Seriously, if you have a family and/or are employed, you need St. Joseph!
Two months ago, I would likely have taken one look at an article with this title and kept on scrolling. It’s not that I was anti-St. Joseph or anything. It’s just that I’ve never experienced “needing” anyone outside of my family to take care of my family. These kinds of articles tend to talk about people who lived long ago, did important stuff, and are now saints we should build a devotion to.
I applaud the idea. I’m all for sharing more about obscure or particularly cool saints. The thing is, my bench is kinda’ full. I already have three patron saints (which is a tad excessive), a couple other saints I regularly request intercession from, I’m consecrated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and from time to time I still like to just talk to Jesus. I really wasn’t in the market for another best friend!
Yes, I realize the previous paragraph kind of destroys any chance I had at being relatable.
The amazing thing, though, is my family really did need St. Joseph. So did I. I’m willing to be that if you’re part of a family then you do, too.
It all started with a gift. Last year, I was given the book Consecration to St. Joseph, which I put on a shelf. A few weeks ago, our pastor announced a men’s group that would walk through the book. That evening I found it in my “I really ought to read this” pile and I started paging through it.
Its core is a 33-day consecration and, lucky me, the timing worked out perfectly for me to start the process and end on March 19, 2021. The Solemnity of St. Joseph!
Because the Bible says very little about the guy, I rarely thought about him. I had envisioned Joseph as an old man and something of a non-entity. What I’ve found is he is exactly the person I need to be best friends with!
A few ways I’ve come to rely on St. Joseph:
- I ask for his help when work is stressful. Joseph knew how to get stuff done in the workshop and he also knew how to let work go and put Jesus and Mary first. He had the work-life balance I so often get out of whack.
- I ask for inspiration when work has me stuck. Joseph is a clever dude! He wasn’t a computer programmer—not according to my Bible, anyway—but I think he’s been keeping up with the times. I find a kindred spirit and an insightful counselor in St. Joseph when I need to “talk shop”.
- I ask for patience when my kids aren’t convenient. Jesus was a bit of a handful (Lk 2:41-52). God the Father entrusted his own son to be raised, taught, and disciplined by Joseph. This was a huge responsibility! I find Joseph faithfully reminds me of how to love my kids in all situations, when I remember to ask!
- I ask for strength when I want to be lazy. Joseph walked to Bethlehem. He walked to Egypt. He worked his tail off in that pagan land to feed his family and keep them safe. He walked back to Nazareth (over 100 miles). He went to Jerusalem three times each year (as a faithful Jew). He did what he was supposed to do no matter how tired or overworked he was. How do I know? That’s what Jesus did, where did he learn it?
- I ask for purity when I need it. Joseph was married to the Virgin Mary and he protected, respected, and honored her in every way. Whenever I want guidance on how to respect my wife and see her true beauty, Joseph is there. He’s also someone you want on speed dial for any other temptations against purity.
In my experience, St. Joseph is exactly the saint the modern family needs. He gets family life. He gets the struggles. He gets the temptations. He gets the lack of recognition. He gets the daily grind. He gets it and he’s here to help!
In addition to all of this, Pope Francis declared 2021 as The Year of St. Joseph. I really believe that we will be hearing more about Jesus’ foster father!
This Friday (March 19) is St. Joseph’s main feast day—technically, it’s a solemnity, the kind of feast that makes all the other feasts jealous—If you haven’t already made major liturgical plans, consider using this day to start or deepen your family’s relationship with him (ideas below).
You won’t regret it!
A few ideas:
- Pray one of these prayers to St. Josephas a family
- The Litany of St. Joseph is a real winner!
- The Chaplet of the 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph will do much to help you understand his heart
- Pray a Rosary of St. Joseph
- Attend Mass as a family
- Go to Eucharistic Adoration as a family