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Category: Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph the Worker, model and guarantor of workers’ dignity

“Work ennobles man”, goes the saying, but, we immediately add, “it can enslave him and reduce him to slavery”. With this wisdom in mind, the Assemblée des évêques catholiques du Québec is sounding the alarm on the current food crisis. In a beautiful message that I invite you to read, our bishops invite us to pay attention to the current food crisis, to analyze the situation in the light of the Gospel, and to consider various courses of action so that everyone can eat their fill.

Saint Joseph at the cradle of Canadian history

It is recounted that during his expedition to the Hurons in 1615, Samuel de Champlain was accompanied by the Franciscan Recollet, Father Joseph Le Caron, who celebrated the first mass in Huron country on August 12, 1615 and named this first mission, at Quienonascaran, after Saint Joseph. In 1624 (around July 16 through August 15), Father Le Caron entrusted this new colony to the care of Saint Joseph as he wrote in his memoirs: “Sixteen hundred and twenty-four, we made a great solemnity…, by a vow we made to Saint Joseph whom we chose as the patron saint of the country and protector of this nascent Church.” (Annales de Saint Joseph, 13ème Année, Janvier 1924, p. 11).

Companion of Saint Brother André

Brother André, a listening heart. A man of prayer and great simplicity, he embodied John the Baptist’s words to Jesus: “He must increase but I must decrease” (Jn 3:30). His reputation as a miracle worker and saint spread quickly. Yet the humble religious man never even sought recognition, let alone glory. He never stopped calling himself “the instrument of Saint Joseph,” his companion in spiritual life.

Companion in Hope

Hope cannot be taken for granted. It’s easier to despair, to let ourselves fall into sadness or weariness. How many are discouraged? Consciously or not, we sometimes forget Hope and wonder: “What’s the point? What’s the point in going on?”

Companion on the path of faith

Joseph welcomed God’s presence in his life. On his word, he committed himself to the Incarnation of his Son: the most unfathomable of mysteries. He accepted God’s plan without protest or question, and went ahead, happy to walk in the light because God was there.

Companion of migrants and refugees

The work of art “Angels Unawares” that stands in front of the Oratory depicts a large boat whose passengers are migrants from all eras, countries and religions. Among them are Joseph and Mary, carrying the infant Jesus in her arms.

Companion of the Sick

Like every human being, Saint Joseph must have been through hard times and faced many challenges. He is often invoked as the Model of workers, the Support of families, but also as the Hope of the sick and dying. His compassion, strength and protection are qualities that make him particularly close to people facing illness and suffering.

Companion of workers

The Gospels tell us very little about Joseph. How do we know, for example, that he was a carpenter in Nazareth? From a single verse from Matthew (13:55) and perhaps another from Mark, suggesting that he passed his trade on to Jesus (6:3). Whatever the case, he certainly had to support his family through his work. Hence why the Church proposes him as the model and patron saint of workers.

Companion of our Families

Jesus probably always called Joseph “abba,” or “papa.” He would later address God, his Father, in the same way. It’s by the same word—so intimate!—that he invited his disciples to pray to God the Father: “When you pray, say: Our Papa who art in heaven…”

Companion of our Church

Joseph, as we know, had the privilege of sharing a household with two exceptional people: Jesus and Mary. As Jesus’ “earthly” father, Joseph held him in his arms, helped him through his first steps, held his hand on the way to the synagogue or the market, taught him his Jewish prayers, and had the joy of finding him, as a teenager, after three days in the Jerusalem Temple. What a role Joseph played as protector and educator throughout Jesus’ youth!

Companion of our ancestors

The year 2024 marks the 4th centenary of Canada’s consecration to Saint Joseph. As early as 1624, the Recollects, the first European missionaries to arrive in Nouvelle-France, consecrated the young colony and the nascent Church of Canada to Saint Joseph.

Our great country’s patronage would later be formalized by two popes: Urban VIII in 1637 and Gregory XVI in 1834.

Peace of Heart

One day, I had the pleasure of meeting Armand and his wife. They were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. As a gift, they had asked a friend to take them to the Oratory. Armand’s wife told me with great pride: “The first thing we did, the day after our wedding, was to come here to the Oratory. We’ve always had great confidence in Saint Joseph and Brother André. Armand and I wanted to come here to celebrate.”