Blessings dear friends. Ever since my pilgrimage to St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal last June, I have had a much stronger devotion to St. Joseph. The Oratory is the largest shrine dedicated to St. Joseph in the world, and was built against all odds through the prayers and inspiration of St. Brother André Bessette, the humble doorkeeper of Notre Dame College in Montreal, whose devotion to St. Joseph developed into a great ministry of healing. The secular press once dubbed him, “The Miracle Man of Montreal”. With a conservative estimate of 10,000 healings attributed to his prayers to St. Joseph in the 60 years or so of his healing ministry, it can be argued that he was one of the greatest healers in the history of the Church. However, he never took credit for any of the miracles. When asked for prayers, he would tell people, “Pray to St. Joseph. I will pray with you.”
Near the end of that article on my pilgrimage to the Oratory, I noted that in reflecting on the life of St. Brother André one thing that occurred to me was that his mission and ministry in life was not primarily one of healing, but of making St. Joseph more well known and loved, of increasing devotion to him for the greater glory of God. I have come to believe that God means this to be the era of Mary and Joseph. The Church has had 2000 years in which to solidify her theology and establish Jesus Christ as her true and only centre. However, it seems that Jesus wants his Mother and Foster-Father to be more well known and loved now. He is bringing them out from behind the veil as if to say, “Children, here are your Mother and Father. Listen to them, as I do. Love them as I do. Pray to them and I will respond with great joy.”
My devotion to St. Joseph since returning home has blossomed and I recently had an experience which left me feeling called to promote St. Joseph even more fervently.
Last Wednesday, the first Wednesday of November, I spoke to a classroom of students about my trip to Montreal. I related to them that I felt that the mission of St. Brother André was not so much one of healing, but of making St. Joseph better known. Interiorly, I felt privileged to be doing the same with these students in my small way. When I came home I checked my blog comments and one of my readers had posted this comment:
“…It’s the first Wednesday of the month. In the approved apparitions of St Joseph in Brazil, he said:
‘My beloved son, today is the first Wednesday of the month. On every first Wednesday of the month, my Chaste Heart pours numerous graces on all who rely on my intercession. On these Wednesdays, men will not receive a shower of simple graces, but very strong torrents of extraordinary graces! I will share them with those who honor me and rely on me, all the blessings, all the virtues, and all the love I received from my Divine Son Jesus and my spouse the Blessed Virgin Mary while still living in this world and all the graces that I continue to receive in the glory of paradise.’”
I was overwhelmed that this “First Wednesday” was the day I had evangelized about St. Joseph. I had been praying for a specific intention and that same day it seemed a great grace was given with regard to that intention. I was quite overwhelmed when I put the pieces together! I responded to the comment with this prayer:
Good St. Joseph, thank you! I claim these graces, these torrents of graces, over the one I am praying for most fervently, and all those poor sous in my spiritual territory. Today I had the honour of making you better known to a group of school children. I promise you good Father, that I will re-double my efforts in making you better known in the world, should you condescend to answer my prayers–and even if you don’t, for I know that whatever you do or don’t do is within God’s perfect will. May God’s holy will be done in me, through me, and around me. I love you Papa Joseph! St. Brother André, pray with me. Amen.
I think there can be no doubt that the days will continue to darken. I want to urge all readers to develop a devotion to the Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph. Rather than duplicate what has already been done well, I will direct you to the Apostolate of St. Joseph website, where I also found this reference to a vision of Blessed Catherine de St. Augustin regarding the Ascension of Jesus:
“I saw a very august procession of blessed souls… St John the Baptist was at the head and carried a white banner, white as snow, on which was written in large red characters these words: Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi. … This procession seemed to rise in the air, and the King of glory, in the centre of this entire troop, was taken up in an admirable way by His proper virtue. I followed as much as I could and my spirit accompanied Him… St Joseph was the closest at the entrance of the eternal gates, and it was he, it seemed to me, who spoke first to the Most August Trinity; and addressing himself to the person of the Father, after the most sacred Humanity was put into its appointed place, said to Him in a language of the blessed:
“’This talent has profited so much that not only do I return it to You doubled, but You see this multitude that it has acquired; I return all to You and offer it to You.’
“The Eternal Father then not only set him over a great many people, but even said to him: ‘Faithful servant! Since you were the steward of My house on earth, I want you to command here and to have all power.’ The Son Himself gave him power over Him, all King of glory that He was, and wanted him to have the honor of commanding Him.”
We can do no wrong in honoring St. Joseph and continuously begging his intercession. Believe in his faithful intercession and don’t stop praying. St. Joseph is a most powerful ally in this evil age, and he is meant to be our special intercessor and protector.
St. Joseph Guardian of the Unborn, pray for us. St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, pray for us.
(A litany of St. Joseph may be found on EWTN.)