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
ST. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was a great speaker.
St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times.
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE
St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family
St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.
St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.
St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY
Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO
St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him.
ST. JOHN ROBERTS
St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.
ST. DAMASUS I
ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico.
St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS
St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.
St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.
St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.
St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.
St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.
BLESSED URBAN V
Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard.
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS
St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.
ST. PETER CANISIUS
ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS
The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.
ST. JOHN OF KANTY
St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk.
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE
St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701.
St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS
The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.
St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE
St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.
THE HOLY INNOCENTS
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.
ST. THOMAS BECKET
St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.
St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.
St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.
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?