April | Courage
Brave; Protector of the Church
“Do not be afraid!” the angel said. Indeed, there were fearful things coming. The pain and disgrace of his betrothed Mary being found pregnant. The threat of stoning her for presumed adultery. The anxious search for shelter in which the Son of God could be born. The consuming rage of King Herod against tiny innocents. The at-a-moment’s-notice flight to an unfamiliar foreign country across wild and pagan lands, constantly open to attack. Doubts about his abilities as a humble carpenter to being a father to the Son of God…
Courage…from the Latin root “cor,” meaning heart. What a heart Saint Joseph had. His heart was unwavering in the face of adversity; steadfast in the midst of struggles; faithful to his obligations as husband and father – no matter what. Joseph’s heart was strong, brave…and tender, compassionate, and loving. How was it possible for Saint Joseph to be so courageous, especially in protecting Mary, and Jesus – the Head who would establish His Church on Calvary? It was because Joseph’s heart was rooted in trust and the love of God. Dear Saint Joseph, who, with brave heart, protected Mary and the Child Jesus within your family, protect the Church now in the midst of our trials.
What meaning does this have for us, for me personally?
Votive Mass | April 14th
May | Hardworking
Model of Workers
This month we honor Saint Joseph the Worker. Work was part of God’s original design in the Garden of Eden. Work fulfills God’s command in Genesis to care for the earth and to be fruitful in labor. Work has dignity and it is part of what it means to be human. Work is not simply about the material things of this world; there is a spiritual dimension to it, as well. Part of the dignity of work is that it is a participation in the creative work of God. Through our labor we participate as co-creators with God. Work, of itself, is good. It was only after the Fall that work could be colored by frustration, weariness and dissatisfaction. Even so, there remains immeasurable worth to work, however simple it may be.
St. Joseph knew what it was to work by the sweat of his brow. St. Joseph was a humble carpenter. In keeping with the duties of a father, he had the weighty task of caring for and raising Jesus, of feeding, clothing and educating him in the faith of Israel – and in a trade. St. Joseph passed on his knowledge of woodworking to Jesus and he instilled into his son his own work ethic.
The dignity of work comes from the good it provides. It’s about any work done in a spirit of service. Work for St. Joseph was the daily expression of his love in the life of the family of Nazareth. It was an expression of his love for Jesus and Mary. He provides for them with his own hands. In teaching Jesus the skills of a carpenter and the importance of labor, St. Joseph must have also taught Jesus the importance of balancing work with time for rest, for prayer, for recreation, and for family. St. Joseph is our example of how to integrate work with family. He shows us how to work with right emphasis. He teaches us how to labor centering our work on the Lord. Jesus was honored to work beside Joseph in the workshop. Because the Son of God was not ashamed to humbly labor, work has been imbued with a new dignity through the mystery of the Incarnation. Following St. Joseph’s example, followers of Jesus can find sanctification through their work and can give honor to God.
St. Joseph, teach us how to work conscientiously, to work with gratitude, joy, moderation, and patience, without shrinking from weariness and difficulties. Help us to work with purity of intention and selflessness.
What does St. Joseph’s example mean for me?
Memorial of St. Joseph | May 1st
A Consecration to St Joseph
Ideally, families and groups could organize themselves to make the consecration together. Fr. Calloway’s book includes material for six weeks of group meetings leading up to the consecration. On the final day a simple ceremony could be planned where the group recites the consecration prayer together led by their pastor or parochial vicar following the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
To make a 33-day consecration, we recommend that you use the new book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC.
The chart below lists suggested dates for making the consecration during the Year of St. Joseph
|START DATE||FEAST DAY||CONSECRATION DAY|
|February 15, 2021||Solemnity of St. Joseph||March 19, 2021|
|March 30, 2021||St. Joseph the Worker||May 1, 2021|
|April 11, 2021||Our Lady of Fatima||May 13, 2021|
|July 20, 2021||Our Lady of Knock||August 21, 2021|
|September 30, 2021||All Saints||November 1, 2021|
|November 25, 2021||Holy Family||December 27, 2021|