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Pere Binet, S.J. - Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph

Detailing the virtues and life of St. Joseph, and devotion to. Provided courtesy of Saints' Books.
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  DIVINE FAVORS GRANTED TO ST.JOSEPH by Pere Binet, S.J. Translated by M.C.E. FromThe Edition of The Rev. Fr. Jennesseaux, S.J. Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which isconceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins.   - Matt. 1:20-21 CONTENTS I. Who Is St. Joseph, And Why Does He Deserve So Much Honor?II. The Titles Of St. Joseph And His Different OfficesIII.The Natural Gifts Of St. JosephIV.The Eminent Graces Of St. Joseph's SoulV. The True Measure Of St. Joseph's GracesVI. Consequences Of The Two Principal Titles Of St. Joseph And HowGreat Are Their Advantages To This Glorious PatriarchVII. Parallel between St. Joseph And Some Other SaintsVIII.The Admirable and Incomparable Virtues Of This Holy PatriarchIX. Is It Possible To Praise Our Lady And St. Joseph In A Manner Worthy Of Them?Contest Between The Abbott Trithemius On The One Side AndSt. Bernard And Other Saints On The OtherX. The Glory Of St. JosephXI. The Power Of St. JosephXII. St. Joseph, Patron Of Christians Of All Ranks And ConditionsXIII. St. Joseph, Special Patron Of Sinners, Of The Afflicted,And Of The Dying  XIV.On Different Devotions Which May Be Practised In HonourOf The Glorious St. JosephSt. Joseph, Our Helper In Every Variety Of NecessityA Notice On The Cord Of St. JosephPrayers To St. Joseph DIVINE FAVORS GRANTED TO ST. JOSEPH--------<>--------CHAPTER I. WHO IS ST. JOSEPH, AND WHY DOES HE DESERVE SO MUCH HONOUR?The Holy Ghost has willed to make the genealogy of the glorious St. Joseph knownto us so exactly, that we need only read the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke to beacquainted with all his ancestors. By birth he is a prince of the royal house of David;his ancestors are the patriarchs, the kings of Juda, the great captains of the people of God, the most illustrious among the sons of men. Yet this descendant of David wasreduced to obscurity, and lived a poor and humble life.The Evangelists would appear to give Joseph two fathers; but the contradiction isonly apparent. St. Luke says he was the son of Heli, who, however, died childless;while St. Matthew calls him the son of Jacob, because, according to severalcommentators, Jacob, brother of Heli, espoused his sister-in-law Esta as the law of Moses commanded, by whom he had Joseph, who was thus the son of Jacob bynature, and the son of Heli according to the law.The poverty of the family and the custom of the country obliged Joseph to learn atrade. We do not know positively if he worked in wood or in iron, since the holyFathers are divided on this point. The more general opinion is, however, that he wasa carpenter. St. Justin, in his dialogue with Triphon, adds that the Child Jesus actedas His adopted father's little apprentice, assisting him to make yokes and ploughs.It is a pious belief of some authors that St. Joseph was sanctified in his mother'swomb. (1) Suarez does not go so far. Still we must allow that the partisans of thisopinion support it by solid reasons, which have a great appearance of truth.There can be no doubt that this great Saint was a virgin. Cardinal St. Peter Damianaffirms it so positively that he seems to make it an article of faith. (2) Some learnedauthors even hold that by a special inspiration of God he made the vow of virginity.Such is the belief of the great chancellor Gerson, of St. Bernardin of Siena, of Suarez,and of several others. (3) In any case we cannot doubt that he had lived a pure  angelical life when he united himself by chaste bonds to the Virgin Mary, his one andonly spouse.A secret inspiration from heaven caused both Mary and Joseph to contract thisalliance, while adoring in their hearts the impenetrable counsel of the great God.Mary was in her fifteenth year; the age of Joseph is not known as exactly, traditionbeing silent on the subject. The opinon that he was about eighty years old is without reasonable grounds, and is not held by theologians, the most esteemed of whomthink that he was neither an old man nor a youth, but in the prime of life, betweenthirty and forty. There are many reasons in support of this opinion, which is nowgenerally held.Shortly after this virginal marriage had been celebrated with due solemnity, it pleased God to send the Archangel Gabriel to Mary, that he might announce to herthe Mystery of the Incarnation, and explain to her that in becoming mother of herCreator, she should not cease to be a virgin. As the mystery was not at once revealedto St. Joseph, he was in sore perplexity, until the Angel of God appeared to him in adream, reassured him by explaining that the fruit of Mary was the work of the HolyGhost.The life of the two spouses in this angelic marriage resembled two stars, mutuallyenlightening each other