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In the Gospel of Saint Matthew (Chapter 1 verse 19) Saint Joseph was ‘a just man.’

A just man…

This phrase, which can easily be glossed over in readings, is filled with meaning.

A deeper understanding of the words ‘most just‘ were presented by Bishop Donald Sanborn in a sermon (audio mp3 format). The Bishop’s eloquent presentation focuses especially on Saint Joseph’s extraordinary virtues of chastity and purity.

Here is an excerpt to give you an idea of the sermon’s content:

“Sacred Scripture tells us that St. Joseph was ‘a just man’ (Matthew 1:19).

“This terse, but meaningful phrase means that Saint Joseph had all the virtues and did not sin against God.

“If we meditate on this statement a little bit, and consider with it the degree of purity which God required in the Blessed Virgin Mary, in order that she be His holy dwelling place on earth, we can construct a picture of the virtues of this silent, but great man, Saint Joseph.

“Because he had all the virtues we know that, in order to be the foster father of Christ and the true spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the protector of them both, he must have had these virtues to an eminent degree. Whether it be justice or charity, meekness or mildness, prudence or fortitude, obedience or humility, we know that they were all there and to a high and noble degree.”

We can learn about Saint Joseph not only from Holy Scripture but from prayers approved by the Church in which we invoke his assistance.

The Litany of Saint Joseph is rich with descriptions of this most powerful saint.

More prayers and devotions concerning Saint Joseph can be found in “The Raccolta: A Manual of Indulgences, Prayers and Devotions enriched with indulgences Authorized by the Holy See.” (ISBN: 1-930278-46-2, Loreto Publications Fitzwilliam, N.H.)

Here is a prayer rescripted in his own hand by Pope Saint Pius X on 11 October 1906 to Saint Joseph, model of chastity:

‘O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death. Amen.’

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