Q: Archbishop J, why consecration to St Joseph?
To consecrate is to set apart for God. It is a solemn act of entrustment of our very selves to God—the desire to give all we have, all we are, over to the will of the Father.
It is a further step in discipleship when we realise we want to go all in. We no longer want to give half or part of our selves; we want to give all. At the same time, we recognise our frailty and weakness.
Remember St Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor 4:7).
In our frailty, to help us to fulfil our intention, God grants us particular supports along the way. One of his great emissaries is St Joseph.
St Peter Julian Eymard has said: “When God wishes to raise a soul to greater heights, he unites it to St Joseph by giving it a strong love for the good saint.” It is interesting, in the history of our Church, the number of saints who had a particular devotion to St Joseph.
The best way to become a saint, is to hang out with saints. That is what we do when we entrust ourselves to the paternal care of St Joseph. By our consecration through St Joseph, we ask him to be our spiritual father.
Think about the wound we have with fatherhood in our Caribbean societies today. This is what consecration or entrustment to St Joseph does; it is us choosing the goodly saint as our spiritual father or protector, our guide to holiness.
Every day, Joseph looked on the loving face of Jesus; every day he looked at the face of God. Only Mary and Joseph had this privilege in their domestic life. They held God. Bathed Him, loved Him, dressed Him, and contemplated Him.
If God chose St Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus, I do not need any other recommendation. If he is God’s number one choice, he is my choice.
St Bernard of Clairvaux writes: “Who and what manner of man this blessed Joseph was, you may conjecture from the name by which, a dispensation being allowed, he deserved to be so honoured as to be believed and to be called the father of God. You may conjecture it from his very name, which, being interpreted, means ‘Increase’.”
The Hebrew name ‘Yosef’ means ‘He will add’ or ‘increase’. Thus, Joseph the patriarch, the 11th son of Jacob, was so named.
In the new American Bible Luke 2:52 reads: “And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and people.” Jesus kept increasing in wisdom, favour, and stature.
I do not know about you, but that is my deepest desire, to grow into the image of Jesus. To increase in wisdom, favour, and stature every day. If this is the desire, Joseph is the man.
St Teresa of Avila has said it so well: “Knowing by experience St Joseph’s astonishing influence with God, I would wish to persuade everyone to honour him with particular devotion. I have always seen those who honoured him in a special manner make progress in virtue, for this heavenly protector favours in a striking manner the spiritual advancement of souls who commend themselves to him.”
Entrust your life to St Joseph; he grew Jesus up just right. He will do a great job with you.
Joseph was God’s choice to raise His son. He should be our choice.
Say the litany every day between now and March 19.
Litany to St Joseph
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Noble Offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph Most Just, pray for us.
Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us.
Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us.
Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us.
Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us.
Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of Patience, pray for us.
Lover of Poverty, pray for us.
Model of Workmen, pray for us.
Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us.
Guardian of Virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of Families, pray for us.
Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the Sick, pray for us.
Patron of the Dying, pray for us.
Terror of Demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
(V) He has made him lord of his household,
(R) And prince over all his possessions.
Let us pray.
O God, who, in Your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most Holy Mother, grant us the favour of having him for our intercessor in Heaven whom on Earth we venerate as our protector. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen. (The litany and the quotes were taken from Donald H Calloway, Consecration to St Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father. Kindle version).