Joseph: Terror of Demons
By Bud McFarlane, Jr.
I promised some time ago to write about Saint Joseph, Terror of
Demons. I was prompted to ponder this title while visiting the Oratory
of Saint Joseph in Montreal, Quebec. There is a fresco (a carved
stone tablet) there portraying Joseph holding his hand up, a family
behind him, keeping a cowering, ugly, simpering, petrified group
of demons, at bay. "Why is Joseph so calm? Why are the demons
terrified?" I prayed.
Our first clue is Mary. In Genesis 3:15, Yahweh promises to put
enmity (total separation) between mother of the promised messiah
and the serpent. This separation is complete because of Mary's Immaculate
Conception--she is not subject to Original Sin in any way. Joseph
is her husband, her beloved groom, and their marital union and his
virtue places him apart from demonic influence. It is part of Sacred
Tradition that Joseph led a sinless life.
But evil shrinks from Joseph for a related reason. He is pure. Joseph
is pure of body. Pure of heart. Pure of intention. Pure and sinless
because he battled Original Sin. This is just me pondering (as usual)
but I'm coming to believe that demons cannot "see" a man
who is pure. All demons know is force, lies, degradation, and filth.
That is their world, and they want to make our lives just as ugly.
Their sin blinds them, just as sin blinds us mortals.
We are afraid not of the dark, actually, but rather the dangers
which the darkness does not allow us to see. The demons can't "see"
Joseph because he is pure. Purity makes him invisible, just as pure
water is perfectly clear. Evil spirits don't know when, how, or
from which direction Joseph is going to hammer them. Joseph's job,
when Christ was a child and up to this very day, is to protect the
Holy Family, and through our baptisms, we are part of his family.
So Joseph protects us. He will calmly raise his hand and keep the
demons away, if you but ask him.
So let’s pray together...
"Dear Saint Joseph, just as you brought Jesus and Mary to safety
in Egypt, please bring the soul of Bob Hope to heaven. Just as you
taught Mary's son, Jesus, please teach her son Jim Caveizel (portraying
Jesus in Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion’), during his
trials in Hollywood. Just as you provided for your family, please
provide for the impoverished Ukrainian Catholics in Father Gregory's
flock in London. Just as you protected Mary and Jesus from evil
through our courageous purity, ask the Holy Trinity to give us the
grace needed to make contrite Confessions for our impure actions--and
then embrace meaningful penances. Hold up your hand, Brave Joseph!
Serenely stand athwart our demons, literal or figurative, as we
grow to adulthood in the Catholic Faith. Ask your beloved bride,
Mary, to hold our souls in her motherly embrace. Amen."
(Source: CatholiCity.com Message, Volume VII,
OF THE SAINTS
ALL SAINTS' DAY
This feast day grew out of the love and devotion of God's people.
ALL SOULS' DAY
This feast day is one of the most loving celebrations in all the Church's liturgy.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES
St. Martin was born in Lima, Peru, in 1579.
ST. CHARLES BORROMEO
St. Charles lived in the sixteenth century. He was the son of a rich Italian count.
St. Bertilla lived in the seventh century. The first biography of her life appeared in Latin in the year 800.
ST. THEOPHANE VENARD
St. Theophane, he holy French priest, dreamed of being a martyr even as a youngster.
St. Willibrord was born in England in 658.
St. Godfrey lived in the twelfth century. He received his education from the monks of Mont-Saint-Quentin. Godfrey became a monk and a priest.
ST. THEODORE TIRO
St. Theodore lived in the third century.
ST. LEO THE GREAT
St. Leo, a Roman, lived in the fifth century. At the death of Pope Sixtus, he became pope.
ST. MARTIN OF TOURS
St. Martin, the soldier saint lived in the fourth century.
St. Josaphat was born in the Ukraine and baptized John in 1580.
ST. FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI
St. Frances was born on July 15, 1850. As a child growing up in Italy, she dreamed about being a missionary to China.
ST. LAWRENCE O'TOOLE
St. Lawrence was born in Ireland in 1128. He was the son of a chief.
ST. ALBERT THE GREAT
St. Albert lived in the thirteenth century. He was born in a castle on the Danube River in Swabia (southwest Germany).
ST. MARGARET OF SCOTLAND
St. Margaret was an English princess born in 1046.
St. Gertrude entered a convent in Saxony when she was very young.
ST. ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY
St. Elizabeth, the daughter of the king of Hungary was born in 1207.
ST. ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE
St. Rose labored for Jesus in the United States. She was born into a wealthy French family in 1769.
St. Nerses lived in fourth-century Armenia. He was an official in the court of King Arshak.
St. Edmund was an English king who lived in the ninth century.
PRESENTATION OF MARY
When she was only three years old, the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken to the Temple.
St. Cecilia, the patroness of music lived in early times. What we know about her goes back to the fourth century.
St. Columban, the most famous of the Irish missionary-monks, lived in the seventh century.
BLESSED MIGUEL AUGUSTIN PRO
Blessed Miguel Pro was born in Guadalupe, Mexico, in 1891. He was destined to become a martyr of the twentieth century.
ST. ANDREW DUNG-LAC AND COMPANIONS
Christian missionaries first brought the Catholic faith to Vietnam during the sixteenth century.
ST. CATHERINE LABOURE
St. Catherine was born Zoe Laboure in 1806. She was the daughter of a French farmer.
ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA
St. Catherine lived in early Christian times. She was the daughter of a wealthy pagan couple of Alexandria, Egypt.
ST. JOHN BERCHMANS
St. John, the Belgian saint once said, "If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.
ST. JAMES INTERCISUS
St. James was a Persian who lived in the fifth century. He was a great favorite of King Yezdigerd I.
BLESSED FRANCIS ANTHONY OF LUCERA
Blessed Francis born in 1681, was nicknamed Johnny as a child. He was the son of an Italian farmer.
St. Andrew, like his brother, Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
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?