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St. Joseph: Counter-Cultural Example of Chastity

Chastity is counter-cultural. It's probably THE most counter-cultural virtue there is.
It is no coincidence that in the month that the world glorifies “Pride,” God has elevated a man whose chastity is to be revered…St. Joseph. And today, many Catholics across the globe celebrate personal devotion to his Most Chaste Heart.
What is chastity? In short, the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes chastity as follows: “Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman. The virtue of chastity, therefore, involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.” CCC, 2337
Aside from Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is the pre-eminent example of chastity. To guard the virginity of both his son and his wife, St. Joseph had to live out the virtue of chastity more perfectly than any other man. He was integrated, body and soul, and his life and sexuality were a lifelong gift in service to God, to Our Lord, and to Our Blessed Mother. A total gift of self.
Though not a liturgical feast day, many Catholics observe the first Wednesday after the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in devotion to the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. This personal devotion goes back as far St. John Eudes in 1600 and has also been referenced by St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Francis de Sales, and St. John XXIII.
There has even been a recent investigation and approval by the local ordinary of an apparition of St. Joseph to a young college student in Brazil to whom St. Joseph reportedly gave many promises to those who revere his Most Chaste Heart. This apparition has not received magisterial approval but is another indication of God's desire to highlight St. Joseph, for such a time as this.
Even if we choose not to embrace this personal devotion, we can certainly honor St. Joseph as a model of chastity. In a world that seems to grow more upside down and inside out every day, we need St. Joseph's counter-cultural example of chastity now more than ever.
St. Joseph, Most Chaste, pray for us.
To learn more about St. Joseph and the virtue of chastity, please enjoy these resources.
Please join us for this week's week’s Women of Grace Rosary Crusade.
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Saint Joseph the Worker: A Good Man’s Work is Never Done

by Theresa Cavicchio

Traveling back in time two thousand or so years, to the Holy Land, we come upon a small, unassuming Galilean village called Nazareth, “Village of the Shoot,” its name evoking the hope for a Messiah prophesied by Isaiah: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse (Is 11:1)” (Mike Aquilina, St. Joseph and His World).

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Breathe his very last

March 19
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Christ she saw with life-blood failing,
All her anguish unavailing,
Saw him breathe his very last.
For Reflection:
With Jesus, Mary had sojourned the agonizing road to Calvary. She had watched Him be beaten and tormented, ridiculed and spat upon. She had watched Him fall. And get up. Fall. And get up. Fall. And get up. She had watched nine inch nails pierce His hands and feet. She had seen Him hoisted into the air on a cross. And now she watches Him take His last breath as His life’s blood runs out. The soldier’s lance pierces them both. In light of this verse and meditation, read John 3:16. Substitute your name for “the world.” Sit with this truth and let it take hold of you. Journal your insights and reflections.
  

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O Saint Joseph!

Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick tomorrow! And happy early Solemnity of St. Joseph, which we will celebrate this Friday, March 19th!!!

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the world gave as much acclaim to St. Joseph as they did to St. Patrick? Though we love St. Patrick and all of the wonderful festivities that surround his special day, this year, not only do we celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, but we do it during the Year of St. Joseph, as proclaimed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Shouldn't we mark this occasion in a remarkable way?

One wonderful Catholic tradition is the St. Joseph altar! New Orleans is particularly known for embracing this tradition. Many families and parishes go so far as to compete with each other, with one altar more beautiful than the next. Each is covered in festive decorations and delicious-looking breads, designed to highlight St. Joseph’s special role in salvation history and family life. Here are just a few pictures that can be found across the internet.

St. Joseph Altars in New Orleans

It is fitting that we honor St. Joseph. After all, not only was he the earthly father of Jesus and the spouse of Our Lady, he is the patron of the Universal Church, as proclaimed by Pope John XXIII on March 19, 1961. On the occasion of his proclamation, he prayed:

"O St. Joseph!

Here, here is where you belong as Protector Universalis Ecclesiae! ... Always be our protector. May thy inner spirit of peace, of silence, of good work, and of prayer for the cause of Holy Church always be an inspiration to us and bring us joy in union with thy blessed spouse, our most sweet and gentle and Immaculate Mother, and in the strong yet tender love of Jesus, the glorious and immortal King of all ages and peoples. Amen." - Pope John XXIII

This week as we pray our Rosary Crusade together, let us ask St. Patrick, and especially St. Joseph to intercede for us, as we embrace each other and our intentions in prayer.

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Click the image below to join and if you've already registered, you should receive a reminder link directly from Zoom. Please be sure to share the information below with your friends and family!

 

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Lenten Journey Through the Sorrows of Mary: Jesus in the Temple

February 24
The Third Dolor: The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
During the time of Jesus, it was the custom for faithful Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover. Nazareth, the home of the Holy Family, was approximately 60 miles away but the hilly topography added another 26 miles to the trip. Pilgrimages consisted of two groups – one comprised of men and the other of women. Children could travel with either. That is why it was not until evening that Mary and Joseph discovered Jesus was missing.
For Reflection:
Read Luke 2: 43-52. Imagine the panic Mary and Joseph must have felt when they discovered Jesus was missing and how it mounted as they searched for Him for three days. How does Mary’s interaction with Jesus at verse 48 show her concern? What word does she use to describe it? C. S. Lewis says that “Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” How does this quote apply to Our Lady at this moment? How does she demonstrate faith in spite of lack of understanding?
  

If you enjoy Daily Gracelines, please prayerfully consider making a donation to support and sustain our apostolate so that we may continue to provide this and all of our resources designed to nourish and grow your Catholic faith. DONATE

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The Year of Saint Joseph: Perfect Timing, Papal Style

by Theresa Cavicchio

On December 8, 2020, Catholics around the world celebrated the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Each year on that date, we commemorate the singular grace bestowed upon the Mother of God, her preservation from any stain of sin from the first moment of her conception.

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Brothers in Humility: Saint Joseph and Saint André Bessette

The Oratory of Saint Joseph at Mount Royal is a magnificent structure, its imposing dome dominating the highest point of the cosmopolitan city of Montreal. In the incomprehensible ways of God, this majestic basilica, the largest church in Canada, is named for and dedicated to one of His humblest creatures: the carpenter of Nazareth, whose feast day we celebrate on March 19th.

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Joseph of Nazareth: The Strong, Silent, Just Man

Joseph of Nazareth has been a trusted confidant, beloved father figure, and favorite saint to me over a span of many years. Researching his life, I am reassured; I have chosen my mentor well. The same sterling characteristics – faithful, compassionate, humble, hard-working, obedient, strong, protective – reveal themselves over and over again in his story. Those, and countless other positive adjectives, make up the portrait of a righteous man whose life was centered on God and family.

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Saint Joseph: Celebrate Him, Celebrate His Feast!

As a devout Jew and a man of deep faith, Joseph of Nazareth would have been highly familiar with the Scriptural promises of a Messiah. While he surely prayed for His coming, the humble carpenter never could have foreseen the crucial role he himself would play in the daily life of this Messiah for whom he longed.

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