Skip to comments.St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
Posted on 03/19/2005 11:39:45 AM PST by Pyro7480
Just as St. Joseph took care to guard his virtues under cover of very holy humility, he was also diligent in hiding the precious pearl of his virginity. If he agreed to be married, it was so that, without anyone knowing it, he could hide his virtue under the veil of a holy marriage.
On this subject, virgins and those who wish to live in chastity, are taught that it is not sufficient to be celibate. If they are not humble and do not guard their purity in the precious vase of humility, they will be like the foolish virgins (see Matthew 25: 1-13), who, on account of their lack of humility and merciful charity, were turned down from the bridegroom's wedding feast and forced into the wedding feast of the world where the advice of our Divine Lord is not taken seriously. He says that you must be humble to have a share in the celebration, which means that it is necessary to practice humility, for He is the one who said: When thou are invited to a wedding.... go and sit down in the lowest place (Luke 14: 8, 10).
Consequently we realize how necessary humility is in order to preserve virginity. It is well known that no one shall take part in the celestial banquet and the nuptial feast God prepares for virgins in His heavenly home, unless the person practices it. Precious things such as sweet-smelling ointments are not exposed to the open air, as the fragrance would gradually be lost in the environment and spoiled by insects. Likewise, holy souls, fearing to lose the value and merit of their good deeds, should place them for safe-keeping in a vessel, not in a common one, but in a precious alabaster vessel, like the one used by Mary Magdalene as she poured out the ointment over the sacred head of Our Lord (see Mark 14: 3).
This alabaster vessel is the humility in which we must, in imitation of Our Lady and St. Joseph, keep our virtues and all that would draw admiration from the world, being happy to please the Lord and dwell under the sacred veil of self-abjection. We wait for God to come and take us to a safe place filled with His glory, and where He will Himself display our virtues for His honor and esteem.
To what extent to we think St. Joseph possessed virginity, the virtue which renders us like angels, if the Most Blessed Virgin was not only completely pure and innocent, but virginity itself? How much do we think that the one who was called to be the guardian of her virginity, or better still, her companion (since she herself did not need to be protected by anyone) must have possessed this virtue!
Both had taken a vow of virginity for a lifetime when suddenly God asked them to be united in a holy wedding, not contrary to their wishes or retracting their vows, but rather reconfirming and strengthening them in their holy enterprise. Moreover, they vowed then to live their lives together in a virginal way. St. Joseph was not given to Our Lady in order to make her break her vow of virginity, but to be her companion, so that the chastity of Mary might be preserved in its entirety in a more wonderful way under the veil and the shade of their blessed marriage and of the holy union of life which they shared.
If the Blessed Virgin is a gate, said the Eternal Father, we wish it to remain shut because it is the east gate of the sanctuary that no one can enter or exit (see Ez. 44: 1-2); on the contrary, it has to be reinforced with incorruptible wood, meaning a companion who is pure and bears the name of St. Joseph, and who, therefore, has to surpass all the saints, even the angels and Cherubims, in this commendable virtue called virginity (St. Francis de Sales).
OH I just love St. Joseph, obviously after Jesus, then Mary. His intercession has come to my aid many a time.
Related thread: Dzien Swietego Jozefa (St. Joseph's Day)
I had always been taught that James and the sisters mentioned in the Gospels were from an earlier marriage of St. Joseph.
There is room for debate on this question. Many saints take this line of argument due to the belief in the Immaculate Conception and Perpetual Virginity of Mary. However, there are apocryphal writings that St. Joseph was a widower, and that is actually what the Eastern Churches believe.
Pyro7480,Thank you for this post and Happy Feast day to our forum Joseph's.I just had a young girl walk into Our Lady's thrift store just now.She told me she is a Baptist and prayed to St Joseph and her prayers were answered.I told her today is his day.She is very sick with Lupus.
Another great post on St. Joseph! This past week has been challenging, both at home and at work. This past Saturday I spent part of the morning praying a number of prayers to St. Joseph in honor of him. He kindly provided me peace and strengthening, I noticed quickly that the burdens I had were greatly lightened.
BTTT on the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this year celebrated on 3-20-06!
January 24, 2007
St. Francis de Sales
Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer so that the young man could eventually take his elders place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. For this reason Francis was sent to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and, in due time, told his parents he wished to enter the priesthood. His father strongly opposed Francis in this, and only after much patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his father finally consent. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for Calvinists. Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais. By preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success.
At 35 he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar.
Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout Life: It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman.... It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world.
In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal, in the work of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to practice the virtues exemplified in Marys visit to Elizabeth: humility, piety and mutual charity. They at first engaged to a limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick. Today, while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly contemplative life.
Saint Francis de Sales,
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Portrait of St. Francis de Sales by J. J. Owens (early 20th century)
"...I wish to recall the figure of St Francis de Sales, whom the Liturgy commemorates on 24 January. Born in Savoy in 1567, he studied law in Padua and Paris and then, called by the Lord, became a priest. He dedicated himself to preaching and to the spiritual formation of the faithful with great success. He taught that the call to holiness was for everyone and that each one as St Paul says in his comparison of the Church to the body has a place in the Church. St Francis de Sales is the patron Saint of journalists and of the Catholic press."
St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) born in Thorens, Savoy, in France, was Bishop of Geneva; here he fought Calvinism vigorously. With St. Jane de Chantal, he founded the Order of the Visitation. He wrote Introduction to the Devout Life, a classic of spiritual direction. He died in Lyons and was canonized in 1665. In 1877, Pius IX proclaimed him Doctor of the Church. Pius XI declared him patron of journalists and other writers.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
You gave Francis de Sales the spirit of compassion
to befriend all men on the way to salvation.
By his example, lead us to show your gentle love
in the service of our fellow men.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: Ephesians 3:8-12
To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in Him.
Gospel Reading: John 15:9-17
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved You; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.