Year of St. Joseph

Friday, January 01, 2021 03:31am

“Act of Confidence
Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee,
Heart of Mary, I implore thee,
Heart of Joseph, meek and just,
In these three Hearts I place my trust.”

Christmastide greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ! The joys and graces of Christmas cannot be held in one day.  In wisdom, Mother Church grants us an entire season to receive and savor the flood of blessings! As if that were not enough, the Church gifted us with even more anticipated benefits through the proclamation of a Year of St Joseph (12/08/20 to 12/08-21)!  What a tonic to the heart at the end of 2020!

After 9 months of seeking and searching, my own firm commitment to return to the sacramental life of the Church was prompted on the Feast of St Joseph, 19 March 1999.  While my Confession was not until the following day, I fully credit this Patron of the Universal Church for leading me Home.  He guides and he guards and he generously gives.   Silent and sure.

St Joseph is an unequivocal friend of the Apostolate, for likely any friend of Jesus and Mary is a friend of his! Let us together ask for graces to understand his role in the Apostolate.  For starters our Apostolate Chaplain was baptized Joseph (Johnson).  In celebration, please share the daily wee Hail Mary offerings with Father this year!  Second, the Fasting Brothers have a particular devotion to St Joseph as a strong patron for their endeavors.  St Joseph’s influence can already be sensed!

Praying the moving Litany to St Joseph offers insight into his character.   What he modeled within the Holy Family is unique, but he is also the Light of the patriarchs, the Watchful defender of Christ, Mirror of patience, Model of workman, Guardian of virgins, Pillar of families, Solace of the afflicted, Hope of the sick, Patron of the dying, Terror of demons, Protector of Holy Church.

St Joseph inhabits a singular place within the Divine Economy.  He obediently, justly and fully lives a responsibility that, while essential, remains hidden.  This, dear Seven Sisters, is where we embrace a solidarity with the good St Joseph.  As intercessors for the sanctity of priests our work is vital.  As intercessors for the sanctity of priests our work is happily veiled.  St Joseph committed and submitted, we too commit and submit to this way of prayer.  Our offerings, hidden from the view of most, is in full sight of God Himself, for His use as He wills. Likewise, with St Joseph.

Recently when in conversation with a Seven Sisters Coordinator for a Midwest Diocese her thoughts moved to a suggestion of consistently (daily) asking for the assistance of St Joseph to help cover more and more priests in prayer this year, his year.  Ask every intercessor to pray the same prayer.  I resonated with the idea immediately!

We both took it to prayerful task.  She soon shared the link for the Catholic Tradition Website which held a section laden with rich prayer offerings soliciting the good help of St Joseph.

In review of the offerings, my heart was struck with the simplicity and completeness of a prayer entitled Act of Confidence (see opening of this Communique). This is it! Please accept the invitation to pray this prayer DAILY for growth of the Apostolate.   Make a copy of the image and prayer. Size-wise – it can be perfectly affixed to a standard-sized calling card.  Voilà – you have a holy card from which to pray each day for the intention suggested:  more Seven Sisters groups for more priests/bishops!  The Website also offered this prayer (below) that could be easily adapted for your Holy Hour by inserting the name of the priest /bishop for whom you are committed to pray.

Prayer for Priests (asking the intercession of St Joseph)

O ILLUSTRIOUS PATRIARCH St. Joseph, who carried the Infant Jesus in thy blessed arms and who, during the space of thirty years, lived in the most intimate familiarity with Him, take under thy powerful protection those whom He has clothed with His authority and honored with the dignity of His priesthood, whom He has charged to continue His mission, to preach His Gospel, and to dispense everywhere His graces and blessings.  Sustain them in their fatigues and labors; console them in their pains; fortify them in their combats; but above all, keep far from them all the evils of sin.

Obtain for them the humility of St. John the Baptist, the faith of St. Peter, the zeal and charity of St. Paul, the purity of St. John and the spirit of prayer and recollection of which thou, my dear Saint, art the model, so that, after having been on earth, the faithful dispensers of the Mysteries of thy foster Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, they may in Heaven receive the recompense promised to pastors according to the Heart of God. Amen. – From the Booklet, Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph (TAN Books)

St John Paul II poignantly portrays St Joseph: “Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit.  He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the living God.  He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the living God.” Together, let us learn from St Joseph and see what God will do – through St Joseph and through us!

United in prayer and mission…that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest…

… eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day….  “One Ave Maria makes hell tremble” (St John Vianney). Pray that I will not ‘spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted…’  (St Teresa of Calcutta)

… your kind emails and notes and phone calls and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your financial sacrifices are for 100% furtherance of Apostolate.  THANK YOU!  The letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! What glory is given to God through your writing! Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.

Janette (Howe)