The Universal Church marks 2021 as the Year of St Joseph – a concerted effort to remind the faithful of the source of strength and support made available to us through St Joseph.
The OMIs look to St Joseph as the Protector of the OMI
Congregation and the Patron of Brothers. As Protector, St Joseph defends members
of The De Mazenod Family against temptations, spiritual harm; as Patron, he
supports and nourishes the Oblate Brothers in particular. Along with Blessed Mary,
St Joseph is known for his unreserved ‘yes’ to trusting God’s will for his life, referred
to as a “model of obedience made incarnate”. St Eugene with a middle name of
Joseph, honours the saint, saying his “soul (is) more excellent than all the celestial
intelligences, above which it is indubitably placed in heaven.”
Yet, often as Catholics we can commemorate a Saint year after year, with little of the
nature of the saint permeating our being. When discovering Mary pregnant, St
Joseph may have assumed Mary betrayed him and his love for her – yet he thought
only of reducing any suffering for her. With option to act upon his view of the
situation, he chose instead to trust and obey God’s more challenging and unknown
plan. He puts aside ego to remain in the shadow of Blessed Mary. Although in love
with Mary, St Joseph chose to honour their vow of virginity.
We can ask for St Joseph’s gifts of self-sacrifice, kindness, trust, obedience, humility,
determination and courage. We can ask for help in our spiritual struggles, seeking his
paternal protection and support. Spend a moment with the below image. What will
you ask of St Joseph, on his Feast Day?