Category: Saint Joseph
A whole adventure was played out in the pages of the magazine L’Oratoire during the year 1954.
Appointed editor-in-chief of the publication in September 1953, Father Émile Legault, CSC, published an editorial in January 1954 in which he declared that “it is time, more than ever, for a crusade for the rejuvenation of Saint Joseph. Father Legault does not mince his words: speaking of a play he is composing on Saint Joseph1, he expresses the desire to “correct the adulterated image” of Joseph, an image inherited from the theatrical plays of the Middle Ages called the Mistères.2.
Human beings like to intercede for others and also, especially, to be interceded for.
As children, we often asked another sibling to intercede for us with our parents, to obtain a favor or permission.
There are many kinds of prayers. The prayer of adoration, praise, thanksgiving, request, thanksgiving and of course the prayer of intercession.
This prayer of intercession is a very important form of prayer.
The Oratory is part of the Montreal landscape. My father told me that at the age of 10 – which brings us back to 1920 – he had the mumps and that it made him suffer terribly.
Wearily, his mother said: let’s go up to the Oratory to see Brother André. When they arrived, they got in line and she explained to him that her son had the mumps and that it made him suffer a lot. Brother André made a little pout, put both hands on my father’s ears, without touching them. And they leave. My father assures: the pain disappeared in the moment, there was nothing left.
The other night I had an amazing dream. I was juggling balls: one was called Father, one was called Pilgrim and one was called Joseph.
The one that first caught my attention was Pilgrim. This word evokes in me all those visitors to the Mount Royal Shrine, where I have been devoting myself for several years now. I have seen them of all colors, of many nationalities, of many cultures, beliefs and religions.
Last December, Pope Francis invited us to enter the Year dedicated to Saint Joseph. A little later he invited Christians to a Year of the Family (“Amoris Laetitia Family”) that would begin on the feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, 2021. I propose a reflection based on these two great moments in the life of the Church.
Saint Joseph is the Patron Saint of families, given his role in the family of Jesus of Nazareth. He is also the Patron of the great spiritual family united in Jesus that is the Church, according to the declaration of Pius IX of December 8, 1870. For the 150th anniversary of this declaration, Pope Francis has designated the current year, which runs from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021, as the Year of Saint Joseph.
On December 8, 2020, Pope Francis invited us to a year dedicated to Saint Joseph.
We were astonished to discover, while browsing through the Annales de l’Oratoire Saint-Joseph that the year 1921 had also been consecrated to Saint Joseph by Pope Benedict XV. One hundred years to the day from the call of Pope Francis.
A newborn baby is always a source of wonder to family and friends. A new life is full of mystery, full of future, full of hope too. Everyone has their say in what that child will be like. And as the child grows, as his or her personality takes shape, the child will be referred to as “like father, like son” if it is a boy. In Jesus’ day, when talking about him, people used to say, “Isn’t he the son of Joseph the carpenter? »
Several years ago a diocesan priest from the South Shore gave this touching testimony on his website: “If I am free on a Sunday, I like to participate in one of the Sunday Masses at Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. The liturgy is simple. The singing is beautiful. And above all, the gathering of the faithful speaks volumes. The testimony of people’s faith, modest but real, stimulates my faith and my hope… People of all nations, of all colors, of all ages, of all states of health and probably of diverse religions, come to pray to God during the Eucharist, and to Saint Joseph in the huge hall with votive lamps and to Brother André at his tomb. It is truly the universal Church that is present here and it is, visibly, the salvation wrought by Jesus for all that is manifested here.”
When Brother André entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1870, the community had already been established in Montréal for 23 years. Its founder, Father Basil Moreau, CSC, had a great devotion to Saint Joseph. Frequently, he urged his spiritual sons and daughters to turn to Saint Joseph to honor him and to love him. He also suggested to them to spread the devotion to the people with whom they were working.
One day in 1998, I received a letter from Alicia, a Friend of Brother Andre. Alicia lived in Aguascalientes, a village in Mexico. “From this village so far from Montréal, I give thanks from the bottom of my heart to our Lord for having heard my prayer through the intercession of Brother André and Saint Joseph.” “I bless the day that I was given to read the biography of Brother André. I found so much faith and trust in this ‘SAINT’ (Tuve mucha fe y confianza en este ‘SANTO’) and also in Saint Joseph. With them, a favor is quickly obtained.”
One day early in the year, after Mass, an older woman in a wheelchair made a gesture to call me over. She handed me an envelope and wished me a Happy New Year. She had a look on her face of pure serenity and peace. It made an impression on me.
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