From: Our Lady of the Rosary LibraryMarch, the month dedicated to St. Joseph
Feast Day: March 19
THE glorious St. Joseph was lineally descended from the greatest king
of the tribe of Judah and from the most illustrious of the ancient
patriarchs, but his true glory consisted in his humility and virtue.
The history of his life hath not been written by men; but his
principal actions are recorded by the Holy Ghost himself.
God entrusted him with the education of his divine Son, manifested in the
flesh. In this view he was espoused to the Virgin Mary. It is an
evident mistake of some writers that by a former wife he was the
father of St. James the Less and of the rest who are styled in the
gospels the brothers of our Lord; for these were only cousin-germans
to Christ, the sons of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin, wife of
Alphaeus, who was living at the time of our Redeemer’s crucifixion.
St. Jerome assures us that St. Joseph always preserved his virgin
chastity; and it is of faith that nothing contrary thereto ever took
place with regard to his chaste spouse, the blessed Virgin Mary. He
was given her by heaven to be the protector of her chastity, to
secure her from calumnies in the birth of the Son of God, and to
assist her in his education, and in her journeys, fatigues, and
persecutions. How great was the purity and sanctity of him who was
chosen the guardian of the most spotless Virgin! This holy man seems,
for a considerable time, to have been unacquainted that the great
mystery of the Incarnation had been wrought in her by the Holy Ghost.
Conscious therefore of his own chaste behavior towards her, it could
not but raise a great concern in his breast to find that,
notwithstanding the sanctity of her deportment, yet he might be well
assured that she was with child. But being a just man, as the
scripture calls him, and consequently possessed of all virtues,
especially of charity and mildness towards his neighbor, he was
determined to leave her privately, without either condemning or
accusing her, committing the whole cause to God.
These his perfect dispositions were so acceptable to God, the lover of justice,
charity, and peace, that before he put his design in execution, he
sent an angel from heaven not to reprehend anything in his holy
conduct, but to dissipate all his doubts and fears by revealing to
him this adorable mystery. How happy should we be if we were as
tender in all that regards the reputation of our neighbor; as free
from entertaining any injurious thought or suspicion, whatever
certainty our conjectures or our senses may seem to rely on; and as
guarded in our tongue! We commit these faults only because in our
hearts we are devoid of that true charity and simplicity, whereof St.
Joseph sets us so eminent an example on this occasion.
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Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
“Pray and work for souls”