by their gold and silver rays, without ever coming incontact. Later, I shall speak of the happiness of this holy life, and with what plenitude of celestial favours God enriched this divine household. For the moment, Ishall content myself with showing how the dream of the first Joseph was verified inthe second.The former Joseph saw himself in a dream, adored by the sun, the moon and elevenstars. Only later on in Egypt did he understand this vision, when his father, hismother, (4)and his brethren, prostrate at this feet, adored him as the saviour of theland. The son of the patriarch Jacob was, however, only a type, destined to enhancethe splendour of that other Joseph, whom God delighted to make so great, whomJesus Christ the true Son of Justice honours as His father, whom Our Lady, called inthe Canticles beautiful as the moon, reveres as her lord and spouse, whom theAngels and Saints, who are the stars of heaven, venerate as foster-father and guideof that Infant God, Whose servants they esteem themselves happy to be.The date of St. Joseph's death is uncertain; we know only that it took place beforethe Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (5) What an entrancing sight to behold himexpire, one hand in that of Jesus, the other in that of Our Lady; breathing forth hisblessed spirit on the bosom of the Saviour God! To die thus is not to lose life but toovercome death.Some authors believe, and with reason, that Joseph was among those Saints who, onAscension Day mounted up to heaven, body and soul, with Jesus Christ. Who indeeddeserved more to accompany Jesus in His triumph, than he who accompanied Himso lovingly in His exile in Egypt and during the laborious pilgrimage of His holy life?We may therefore piously believe that as Jesus, Mary, and Joseph lived united uponearth, bearing the same sufferings, so they now are reunited, body and soul,partaking the same glory. Such is the belief of the devout St. Bernardin of Siena, andeven of Suarez, whose usual reserve gives great weight to his opinion in this case . (6)It is true that faith teaches us nothing on this point; but devotion speaks loudly,  and has on its side weighty reasons, and great authorities. 1. Gerson, Serm. de Nativ. glorios. V.M. et de Commendatione virginei Sponsi ejus Joseph , Considerat. ii. --Isidor. Isolan., Summ. de donis S. Joseph , p. 1, c. ix.2. 'Et ne hoc sufficere videatur ut tantummodo virgo sit mater, Ecclesiae fides est ut virgo fuerit et is,qui simulatus est pater' (S. Petr. Damian., Epist  . 1 ad Nicol. Rom. Pontif  ., c. iii, quae et opuscul. xvii.).3. Gerson, Serm. cit., Considerat. iii. -- Isidor. Isolan., Summ., p.1, c. xiii. -- Suarez, De Incarnat  ., p. 2,disp. 8, sect 2.-- S. Bernardin., Serm. de S. Joseph , art. 2, c. i. -- S. Thom., p. iii, q. 28, a. 4 ad 3.4. Not Rachel, who died at the birth of Benjamin, but Bala, Rachel's servant, who was Joseph's nurse,and was like a mother to him (Liran., Tostat, apud Tirin.).5. Gerson, cit. Serm ., Considerat. iii. -- Isidor. Isolan., summ. S. Joseph , p.4, c.i. -- Suarez, De Incarnat  .,p.2, disp.3, sect. 2.6. S. Bernardin., Serm. de S. Joseph , art. 3. -- Suarez, De Incarnat  ., p.2, disp. 8, sect. 2. CHAPTER II. THE TITLES OF ST. JOSEPH AND HIS DIFFERENT OFFICES.If one may judge of the greatness of the Saints by the importance of the chargesconfided to them, St. Joseph must indeed be marvellously great. St. Peter and St. Paulin their epistles to the first Christians, claim only two titles, those of servants andapostles of Jesus Christ, as being sufficient to prove the excellence of their vocation.St. John Chrysostom agrees with them, this double title being, according to him,more excellent than that of monarch of the whole earth. (1) Now, St. Joseph hasmany very high titles, and held glorious offices for which he received from Godspecial graces. At present I shall only allude shortly to some of these privileges,which I shall later develop at leisure from their different points of view.1. He was the worthy spouse of Our Lady, if indeed any spouse could be worthy of her; for the Holy Trinity in designing him for such an honour, endowed him with allthe qualities necessary for bearing that name with dignity and propriety. And as thisglorious title is, so to speak, the srcinal source or root from which proceeded all theglories of St. Joseph, St. Matthew considered he could say nothing higher of him thancall him Spouse of Mary. 2. He was the supposed father of Jesus Christ, and Our Lady did not hesitate to givehim this title; thus when she found the Child Jesus in the temple, she said to Him:'Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.'3. He was the representative of God the Father, Who, in communicating to him thehonour of paternity to the Incarnate Word, willed that he should call Him by thename of son, a name which He alone gives in heaven to the Uncreated Word. ThusGod Who formerly had said He would give His glory to no one, now, by an
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