Saint Joseph was chosen by God to be Jesus’s father on earth. God knew that Jesus would need a foster father to raise him and teach him. The Bible tells us that he was a ‘just man.’ That means he was a good man, honest, fair, and God-loving. After an angel told Mary that she would be the Mother of God, Saint Joseph wondered what to do. An angel appeared to him in a dream and told him not to worry, that the child was the Messiah, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was to be her husband and protect the child as He grew. Joseph decided to trust the angel and God. He married Mary and took her into his home.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the angel appeared to Joseph again, warning him that the Child was in danger. Joseph obeyed the angel’s message again, and took his family to Egypt to escape from Herod’s soldiers. After many years, the Holy Family finally returned to their home village of Nazareth.
As the Bible tells us, Saint Joseph was descended from the royal house of David. A village carpenter of Nazareth, he was chosen among all men to be the husband and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. To his loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world. He reveals to us the perfect model of Christianity through his purity of heart, patience, and fortitude. Poor in worldly possessions, he was rich in grace.
Because Saint Joseph was the representative of our Heavenly Father on earth, because he acted as Christ’s father in His life on earth, he is the divinely appointed head of the Holy Family. The Holy Family; of Saint Joseph, The Blessed Mother and the Son of God is the beginning and the model for the great Family of God, His Church here on earth. In this way, Saint Joseph is father to all of us. A model for fathers, Saint Joseph is invoked as a protector of the family. A carpenter by trade, he has been declared the patron saint of all working people, of craftsmen and of the poor. He is the model of a perfect Christian life and the patron of a happy death. His patronage also extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, over the Christian family, the Christian school, and all individuals who in their need appeal to his charity and powerful intercession, especially at the hour of death.
St. Catherine is believed to have been born in Alexandria of a noble family. Converted to Christianity through a vision, she denounced Maxentius for persecuting Christians. Fifty of her converts were then burned to death by Maxentius.
Maxentius offered Catherine a royal marriage if she would deny the Faith. Her refusal landed her in prison. While in prison, and while Maxentius was away, Catherine converted Maxentius’ wife and two hundred of his soldiers. He had them all put to death.
Catherine was likewise condemned to death. She was put on a spiked wheel, and when the wheel broke, she was beheaded. She is venerated as the patroness of philosophers and preachers. St. Catherine’s was one of the voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.
Maxentius’ blind fury against St. Catherine is symbolic of the anger of the world in the face of truth and justice. When we live a life of truth and justice, we can expect the forces of evil to oppose us. Our perseverance in good, however, will be everlasting.
Donatus lived in the 2nd century and was a soldier in the Roman Army. During a time when the weather was very hot and dry, and water was insufficient, many epidemics broke out. The pagan soldiers prayed and in vain made offerings to their gods for rain. So the emperor, who knew that Donatus and some of his friends were Christian, asked him to pray to the Christian God for the weather to change. Immediately the sky covered with clouds and a fine rain revived the soldiers and their horses. A great thunderstorm then overtook the enemy soldiers. Later, Donatus was executed because he refused to marry the emperor’s granddaughter, who was not a Christian.
He is the patron saint of sending rain and for protection during thunderstorms, especially from lightning.
The Holy Family
The house of Nazareth is a school of prayer where we learn to listen, to meditate, to penetrate the deepest meaning of the manifestation of the Son of God, drawing our example from Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
The Holy Family is an icon of the domestic Church, which is called to pray together. The family is the first school of prayer where, from their infancy, children learn to perceive God thanks to the teaching and example of their parents. An authentically Christian education cannot neglect the experience of prayer. If we do not learn to pray in the family, it will be difficult to fill this gap later. I would, then, like to invite people to rediscover the beauty of praying together as a family, following the school of the Holy Family of Nazareth.