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Catholics throughout the world today celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph. This holy man , the spouse of our Blessed Mother Mary, has been given many titles, including being the Patron Saint of Canada, as well as Patron Saint of the Universal Church.
As Bishop Robert Barron points out, in the gospels it seems like every episode of Joseph's life is a crisis. First, we hear of his dismay on finding out that his fiancée is pregnant, and he knows full well that he is not the father of the child. Then, when the Roman Empire declares a world-wide census, he has to take the soon to give birth Mary on the long journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, and upon arrival, finds that there are virtually no places to stay. After the birth, Joseph is warned in a dream to take Mary and the baby Jesus and flee to Egypt so as to escape the wrath of King Herod. After a long period of time in Egypt, he then takes his wife and stepson and returns back to Nazareth. Finally, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, when the child was older, he and his wife discover that Jesus is not with them in the caravan heading home. Hence, they have to return to Jerusalem and search diligently for their son.
Throughout all these episodes of anxiety, uncertaintly, and no doubt fear, Joseph had to trust in God's providence and will. And he did.
Does those feelings that Joseph had in those times of turmoil resonate with you right now, especially in this COVID-19 crisis? I dare say yes. It is only natural that we offer our prayers today for the intercessions of St. Joseph, for ourselves and particularly for all those on the front-lines combatting the virus.
St. Joseph, Patron of Canada, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us!