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. HUGH OF GRENOBLE
St. Hugh was born in 1052 in France. He grew up to be tall and handsome, gentle and courteous.
ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA
St. Francis was born in the tiny village of Paola, Italy, around 1416. His parents were poor but humble and holy.
ST. RICHARD OF CHICHESTER
St. Richard was born in England in 1197. He and his brother became orphans when Richard was very young.
ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE
This saint was born in 556. Isidore's two older brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, became bishops and saints, too.
ST. VINCENT FERRER
A most wonderful Christian hero was St. Vincent Ferrer. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1350.
This Benedictine monk had once been a sickly child. He had a very noticeable speech impediment all his life. Notker was determined not to let it get in his way.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE
St. John Baptist de la Salle was born in Rheims, France, on April 30, 1651. His parents were from the nobility.
ST. JULIE BILLIART
Mary Rose Julie Billiart was born in Belgium in 1751. Her uncle, the village school teacher, taught her to read and write.
Waldetrudis was born in Belgium in the seventh century. Her mother, her father and her sister have all been declared saints.
BLESSED ANTHONY NEYROT
Anthony was born in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. He joined the Dominican order in Florence, Italy. The prior at that time was another saint, Antoninus.
St. Stanislaus was born near Cracow, Poland, in 1030. His parents had prayed for thirty years for a child.
ST. JOSEPH MOSCATI
His brother's death made a deep impression on Joseph. He asked Jesus in the Eucharist and Mary for answers.
St. Martin was a priest of Rome who had a reputation for being well-educated and holy. He became pope in July, 649.
The name Lidwina means "suffering." Lidwina was from Holland. She was born in 1380 and died in 1433.
BLESSED DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI
Joseph "Jeff" de Veuster was born in 1840, the son of Belgian farmers. He and his brother, Pamphile, joined the congregation of the Sacred Hearts.
ST. BENEDICT JOSEPH LABRE
This French saint, born in 1748, led a most unusual life. He was the son of a store owner and was taught by his uncle, a priest .
ST. STEPHEN HARDING
Stephen was a young Englishman who lived in the twelfth century. He was a good student who liked to learn.
BLESSED MARY OF THE INCARNATION
Barbara was born in France in 1566. She was married to Peter Acarie when she was seventeen. She and her husband loved their Catholic faith and practiced it.
BLESSED JAMES DUCKETT
James Duckett was an Englishman who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. As a young man he became an apprentice printer in London.
ST. AGNES OF MONTEPULCIANO
This saint was born near the city of Monte pulciano, Italy, in 1268. When she was just nine years old, she begged her mother and father to let her live at the nearby convent.
Anselm was born in northern Italy in 1033. From his home he could see the Alps mountains.
ST. SOTER AND ST. CAIUS
St. Soter was pope long ago in the times of the Roman emperors. He was a real father to all Christians.
Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness.
ST. FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN
This saint's name was Mark Rey. He was born in Germany in 1578. Mark went to the famous University of Freigburg to become a lawyer.
ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST
Mark lived at the time of Jesus. Although he was not among the original twelve apostles, he was a relative of St. Barnabas, an apostle.
This saint lived in ninth-century France. No one knows who his parents were. They left their newborn infant on the doorstep of Notre-Dame convent.
Zita is known as the patron saint of domestic workers. She was born in the village of Monte Sagrati, Italy, in 1218.
ST. PETER CHANEL
St. Peter Chanel was born near Belley, France, in 1803. From the time he was seven, he took care of his father's sheep.
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA
Born in 1347, this well-known saint is the patroness of Italy, her country. Catherine was the youngest in a family of twenty-five children.
ST. PIUS V
This holy pope was born in Italy in 1504. He was baptized Anthony Ghislieri. He wanted to become a priest, but it seemed as though his dream would never come true.
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?