the solemnity of san jose is celebrated this Sunday, March 19. Catholic tradition considers the saint a patron of the Church, whose recognition and devotion are associated by the faithful with the protection offered by Saint Joseph to Mary and Jesus.
Another lesson attributed to Saint Joseph is the appreciation of silence and recollection, which are marks of the period of Lent, the moment in the Christian calendar between Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, which begins the celebrations of Easter.
“Joseph is called the saint of silence. The Gospel does not record a word spoken by him. He built his sanctity on the simplicity, humility and silence of Nazareth. Today, we need to cultivate an appreciation for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of the spirit. Today, we are harassed by so many clamors, noises and cries of noisy and stressful modern life”, says Cardinal Orani Tempesta, in an article for the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB).
In homily, the moment of the mass when a celebrant addresses the faithful, Pope Francis said that Saint Joseph was a concrete man, but with an open heart.
“The dream is a privileged place to seek the truth, because there we do not defend ourselves against the truth. They come and… God also speaks in dreams. Not always, because normally it is our unconscious that comes, but God often chose to speak in dreams. And he did it many times, you can see it in the Bible, right? In dreams. But Joseph was the man of dreams, but he was not a dreamer. He didn’t have fantasies. A dreamer is something else: he is the one who believes… he goes… he is in the air and does not have his feet on the ground. Joseph had his feet on the ground. But he was open,” Francisco said.
“José Father, Spouse, Protector, Guardian, Provider”, are some of the names that characterize one of the most beloved saints among Brazilians, as explained to CNN by Professor Francisco Emílio Surian, Master in Theology at PUC São Paulo and coordinator of the course in Theology for Laity at the Institute of Theology São José de Anchieta at the Catholic University of Santos.
The theologian explains the importance of the saint and how great is the devotion to Saint Joseph. In 2020, 150 years of the declaration of São José as Patron of the Catholic Church, made by Beato Pio IX, were completed.
“Pope Pius XII presented him as “Patron of Workers” and Saint John Paul II as “Guardian of the Redeemer”. With so many titles, Saint Joseph does not lose the mark that made him eternal for Christians: the humble father”, said Surian.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Saint Joseph’s declaration as Universal Patron Saint of the Church, Pope Francis identified the saint as the man who loved Jesus with the heart of a father:
“Loving Father, Father in tenderness, Father in obedience, Father in welcome, Father with creative courage, Hardworking Father, Father in the shadow. The latter, an image by the Polish writer Jan Dobraczyński who identifies Saint Joseph with the shadow of the heavenly Father on earth”, explained the theologian.
Brazilians have some traditions for celebrating saints. And with São José it is no different. A tradition associated with the saint is that of a little medal of São José “hidden” in the cake on the feast day that communities in different cities usually make.
“Saint Joseph is the patron saint of dioceses, churches, seminaries. He also lends his name to baptize streets, neighborhoods and commercial establishments, which demonstrates that the people have great affection for the saint”, says the theologian.
Surian adds that among the celebrations there are also novenas: nine days of prayer preparing for the saint’s day.
“The novena usually takes place in the nine days before the feast. Devotional prayers, the rosary, celebration of the Mass with special preaching and in a special way with the blessings of the work cards, asking or giving thanks for the blessing of a job, ”he said.
“And normally there is also a procession. A moment of grace for our people. The image of the saint is carried through the streets between songs and prayers and continues to bless the path and lives in a moment of great expression of our popular mystique”, he adds.
Surian explains that the main references for talking about Joseph are the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
“In Matthew, we soon find the ‘just man.’ The one who thought of abandoning Maria in silence so as not to harm her. But immediately “the one who hears” appears. Joseph, in a dream, is inspired by God to receive Mary as his wife, for the child in her womb “is the work of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1,20)”, he says.
He adds that both in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke, it is emphasized that Joseph is a descendant of King David, so that the prophecy that the Savior would be born of the House of David is fulfilled.
“And so Joseph is presented in the Gospels. Joseph is the man Mary was promised to,” she says.
But the image of José as a saint is built by his life story, as explained by the specialist. Still in the Gospels, there are few other indications and all of them evoke that of a protective Joseph, courageous and companion, and who fulfills God’s will.
“After the long journey for the census, from Nazareth to Bethlehem, Joseph was beside Mary when Jesus was born in a stable: Joseph, father and companion. He receives and admires the gifts received by the wise men: Joseph, father and welcoming. In dreams he is warned of King Herod’s death intentions and flees with his family to Egypt: Joseph, attentive and protective father”, says Surian.
Another great characteristic of Joseph is his obedience to God and his silence, “his ability to overcome difficulties and to cast himself as an instrument in the hands of God so that Jesus could grow in grace and wisdom”.
(Posted by Lucas Rocha)
Source: CNN Brasil
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