St. Joseph was Confirmed in Grace

May 31, 2021 • 4 min

From St. Joseph’s Life, Virtues, Privileges, Power, page 198
By Very Rev. Archdeacon Kinane, P.P.

Section IV.

St. Joseph, by a special Privilege from God, was Confirmed in Grace.

A celebrated writer, describing the glories of St. Peter’s in Borne, says: “The mind expands” and grows “colossal” contemplating the beauty, the majesty, and sublimity of this greatest of temples in the Church of God. The same may be said, in different order, of the heroic virtues of our great St. Joseph. When, after long reading and thinking, we come close to see and examine the eminent virtues of our great Patriarch, the mind must “expand” and grow “colossal” to take in and comprehend the height, the width, and sublime beauty of this mighty spiritual edifice, not the work of the genius and wealth of man, but designed and constructed by the hands of the Omnipotent Himself.

That St. Joseph was confirmed in grace is a tenable and well-grounded opinion. The writers who hold that St. Joseph was sanctified before his birth, maintain the above opinion also, and with the same arguments. This special privilege was conferred upon our Saint by the Almighty on account of his relations with Jesus and Mary. Suarez says it is certain that St. John the Baptist and the Apostles were confirmed in grace. Cornelius a Lapide, from this, argues and concludes, that Almighty God would not and could not refuse to confer upon St. Joseph, His reputed father, and the chaste Spouse of the Immaculate Mother of God, any grace or privilege granted to any other Saint after the Blessed Yirgin. In one word, St. Joseph was confirmed in grace by the Almighty, on account of his dignity and sanctity, as reputed father of Jesus, husband of Mary, and head of the Holy Family.

We shall quote only a few of the many respectable authors before us.

The learned and eloquent Father Segneri writes: “St. Joseph was ennobled and singularly privileged with the honour of spouse of the Mother of God. … St. Joseph was not only sanctified, as we maintain, in his mother’s womb, but was afterwards confirmed in grace and exempt from evil.” The devout client of St. Joseph, Father Vallejo, quotes many authorities for the above opinion, and says: “Hence, we may lawfully infer that the great St. Joseph was not only sanctified before appearing in the light of this world, but was also favoured with the use of understanding and free will. … This similarity to the Blessed Virgin, of loving God before birth, is conceded by great theologians to St. John the Baptist, and consequently to St. Joseph, a Saint to whom, in glory, and in the privileges of grace, his ministry and dignity give advantages over all the other blessed. Nor can we believe that God, who is so liberal of His favours, will deny the guardian and foster-father of His Son, the grace which He freely conceded to another Saint, who was not of so eminent a dignity, nor of so supreme a ministry. From the same motive we shall say that the foster-father pf Jesus, the head, and in some sense, the superior of the Blessed Virgin, and of Christ as man, was confirmed in grace the instant he had the use of reason by an extraordinary favour of heaven. … The privilege of avoiding, by a special grace of heaven, all deliberate sins is conceded to St. John the Baptist by grave theologians, who rely on the authority of St. Augustine and a hymn of the Church; and I think that these doctors, whose arguments pass for solid with Suarez*, will not deny the same favour to St. Joseph when the reasons in his case are at least equal, if not superior” (Life, p. 36).

From the above sound arguments, we may safely conclude that St. Joseph was confirmed in grace like St. John the Baptist, and the Apostles, is a tenable and reasonable opinion. We the more readily hold and believe it, because it redounds to the greater glory of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I offer to you my heart and soul.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you.

* Disp. 3., Art 3.

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