I think St. Joseph would have had. JJ is a hard working, quiet, humble, just and contemplative man. JJ has also shared his devotion to St. Joesph with me, he taught me a prayer that he learned as a boy. It is the oldest known prayer to St. Joseph :
O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. We place in you all are interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist us by your powerful intercession and obtain for us all spiritual and temporal blessings through Jesus Christ our Lord. So that having obtained here below your heavenly power we may offer you our thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O St. Joseph, we never weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms, we dare not approach as he reposes near your heart. Press him in our name and kiss his fine head for us and ask him to return the kiss when we draw our dying breath. St. Joseph patron of departing souls, pray for us!