At the end of last year Pope Francis announced the year of St Joseph. I remember seeing it online thinking it was a great idea but I never thought it would be something for me.
In my head a devotion to St Joseph; a husband and father, was for men. To me it seemed natural for women to have a devotion to Mother Mary but I didn’t think St Joseph would have any relevance to me or women in general.
So when I was asked if I wanted a book on the Consecration to St Joseph, I just went along with my friends and bought one. I thought it would be a good Lenten challenge and a great way to learn more about St Joseph.
The first thing that I realised was that the consecration to St Joseph is for everyone.
St Joseph was Jesus’s father and is the spiritual father to all people who turn to him in prayer. Sure, St Joseph is a fantastic model for masculinity and men should strive to be just like him, but women can also find consolence and strength from his fatherhood. The female heart yearns to be supported and guarded.
A man worthy of protecting Jesus and Mary is a man we too should ask for protection.
I also realised that St Joseph is so underrated. Before this consecration I admired St Joseph as a great example of humility and obedience. However, throughout my reading I realised that St Joseph is so much more. His various titles such as “Terror of Demons”, “Zealous defender of Christ” and “Guardian of Virgins”, as seen in the Litany of St Joseph, point towards the amazing qualities and example of St Joseph. It also shows the power of St Joseph which we can experience by asking for his intercession.
The world needs St Joseph. Throughout the Consecration, I noticed that my daily interactions with people emphasised the need for St Joseph. I had students talk to me about their absent father figures, I reflected on my friends and their rocky relationships with their fathers and I was deeply disturbed by the lack of stability I was noticing in families.
It was in these moments I felt the need for people to know about St Joseph. I thought about a world where fathers were the pillars of families, a world where all people felt safe and protected because they knew they had a “mirror of St Joseph” in their life.
The only way to get there is through prayer. The last important point seems like the most obvious realisation. We need to pray to St Joseph. He is important, his intercession is powerful and his example is extraordinary. If we want to live in a world which imitates St Joseph and families that mirror the Holy Family. We need to pray to the head of the Holy Family, St Joseph.
This is the year of St Joseph, this is the time to develop a devotion to St Joseph.
He is waiting and ready to help us.
Are you ready to dive in?