Book Snippets

Sayings of Saints about St. Joseph

8 min • Digitized on May 18, 2021

From Saint Joseph of Jesus and Mary, page 92
By Rev. Matthew Russell, S.J.

Joseph is a paradise of delights.—St. Ephrem.

He gave to Joseph a father’s love, a father’s watchful care, a father’s authority.—St. John Damascene.

By the name of father, no angel, no saint merited to be called; Joseph alone could so be called.—St. Basil.

Some saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage in certain cases, but not in others, with peculiar efficacy; but to our holy Patron, St. Joseph, it is given to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.—St. Thomas Aquinas, IV. Sent. 9, 45.

Beyond all doubt Jesus in heaven not only does not refuse St. Joseph those marks of familiarity and reverence which He gave on earth as a son to a father, but He adds to them an increase. If you compare him to the whole Church of Christ, is he not the special and chosen being by whom and under whom the Lord was introduced into the world with becoming dignity? If all the faithful, then, are debtors to the Virgin Mother for being made worthy through her to receive the Redeemer; so, next to that Virgin Mother, do we not owe to St. Joseph special homage and veneration?—St. Bernardine of Sienna.

My beloved father and master, St. Joseph. – I took for my advocate and master the glorious St. Joseph, recommended myself much to him; and up to this time I cannot remember having asked him for anything which he has not obtained for me. Would that I could persuade all men to prove by their own experience the advantage of devotion to this glorious Saint, and thus to receive their share of the blessings which he obtains from God! I have never known anyone who was truly devout to him fail to advance rapidly in virtue; for he assists in a most special manner those who recommend themselves specially to him. Oh that I could induce all to be devout to this glorious Saint, from the experience I have of his great power with God! For many years past I have asked of him some favour on his Feast, which he never failed to obtain for me; unless, perhaps, what I asked was not for my good. For the love of God, I implore those who do not believe me to make a trial of it, and they will soon find by experience how advantageous it is to have recourse to the glorious St. Joseph, and to become his devoted clients. It is wonderful what favours God has granted me by means of this blessed Saint; from what dangers, both of body and soul, he has delivered me. God would seem to have given to other saints the grace to help us in some one necessity, but I have experienced that St. Joseph helps us in all, and that our Lord will have us understand that, as He was subject to Joseph on earth, so likewise in heaven the Saint obtains whatsoever he asks.—St. Teresa, “Life” chap. vi.

Oh, what a saint is the glorious St. Joseph! He is not only a Patriarch, but the most distinguished among the Patriarchs. He is not merely a confessor, but far more than a confessor, for in him are included the dignity of the bishop, the generosity of the martyr, the excellence of the other saints. St. Joseph will obtain for us, if we repose confidence in him, an increase in every kind of virtue, but particularly in those which he possessed in a pre-eminent degree. These are a perfect purity of body and mind, humility, constancy, fortitude, and perseverance: virtues which will render us victorious over our enemies in this life, and enable us to obtain the grace of enjoying in the life to come those rewards which are prepared for the imitators of St. Joseph.—St. Francis de Sales, Entretien XIX.

Oh, how divine was the union between Our Lady and the glorious St. Joseph, a union which caused the Supreme Good, the Good of all goods, our Lord Himself, to belong to Joseph–even as He belonged to Our Lady–not by nature but by grace; which made him a sharer in all the possessions of his dear Spouse, and made him continually increase in perfection by his continual communications with her who possessed all virtues in so exalted a degree that no other creature, however pure and spotless, can attain to them! Nevertheless, St. Joseph was the one who made the nearest approach; and as a mirror when set before the rays of the sun reflects them perfectly, and another set before the first so vividly repeats them that it is scarcely possible to see which of the two immediately receives them, even so Our Lady, like a most pure mirror, received the rays of the Sun of Justice, which conveyed into her soul all virtues and perfections; and St. Joseph, like a second mirror, reflected them so perfectly, that he appeared to possess them in as sublime a degree as did the glorious Virgin herself.—The Same.

The example of Jesus Christ, who was pleased when on earth so to honour and to be obedient to St. Joseph, should alone be sufficient to inflame us all to be very devout to this great Saint. Suarez says that St. Joseph, next to Mary, surpasses all the other saints in merit and glory. We should particularly entertain devotion to St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. In return for having delivered the Infant Jesus from the snares of Herod, he has the privilege of delivering the dying from the snares of the devil.—St. Alphonsus.

Let the evangelists be silent concerning all they could tell us of Joseph, placing in array before us those virtues and singular prerogatives which serve as a noble accompaniment to his dignity. To me it suffices that they make him known to us as the husband of Mary, that is, the most like among all living beings to the most perfect of pure creatures who ever came out of the hands of God, even His own Blessed Mother. Spouse of Mary! that is, who came nearest to that highest pinnacle of sanctity which pierced the heavens, which rose above the empyrean, and from the very bosom of the Eternal Father drew down His only-begotten Son. Spouse of Mary! that is, head of the first head in the world, for the husband is the head of the wife. Spouse of Mary! that is, lord of that sovereign Lady who well knew the precept of Genesis: “Thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee;” and who, most perfect in all else, was so also in the reverence and homage which she paid to her Spouse, in which reverence and homage she surpassed all other wives. Spouse of Mary! that is, of the great Queen, whom to serve is the highest dignity of the Dominations, the highest function of the Principalities, the deepest study of the Cherubim, and the most ardent desire of the Seraphim. “No more!” exclaims St. Bernard; “you say all in saying he was like the Virgin, his Spouse.” He was like her in all things: in countenance, in features, in heart, in disposition, in manners, in sanctity, in virtue; so that, if Mary was the aurora preceding the Divine Sun, Joseph was the horizon illuminated by its splendours.—St. Leonard of Port Maurice.

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