Celebrating St. Joseph: Patron and Model of Perfect Devotion to Our Lady

 

Josephby Jayson M. Brunelle, M.Ed, CAGS

On this marvelous Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church, it is critical that we turn our attention to St. Joseph at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history.  St. Joseph is, for each of us, the perfect example of one who is entirely, whole-heartedly devoted to Christ Jesus, and this through his perfect devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.

Indeed, we can ask ourselves, what is the essence of total consecration?  Certainly, the great Marian Saints Louis Marie de Montfort and Maximilian Mary Kolbe made every effort to underscore the totality and unreserved nature of this “gift” of one’s self to the Blessed Virgin via the use of such expressions as “slave,” “possession and property.”  While these beautiful phrases presented by the Marian “giants” certainly convey the radical extent to which they, themselves, went in offering themselves – body and soul; intellect and will; all their goods, both interior and exterior; and even the value of all of their good deeds and merits: past, present and future; all for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity – it is the conviction of this author that St. Joseph, who is, in fact, the Patron of the Universal Church, attained this lofty privilege precisely through the radical breadth and depth of his sanctity, which was a direct consequence of his virginal espousal of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: or, in other words, the single most perfect consecration to Jesus through Mary.

Christ, our Lord, has called each of us into a most radical intimacy of life with Himself, as He states in John 15:15, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  Moreover, while Christ is the sole “Mediator” between the Heavenly Father and humanity (1 Tim 2:5), Mary is the sole “Mediatrix” between us and Christ: ” … it is right to say, that nothing at all of that very great treasury of all grace which the Lord brought us–for ‘grace and truth came through Jesus Christ’ [Jn 1.17]–nothing is imparted to us except through Mary, since God so wills, so that just as no one can come to the Father except through the Son, so in general, no one can come to Christ except through His Mother” (Leo XIII, Octobri mense adventante).

Furthermore, in a little-known, oft overlooked, yet profoundly rich passage from the Book of Sirach, we find Created Wisdom (whom the Church identifies as the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Christ Jesus, Who is the “Wisdom” of God, is clearly distinct from “Created Wisdom,” as Christ is God, and, as the Creator, “through Whom and for Whom all things were created” He cannot, Himself, be “created”) singing her own praises, which resonate and prophetically depict the “Espousal” model of Marian Consecration, so beautifully illustrated in the lives of Mary and Joseph:  “And she will meet him as an honourable mother, and will receive him as a wife married of a virgin. [3] With the bread of life… she shall feed him, and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved” (Sirach 15:1-3).

Lastly, as Christians, we are called to imitate Christ in all the Divine Mysteries of His life, His Holy Infancy notwithstanding.  Thus, just as Christ became a child and entrusted Himself unreservedly to the care of Mary and Joseph, so too ought we to entrust ourselves to these most noble of all Guardians.  Thus, we are called to look to Mary as our Spiritual Mother (a role that she carries out as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate), as a “wife married of a virgin,” who shall feed us with the Bread of Life, her Eucharistic Son, and our sister in the Mystical Body of Christ!

Let us, then, pray to St. Joseph on this, his Solemnity, that he might enlighten our minds and inflame our hearts with an ever-deepening understanding and comprehension of the tremendous role of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the economy of salvation and the

 

Miraculous Staircase, Allegedly Built by St. Joseph, Defies Laws of Both Gravity and Physics

The "Miraculous Staircase" of "Our Lady of Light" Chapel in Sante Fe, New Mexico, which (1) defies the laws of gravity and physics in that it should not be capable of standing, much less of being used continually, a it has been and still is; (2) was constructed by a mysterious bearded man who carried only the most primitive of tools, an who used neither nails, nor glue, nor wood that was indigenous to that geographical space or time period (this species of wood had been extinct at the time it was built; (3) which is comprised of exactly 33 stairs - a mystical number that represents the number of years that Christ lived on earth.  Moreover, Christ is, himself, quit literally our "stairway to heaven," as he clearly states in John 14:6: "I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me."

The “Miraculous Staircase” of “Our Lady of Light” Chapel in Sante Fe, New Mexico,  is comprised of exactly 33 stairs – a mystical number that represents the number of years that Christ lived on earth. Moreover, Christ is, himself,  our “stairway to heaven,” as he clearly states in John 14:6: “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

“In 1872 Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Bishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese, commissioned the building of a convent chapel to be named Our Lady of Light Chapel, which would be in the care of the Sisters of Loretto. The chapel was designed by French architect Antoine Mouly in the Gothic Revival style, complete with spires, buttresses, and stained glass windows imported from France. Although it was built on a much smaller scale, the chapel bears an obvious resemblance to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

“The architect died suddenly and it was only after much of the chapel was constructed that the builders realized it was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft. Due to the chapel’s small size, a standard staircase would have been too large. Historians have also noted that earlier churches of the period had ladders rather than stairs to the choir loft, but the Sisters did not feel comfortable with that prospect because of the long habits that they wore.

“The Sisters of Loretto relate the story as follows:

“Needing a way to get up to the choir loft the nuns prayed for St. Joseph‘s intercession for nine straight days. On the day after their novena ended a shabby-looking stranger appeared at their door. He told the nuns he would build them a staircase but that he needed total privacy and locked himself in the chapel for three months. He used a small number of primitive tools including a square, a saw and some warm water and constructed a spiral staircase entirely of non-native wood. The identity of the carpenter is not known for as soon as the staircase was finally finished he was gone. Many witnesses, upon seeing the staircase, feel it was constructed by St. Joseph himself, as a miraculous occurrence.

“The resulting staircase is an impressive work of carpentry. It ascends twenty feet, making two complete revolutions up to the choir loft without the use of nails or apparent center support. It has been surmised that the central spiral of the staircase is narrow enough to serve as a central beam. Nonetheless there was no attachment unto any wall or pole in the original stairway, although in 1887 — 10 years after it was built — a railing was added and the outer spiral was fastened to an adjacent pillar. Instead of metal nails, the staircase was constructed using dowels or wooden pegs.

“The staircase has 33 steps, this is the same age of Jesus Christ. The risers of the 33 steps are all of the same height. Made of an apparently extinct wood species, it was constructed with only square wooden pegs without glue or nails. It makes over two complete 360-degree turns, stands 20’ tall and has no center support.

“The legend claims that the mystery had never been satisfactorily solved as to who the carpenter was or where he got his lumber, and that there were no reports of anyone seeing lumber delivered or even seeing the man come and go while the construction was being done. Since he left before the Mother Superior could pay him, the Sisters of Loretto offered a reward for the identity of the man, but it was never claimed” (Wikipedia, 2015).  The complete article can be read by clicking here.

St. Joseph Epitomizes Perfect Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

by Jayson M. Brunelle

Consecration to Jesus through Mary has become very popular amongst orthodox Catholics attempting to grow spiritually and more perfectly conform their intellect and will to the divine intellect and will of Christ.  As many know, Mary always points to her Son Jesus and repeats to us what she stated at the wedding of Cana: “Do whatever He tells you.”  Moreover, according to  the great Marian saint Louis de Montfort, Marian consecration is the quickest, easiest, perfect and most secure way of giving ourselves over to Jesus, who came to us through Mary.  We most surely return to Christ using the same pathway He used in coming to us – Mary.  Few will dispute the profound efficacy of Marian consecration in making strides in the spiritual life and most perfectly conforming ourselves to Christ through Mary.  Continue reading