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. Giles was born in Athens, Greece, in early times. When his parents died, he used the large fortune they left him to help the poor.
BLESSED JOHN DU LAU AND THE SEPTEMBER MARTYRS
Blessed John was the archbishop of Arles, France..
ST. GREGORY THE GREAT
St. Gregory was born in 540 in Rome. His father was a senator. His mother is a saint, St. Celia.
ST. ROSE OF VITERBO
St. Rose was born in 1235 in Viterbo, Italy. She lived at the time when Emperor Frederick had conquered land that belonged to the Church.
ST. LAWRENCE JUSTINIAN
St. Lawrence Justinian was born in Venice, Italy, in 1381.
Blessed Bertrand lived in the last half of the twelfth and first part of the thirteenth centuries.
BLESSED JOHN DUCKETT AND BLESSED RALPH CORBY
Blessed James Duckett studied at the English college of Douay and became a priest in 1639.
BIRTH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
We do not usually celebrate the birthdays of the saints.
ST. PETER CLAVER
St. Peter Claver, the Spanish priest of the Society of Jesus was born in 1580.
ST. NICHOLAS OF TOLENTINO
St. Nicholas was born in 1245 in Ancona, Italy. His parents had waited long and anxiously for a child.
BLESSED LOUIS OF THURINGIA
Blessed Loius, the German prince, lived during the last part of the twelfth and first part of the thirteenth centuries.
ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch around 344.
OUR LADY OF SORROWS
Our Lady had many great joys as the mother of Jesus, but she had much to suffer, too.
ST. CORNELIUS AND ST. CYPRIAN
St. Cornelius, a holy priest of Rome, was elected Pope in 251. He accepted because he loved Christ.
ST. ROBERT BELLARMINE
St. Robert Bellarmine was born in Italy in 1542.
ST. JOSEPH OF CUPERTINO
St. Joseph was born on June 17, 1603, in a small Italian village to poor parents.
St. Januarius lived in the fourth century. He was born either in Benevento or Naples, Italy.
ST. ANDREW KIM TAEGON AND ST. PAUL CHONG HASANG
St. Andrew Kim Taegon was a priest and St. Paul Chong Hasang was a lay person.
St. Matthew was a tax collector in the city of Capernaum, where Jesus was living.
ST. THOMAS OF VILLANOVA
St. Thomas was born in Spain in 1488.
St. Pacificus, a little Italian boy born in 1653 was named Charles Anthony. He was just five years old when his loving parents died.
St. Serguis, the famous Russian saint lived in the fourteenth century.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
St. Vincent de Paul, the son of poor French peasants, was born in 1581.
ST. LAWRENCE RUIZ AND COMPANIONS
St. Lawrence Ruiz, and his fifteen companions were killed for their faith in 1637, in Nagasaki, Japan.
ST. MICHAEL, ST. GABRIEL, ST. RAPHAEL
Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are called "saints" because they are holy.
St. Jerome was a Roman Christian who lived in the fourth century.
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?