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. Felix II
St Felix II, the pope is an ancestor of the future Pope St. Gregory the Great who lived from 540 to 604.
Blessed Charles the Good
Count Charles of Flanders, was called "the good" by the people of his kingdom. They named him for what they found him to truly be.
Blessed Katharine Drexel
Blessed Katharine was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1858. Katharine's mother died when she was a baby.
St. Casimir was born in 1458, son of Casimir IV, king of Poland. Casimir was one of thirteen children.
St. John Joseph of the Cross
St. John Joseph of the Cross was born in southern Italy on the feast of the Assumption, 1654. He was a young noble, but he dressed like a poor man.
St. Nicolette was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra. She was born in 1380. Her loving parents nicknamed her Colette from the time she was a baby.
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity lived in Carthage, North Africa, in the third century. It was the time of the fierce persecution of Christians by Emperor Septimus Severus.
St. John of God
St. John was born in Portugal on March 8, 1495. His parents were poor, but deeply Christian. John was a restless boy.
St. Frances of Rome
St. Frances was born in 1384. Her parents were wealthy, but they taught Frances to be concerned about people and to live a good Christian life.
St. Simplicius became pope in 468. Sometimes it seemed to him that he was all alone in trying to correct evils that were everywhere.
St. Eulogius of Spain
St. Eulogius lived in the ninth century. His family was well-known and he received an excellent education. While he learned his lessons, he also learned from the good example of his teachers.
St. Fina (Seraphina)
St. Fina was born in a little Italian town called San Geminiano. Her parents had once been well off, but misfortune had left them poor.
St. Euphrasia was born in the fifth century to deeply Christian parents. Her father, a relative of the emperor, died when she was a year old.
St. Matilda was born about 895, the daughter of a German count. When she was still quite young, her parents arranged her marriage to a nobleman named Henry.
St. Zachary was a Benedictine monk from Greece who lived in the eighth century. He became a cardinal and then pope.
Blessed Torello was born in 1202, in Poppi, Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and uneventful. But after his father's death.
St. Patrick was believed born in fifth-century Britain to Roman parents. When he was sixteen, he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril was born around 315 when a new phase was beginning for Christians. Before that date, the Church was persecuted by the emperors.
St. Joseph is a great saint. He was Jesus' foster-father and Mary's husband.
St. Cuthbert lived in England in the seventh century. He was a poor shepherd boy who loved to play games with his friends.
St. Serapion lived in Egypt in the fourth century. Those were exciting times for the Church and for St. Serapion.
St. Deogratias was ordained bishop of the City of Carthage when it was taken over by barbarian armies in 439.
St. Turibius of Mongrovejo
St. Turibius was born in 1538 in Leon, Spain. He became a university professor and then a famous judge.
Blessed Didacus Joseph was born on March 29, 1743, in Cadiz, Spain. He was baptized Joseph Francis.
ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
The time arrived for Jesus to come down from heaven. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth where Mary lived.
St. Ludger was born in northern Europe in the eighth century. After he had studied hard for many years, he was ordained a priest.
St. John of Egypt
St. John was man who desired to be alone with God was to become one of the most famous hermits of his time.
St. Tutilo lived in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall.
St. Jonas and St. Barachisius
King Sapor of Persia reigned in the fourth century. He hated Christians and persecuted them cruelly. He destroyed their churches and monasteries.
St. John Climacus
St. John was believed born in Palestine in the seventh century. He seems to have been a disciple of St. Gregory Nazianzen.
Blessed Joan of Toulouse
In 1240, some Carmelite brothers from Palestine started a monastery in Toulouse, France.
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?