The authority of St. Joseph

July 1, 2021 • 2 min

From The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, page 356

It implies no derogation from the dignity and supereminence of the holy Mother of God to affirm that, as regards the authority to command Jesus and rule His actions exteriorly, Joseph had received higher powers than even Mary herself; for this is only according to the order appointed by God, to which the Holy Family entirely conformed.

The Gospel clearly proves that such was the case, by relating how the angels did not bear the orders of Heaven to Mary, but to Joseph. And wherefore save that he was the lord of this Sacred Family, who was in everything to be the prime mover of its actions, and to whom it appertained to determine in particular all that was necessary for the care and preservation of Jesus, his Son?

A learned interpreter of Scripture observes that, although the Virgin was the first to know that her Son should be named Jesus, nevertheless the angel did not send St. Joseph to learn it from this sovereign lady, but informed him of it in a special apparition, and explained to him the signification of this Name, even as if he alone had been concerned in the matter.

For (as this same Doctor continues to show) Joseph, in the capacity of father of the family, ought not to receive his orders from his spouse, nor was it meet that the lord of a house should not dispose things except by the expressed will of those who were dependent on him.

The angels made the same declaration in favour of Joseph’s authority by revealing to him the necessity of the flight into Egypt, leaving the Blessed Virgin to be informed of the will of Heaven from the lips of her spouse; and, again, it was to him that the message was addressed when the term of exile had arrived.

Moreover, when Joseph was apprehensive of going into Judea for fear of Archelaus, it was from the angel that he sought and received light, although at his side was the Queen of angels, and even the Creator of the angels. The Mother of God and the Incarnate Word Himself honoured his authority by their silence, as being the head of the Family, to whom perfect obedience was due.

For footnotes and references, see the book scan linked above.

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