Read: Saint Joseph's Day | March 19 | "Why we honor Joseph" by Father Pieter vanRooyen

Take a look at this photograph of a handsome new statue of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, that was recently erected within the grounds of Saint Joseph Parish in Ypsilanti. Why did the parish decide to erect a statue to their patron saint? Upon today’s Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, here’s a great explanation from the pastor of Saint Joseph, Father Pieter vanRooyen. He writes:

“How does Saint Joseph inspire our parish? Recently, as you can see, a local artist donated her services to make a sculpture that depicts Saint Joseph’s role in our parish. The sculpture shows Joseph with Jesus in his arms watching over the parish hall and playground. Underneath the image is this prayer:

“Oh, Saint Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, Saint Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers. Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.”

“What does this mean for us? First, we see his tender love for Jesus, so with Joseph as our guide we strive to make loving, serving, and knowing Jesus our first priority. But we also see how Joseph and Jesus watch over our parish, even our social hall and playground, so we see the value of building community along with faith.”

“We don’t love Jesus alone; just like Joseph loved Jesus with Mary, so also, we love Jesus as part of a parish family. So, with Saint Joseph, we try to foster opportunities to “greet, eat, and pray” together.”

“And finally, Joseph shows us how love for Jesus leads to love for our brothers and sisters in need, so around the Feast of Saint Joseph we do a special drive for food and supplies for our local food bank.”

“In short, we are blessed to have Joseph as our patron who shows us how to love Jesus within the family of the parish and share that love with our brothers and sisters in need.”

Have a blessed feast day! Ite ad Ioseph! Go to Joseph! (Genesis 41:55).

* The parish of Saint Joseph in Ypsilanti will celebrate their patronal feast day tonight with Holy Mass at 6.30pm followed by a light reception. All are very welcome. The address of the church is 9425 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI, 48197.