Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez, Co-Director of Diaconal Formation, Diocese of Austin, Texas, writes about the Consecration to St. Joseph relevant to 2020-2021 being named the Year of St. Joseph by Pope Francis. According to Deacon Rodriguez, eight U.S. bishops were among the first to declare a Year of St. Joseph because of ‘Consecration to St. Joseph’ prior to the Holy Father’s announcement. They are the dioceses of Charlotte, NC; Green Bay, WI; Lafayette, LA; Scranton, PA; Venice, FL; Ogdensburg, NY; La Crosse, WI; St. Augustine, FL. You’ll want to check out the Links in the article for further helpful resources.
One of my favorite sections in the book “CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH, THE WONDERS OF OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER” by Fr. Donald Calloway is Day 21 – St. Joseph Most Faithful, Pray for Us. This section and meditation show St. Joseph’s faithfulness in rescuing Jesus and Mary in different life and death circumstances (Mat. 2:13 & 2:22) they faced. Fr. Calloway writes, “St. Joseph was faithful to Jesus and Mary in good times and in bad times.”
In a time where everyone and everything including institutions, governments, and countries are unraveling, St. Joseph is a very good model of faithfulness for us to follow and keep in mind. If you, too, take him as your spiritual father, he will never fail you especially during these crazy plague-ridden times!
One of the traditional ways to seek and obtain favors from God and the Saints is to make a vow. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the significance of a vow, “In many circumstances, the Christian is called to make promises to God…Out of personal devotion, the Christian may also promise to God this action, that prayer, this alms-giving, that pilgrimage, and so forth. Fidelity to promises made to God is a sign of the respect owed to the divine majesty and of love for a faithful God…A vow is a deliberate and free promise made to God concerning a possible and better good which must be fulfilled by reason of the virtue of religion. A vow is an act of devotion in which the Christian dedicates himself to God or promises him some good work. By fulfilling his vows he renders to God what has been promised and consecrated to Him. The Acts of the Apostles shows us St. Paul concerned to fulfill the vows (Acts 18:18; 21:23-24) he had made [CCC 2101-2102].”
The book, “The Glories of the Catholic Church” describes the pious practice of vows made while imploring a saint’s intercession. In this case, vows made to Saint Joseph during a plague in France. The people of France understood that St. Joseph is very faithful. They made vows on their deathbeds for St. Joseph’s faithful intercession and received miracles of healing and deliverance from the plague.
I wish to share a few of these miracles in the book “The Glories of the Catholic Church” so you, too, can encounter the faithful and powerful healing intercession of Saint Joseph. Illustrations are by Laura Beth Ramsay (A very talented artist from Austin, Texas who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for commissioned artwork.)
“Fr. Melchior, of Faug, a religious of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), being a month exposed to serve those who were in the quarantine or the pest-house, having taken the plague, and lying near death, all despairing of his recovery – after having been three days in agony, a friend of his, of the same religious order, made a vow, and invited the sick man to do the like, in case he recovered, to offer nine masses in the Church of St. Joseph, in thanksgiving for his recovery. At the same hour that the vow was made, he recovered his speech, and found himself out of all danger.” (The Glories of the Catholic Church)
“Bennet Gontelle, a gardener, living in a garden that joins St. Joseph’s Church, every day lost one of his family members, consisting of seventeen; out of which one daily fell sick, and was led to the pest-house, where his wife and children were already dead from the plague, and he and one servant only left in the house, who daily expected to follow the rest. I visited him in this sad affliction, and, being his next neighbor, counseled him to make a vow to St. Joseph, which he did, and I joined with him in it; promising to offer several masses and Holy Communions in his honor, if by his intercession he would obtain his and his servant’s preservation from the plague. God heard his prayers and preserved them both from the infection.” (The Glories of the Catholic Church)
“Martin de Bau, a little child, four years old, was struck with the plague while he was at play. All gave him up for lost; and his mother, being in a very great desolation and affliction, was counseled to recommend him to St. Joseph, which she immediately did, in these words, “St. Joseph, to you I recommend my child.” About two hours after, the child’s father perceiving some signs of death called his wife, who, giving him up for dead, made a kind of pious complaint, saying, “Ah, St. Joseph!” She came to the child, and found the evil diminished, who a little after called to his mother for some meat, recovered his wonted countenance, rose from his bed, and cried out, “I am well – St. Joseph has cured me.” The morning following, there was not the least sign of any complaint, and he felt no more weakness than if he had never been sick. His parents carried him to the Church of St. Joseph to give thanks, where they hung up a votive picture, to testify not only the child’s but the father’s deliverance from the plague; who afterwards was visited and delivered also by St. Joseph’s intercession, from the same evil.” (The Glories of the Catholic Church)
Listen to Fr. Jose Lopez, Diocese of Green Bay, speak in Spanish about the Consecration to St. Joseph.