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. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
St. Alphonsus was born near Naples, Italy, in 1732.
St. Eusebius was born on the island of Sardinia, Italy, around 283.
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD
St. Peter Julian Eymard was born in a small town in the diocese of Grenoble, France in 1786.
BLESSED FREDERIC JANSSOONE
Blessed Frederic Janssoone was born in Flanders in 1838.
DEDICATION OF ST. MARY MAJOR
St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:
St. Mary Major is important to Christendom for three reasons:
St. Cajetan was born in Vicenza, Italy, in 1480, the son of a count.
St. Dominic was born in Castile, Spain, in 1170.
BLESSED JOHN OF RIETI
Blessed John lived in the first half of the fourteenth century.
St. Lawrence, the famous martyr of Rome, lived in the third century.
St. Clare was born around 1193 in Assisi, Italy. She lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi.
ST. MAXIMILIAN KOLBE
Raymond Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894.
THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This feast of Mary celebrates a special privilege of Mary, our Mother.
ST. STEPHEN OF HUNGARY
St. Stephen was born around 969 in Hungary. This saint's name had been Vaik.
BLESSED JOAN DELANOUE
St. Joan Delanoue was born in 1666. Her family had a small but successful business.
ST. JANE FRANCES DE CHANTAL
St. Jane was born in Dijon, France, in 1572.
ST. JOHN EUDES
St. John Eudes was born in Normandy, France, in 1601.
St. Bernard was born in 1090 in Dijon, France.
ST. PIUS X
St. Pius X, the great pope, was named Joseph Sarto. He was born in 1835, the son of a mailman in Riese, Italy.
ST. ROSE OF LIMA
St. Rose, the South American saint, was born in Lima, Peru, in 1586.
"Bartholomew" was one of the first followers of Jesus.
ST. LOUIS OF FRANCE
St. Louis was born on April 25, 1214. His father was King Louis VIII of France and his mother was Queen Blanche.
ST. JOSEPH CALASANZ
St. Joseph was born in 1556, in his father's castle in Spain. He went to college and became a lawyer.
ST. ELIZABETH BICHIER
St. Elizabeth was born in 1773. As a little girl, her favorite game was building castles in the sand.
St. Monica, the famous mother of St. Augustine, was born in 332 in Tagaste, northern Africa.
St. Augustine was born in Tagaste in modern Algeria on November 13, 354. This famous son of St. Monica spent many years in wicked living and in false beliefs.
BEHEADING OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus. His mother was St. Elizabeth and his father was Zechariah.
"St. Pammachius was a distinguished Christian layman who lived in the fourth century.
St. Aidan was a seventh-century Irish monk. He lived at the great monastery of Iona, which St. Columban had founded.
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?