by Catherine Moran, Ph.D.
The World Apostolate of Fatima USA/Blue Army Shrine is dedicating the year 2021 to St. Joseph, the greatest consoler of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. St. Joseph was not only the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but he was also the protector and head of the Holy Family. This year is the 150th anniversary of Ven. Pope Pius IX proclaiming him the patron of the Universal Church on December 8, 1870. As the one who shared most in the sorrows of Mary and Jesus, St. Joseph is an important figure in our First Saturday meditations.
St. Joseph was present at the prophecy of Simeon, when he heard that a sword of sorrow would pierce the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Simeon, whose name in Greek means the God-receiver, told Our Lady, “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Lk 2: 34-35)
St. Joseph, a just and devout Jew, knew of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the sufferings and death of Jesus, the Messiah. His own sufferings began with the anxiety of seeing Jesus born in a cave, the pain of seeing Jesus’s blood spilt during His circumcision, the agony of Joseph’s own soul on hearing Simeon’s prophesy of Mary’s pierced heart, the burden of being told to flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s massacre of the Bethlehem infants, the fear of Herod’s son in Judea when returning from Egypt, and the terror of losing Jesus in Jerusalem for three days. One excellent point to meditate upon is how the tender and loving heart of St. Joseph must have suffered knowing he would not be present when the prophecies of Simeon would be fulfilled. The love he bore his chaste and pure spouse and her future sufferings only increased and intensified his own sufferings.
St. Joseph was given a foreknowledge of Our Lord’s Passion. In 1956, he revealed this to the visionary, Sister Mary Ephrem Neuzel, as part of the revelations of Our Lady of America: “My heart suffered with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Mine was a silent suffering, for it was my special vocation to hide and shield, as long as God willed, the Virgin Mother and Son from the malice and hatred of men. The most painful of my sorrows was that I knew beforehand of their passion, yet would not be there to console them. Their future suffering was ever present to me and became my daily cross. I became, in union with my holy spouse, co-redemptor of the human race. Through compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and Mary I cooperated, as no other, in the salvation of the world.”
It is because of his sufferings, compassion and love for his beloved spouse’s Immaculate Heart, that we all need to ‘Go to Joseph’. St. Joseph truly knows how to console his beloved spouse’s Immaculate Heart. One of the requirements for the first Saturdays is to spend 15 minutes with Our Heavenly Mother, consoling her Immaculate Heart by meditating on one or all the mysteries of Rosary in reparation for the blasphemies and ingratitude hurled against her most pure heart. Before beginning this meditation let us ‘go to St. Joseph’, to help us console the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our beloved father and protector will unite his perfect love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary with our small acts of reparation and prayers thereby helping us console and make reparation for the many sorrows of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH
During our Year of St. Joseph, we will begin a monthly virtual speaker series on First Saturdays. More information on this and other events will be coming soon.
We ask your prayers for Vivian Imbruglio of Sacred Image Icons, who is writing an icon dedicated to our Year of St. Joseph, which will be unveiled in January.
St. Joseph, pray for us!
Catherine Moran is a member of the National Board of the World Apostolate of Fatima, and president of the WAF Byzantine Division.