Welcome to March! This is the month during which the Church traditionally venerates Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and Patron of the Universal Church.
"Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity," wrote Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (On the Devotion to St. Joseph) in 1889.
"And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents."
"From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. ...It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."
Holy Scripture proclaims Saint Joseph as a "just man," and the Church has always turned to Joseph for his patronage and protection.
Among many titles, Saint Joseph is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were both at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.
Ite Ad Joseph! Go to Joseph! (Gen. 41:55)
* Additional material courtesy of Jennifer Gregory Miller at Catholic Culture at: https://www.catholicculture.org/