|The advice to ite ad Joseph (go to St. Joseph) is
more important now than ever, for many different
First, fathers are absolutely crucial, and so many of the problems we
see in the modern West scream that fact. But it's almost as likely for
a child to grow up in a single-mother household as it is for him or her
to grow up with two married parents, one of each sex. The social
troubles rooted in this problem are prevalent, with crime and gang life
being the most obvious ones that come to mind. And then there are the
psychological problems that result: homosexuality, confusion about the
meaning of masculinity and femininity, sadness that gives rise to drug
abuse, ennui, inertia, suicide, sexual promiscuity and an inordinate
need for male attention in females, etc.
Then there are the young men who've avoided or gotten through those
minefields, have come
to faith, have found women to marry and have children with, but who are
having trouble finding their footing in living out their roles as
husbands and fathers. Some are too intimated or lack the confidence to
exercise headship, and others overreact to the horrors of feminism and
modernity by distorting headship into something ugly and tyrranical,
taking out on their wives and children their own anxieties, fears, and
anger. And there are the fatherless young women who've found their way
to the Church, but who mistake femininity for something masochistic.
St. Joseph can be a help for all of these souls.
St. Joseph is important, too, as the protector of the Church, which is
undergoing severe trials as She is afflicted from the inside by men who
should know better. For this alone, every Catholic can benefit from a
St. Joseph, "the Terror of Demons."
And every Catholic can benefit from befriending the Saint who is the
patron of a holy death. Those "Last Things"
aren't so far away as most think...
There are many practices that help us get closer to St. Joseph. Among
Another way is to consecrate yourself to him in the same way
many Catholics consecrate themselves
to Mary (one can consecrate oneself to both, and to St. Michael the Archangel as well!).
Unlike the consecrations to Mary and St. Michael, which take 33 days
(for the St. Louis de Montfort method) and 46 days respectively, the
Consecration to St. Joseph is made by a simple prayer.
Act of Consecration to St. Joseph
O Glorious Patriarch and Patron of the Catholic Church! O
Virgin Spouse of God, and guardian and foster father of the Incarnate
Word! In the presence of Jesus and Mary, I choose thee this day to be
my guardian and father.
O thou whom God has constituted Head of the Holy Family,
accept me, I beseech thee, though utterly unworthy, to be a poor little
servant in thy holy house. Present me to thy Immaculate Spouse, ask her
also to accept me as a servant and to adopt me as a child. With her,
teach me, thou who art a master of the interior life, how to converse
constantly with Jesus and how to serve Him faithfully in all things to
the end of my life.
To thy custody was committed the Living Bread of Heaven, to
be dispensed to thy starving brethren. O, with Mary help me to prepare
the poor stable of my heart to receive, worthily and often, the Bread
of my salvation. Let me receive it from thy hands and from those of
Mary, as often as I approach the Holy Table.
O my tender and watchful father, I hereby consecrate myself
to thee; and I firmly purpose and resolve never to leave thee, and
never to say or do anything, nor to suffer anyone under my charge to
say or do anything, against thy honor! O thou head of the house of God
upon earth, in faithful imitation of Jesus and Mary, I place myself and
all my concerns under thy care and protection. To thee, after Jesus and
Mary, I consecrate my body and soul with all their faculties, my
spiritual progress, my home, and all my affairs and undertakings.
Forsake me not, but adopt me as a servant and a child of the
Holy Family. Watch over me at all times, but especially in the last
awful hour of my life on earth: then visit, console, and strengthen me
with Jesus and Mary, that with them and thee I may sing the praises of
the adorable Trinity for all eternity. Amen.
Of course, it's
prayed best while keeping the precepts of the
Church, having a solid prayer life, and trying to become
virtuous, and it can be enhanced by keeping St. Joseph in mind
throughout the day, even if just by little things like wearing his
around your neck, or through the use of a simple aspiration such as
"St. Joseph, pray for me!" But be sure of this: even if you never knew
your father, no Catholic is an orphan. Just as Christ is our Brother,
and Mary is our mother, St. Joseph is our father. And like any
good father, he would love to pray for you.