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BLESSING OF SAINT JOSEPH'S TABLE

1679 On the solemnity of Saint Joseph (March 19) it is the custom in some places to bless bread, pastries, and other food and give a large portion of it to the poor.

1680 The faithful should be encouraged to participate in the celebration of Mass on the solemnity of Saint Joseph.

1681 These orders may be used by a priest or a deacon, and also by a layperson, who follows the rites and prayers designated for a lay minister.

I. ORDER OF BLESSING

INTRODUCTORY RITES

1682 When the community has gathered, a suitable song may be sung. After the singing, the minister says: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
All make the sign of the cross and reply: Amen.

1683 A minister who is a priest or deacon greets those present in the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from sacred Scripture. May God, who has called us to be saints, be with you all.

And all reply: And also with you.

1684 A lay minister greets those present in the following words: Praised be God, who gives us saints as models and examples. Blessed be God for ever. R. Blessed be God for ever.

1685 In the following or similar words, the minister prepares those present for the blessing. Today we honor the memory of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary and patron of the universal Church. We rejoice at this table, which is a sign of God's generous blessings and of our call to serve the poor and hungry. We pray that through the intercession of Saint Joseph we too might join the saints at the banquet of the Lord in the heavenly kingdom.

READING OF THE WORD OF GOD

1686 A reader, another person present, or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture. Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Matthew:
1:18-23 Joseph did as the angel commanded him. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

1687 Or: Matthew 13:54-58--Is this not the carpenter's son?

1688 As circumstances suggest, one of the following responsorial psalms may be sung, or some other suitable song.

R. The Son of David will live for ever.

Psalm 89 The favors of the LORD I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. R.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever"; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness: "I have made a covenant with my chosen one. I have sworn to David my servant: R.

"Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations." R.

The heavens proclaim your wonders, 0 LORD, and your faithfulness, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies can rank with the LORD? Who is like the LORD among the sons of God? R.

Psalm 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-7, 8-9 R. (v. 1) Happy are they who fear the Lord.

1689 As circumstances suggest, the minister may give those present a brief explanation of the biblical text, so that they may understand through faith the meaning of the celebration.

INTERCESSIONS
1690 The intercessions are then said. The minister introduces them and an assisting minister or one of those present announces the intentions. From the following those best suited to the occasion may be used or adapted, or other intentions that apply to the particular circumstances may be composed.

The minister says: Let us call upon the name of the Lord through the intercession of Saint Joseph.

R. Lord, you are our hope and our strength.
Assisting minister: That we who have listened to the word of God may do his will, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who have experienced doubt and fear may be helped in times of difficulty, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we may hunger for justice and mercy, we pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who seek God's way may complete our journey to God's kingdom, let us pray to the Lord. R.

Assisting minister: That we who follow the example of Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, may strive always to build up the body of Christ, let us pray to the Lord. R.
1691 Or:

LITANY OF SAINT JOSEPH
Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy Lord, have mercy
God our Father in heaven, have mercy on us God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us

Holy Mary, pray for us
Saint Joseph, pray for us

Noble son of the House of David, pray for us Light of patriarchs, pray for us Husband of the Mother of God, pray for us Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us Faithful guardian of Christ, pray for us Head of the holy family, pray for us Joseph, chaste and just, pray for us Joseph, prudent and brave, pray for us Joseph, obedient and loyal, pray for us Pattern of patience, pray for us Lover of poverty, pray for us Model of workers, pray for us Example to parents, pray for us Guardian of virgins, pray for us Pillar of family life, pray for us Comfort of the troubled, pray for us Hope of the sick, pray for us Patron of the dying, pray for us Terror of evil spirits, pray for us Protector of the Church, pray for us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us
1692 After the intercessions the minister, in the following or similar words, invites all present to sing or say the Lord's Prayer. Let us pray to the Father in the words our Savior gave us:
All: Our Father . . .

PRAYER OF BLESSING
1693 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

All-provident God, the good things that grace this table remind us of your many good gifts.
Bless this food, and may the prayers of Saint Joseph, who provided bread for your Son and food for the poor, sustain us and all our brothers and sisters on our journey towards your heavenly kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

CONCLUDING RITE
1694 A minister who is a priest or deacon concludes the rite by saying:
Lord, you have given us the saints as our intercessors in heaven. May the prayers of Saint Joseph always help us to do your will and live in your love.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Then he blesses all present. And may almighty God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit. R. Amen.

1695 A lay minister concludes the rite by signing himself or herself with the sign of the cross and saying: May almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, bless and protect us. R. Amen.

1696 It is preferable to end the celebration with a suitable song.

II. SHORTER RITE
1697 All make the sign of the cross as the minister says: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All reply: Who made heaven and earth.

1698 One of those present or the minister reads a text of sacred Scripture, for example: Brothers and sisters, listen to the words of the holy gospel according to Matthew:
1:18-23 Joseph did as the angel commanded him. Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."

1699 Or: Matthew 13:54-58--Is this not the carpenter's son?
1700 A minister who is a priest or deacon says the prayer of blessing with hands outstretched; a lay minister says the prayer with hands joined.

All-provident God, the good things that grace this table remind us of your many good gifts.

Bless this food, and may the prayers of Saint Joseph, who provided bread for your Son and food for the poor, sustain us and all our brothers and sisters on our journey towards your heavenly kingdom.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

 
LIVES OF THE SAINTS

MAY 1
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER
This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint.

MAY 2
ST. ATHANASIUS
St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly God.

MAY 3
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus' twelve apostles.

MAY 4
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS
Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840.

MAY 5
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA

St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

MAY 6
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL

Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town in France.

MAY 7
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI

Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months.

MAY 8
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day.

MAY 9
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI

Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law.

MAY 10
ST. ANTONINUS

St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power.

MAY 11
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI

St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701.

MAY 12
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them.

MAY 13
ST. ANDREW FOURNET

St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were religious people.

MAY 14
ST. MATTHIAS

St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples.

MAY 15
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER

Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville, Spain.

MAY 16
ST. UBALD

St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education.

MAY 17
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school.

MAY 18
ST. JOHN I

St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian.

MAY 19
ST. CELESTINE V

Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small.

MAY 20
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor.

MAY 21
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD

Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered to them.

MAY 22
ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well.

MAY 23
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI

St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them.

MAY 24
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND

St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom.

MAY 25
VENERABLE BEDE

Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673.

MAY 26
ST. PHILIP NERI

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him.

MAY 27
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY

St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission dear to his heart.

MAY 28
BLESSED MARGARET POLE

Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole.

MAY 29
ST. MAXIMINIUS

St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul.

MAY 30
ST. JOAN OF ARC

St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer.

MAY 31
THE VISITATION OF MARY

Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby.

 
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“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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