Based on a sermon by Saint Bernadine of Siena
There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being.
Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand.
This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of Heaven and earth.
He was chosen by the eternal Father to be the trustworthy guardian and protector of His greatest treasures; namely, His divine Son – and the husband of most holy Mary.
He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until God called him to his heavenly reward, saying: Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.
The entire Holy Church is indebted and grateful to the Virgin Mother Mary because through her our Lord and Redeemer was conceived and born.
But after her – we owe special gratitude and reverence to Saint Joseph.
In him the Old Testament finds its fitting close.
He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfillment.
The Child that had been promised to the ancient people of Israel through many centuries – Saint Joseph held in his arms.
In Heaven Jesus continues to show His love to Saint Joseph as the Foster-father who protected and guided Him during His earthly life.
On this Solemnity of Saint Joseph we celebrate the joy and happiness Saint Joseph now experiences for all eternity.
Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us the graces we need from Jesus – your holy foster-Child.
And ask your most holy bride – the Virgin Mary – to look kindly upon us.
THE YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH PRAYER
To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.