In 1989, Pope St John Paul the Great published his Apostolic Exhortation on St Joseph called Guardian of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Custos). Here are 8 great quotes from that awesome document to help you celebrate the Feast of St Joseph (March 19).
1. “I am convinced that by reflection upon the way in which Mary’s spouse shared in the divine mystery, the Church—on the road towards the future with all humanity—will be enabled to discover ever anew her own identity within this redemptive plan, which is founded on the mystery of the incarnation.”
2. “He took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing; he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body.”
3. “The [Incarnation is] the mystery in which Joseph of Nazareth “shared” (commuicavit) like no other human being except Mary…he shared in it with her; he was involved in the same salvific event; he was the guardian of the same love, through the power of which the eternal Father ‘destined us to be his sons through Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5).’”
4. “…while it is important for the Church to profess the virginal conception of Jesus, it is no less important to uphold Mary’s marriage to Joseph, because juridically Joseph’s fatherhood depends on it.”
5. “…whereas Adam and Eve were the source of evil, which was unleashed on the world, Joseph and Mary are the summit from which holiness spreads over the earth. The Saviour began the work of salvation out of this virginal and sacred union”
6. “‘Joseph took his wife, but he knew her not until she had borne a son’ (Matt 1:24-25). These words indicate another kind of closeness in marriage. The deep spiritual closeness arising from marital union and the interpersonal contact between man and woman have their definite origins in the Spirit, the Giver of Life (see John 6:63). Joseph in obedience to the Spirit, found in the Spirit, the source of love, the conjugal love which he experienced as man. And this love proved to be greater that this “just man” could ever have expected within the limits of his human heart.”
7. “The growth of Jesus “in wisdom and stature” (Luke 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of “raising” Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father.”
8. “St Joseph is the model of those humble ones that Christianity raises up to great destinies…he is the proof that in order to be a good and genuine follower of Christ, there is no need to do great things it is enough to have the common, simple and human virtues, but they need to be true and authentic”
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