Fr. Roger Landry: St. Joseph is the Great Exemplar of Lenten Virtues

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Guido Reni, “Saint Joseph and the Christ Child”, 1640

8 ways we can grow in devotion to St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19

By Fr. Roger Landry, EWTN News, 3/3/20

Father Roger J. Landry, a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, is national chaplain for Catholic Voices USA.


Fr. Roger LandryLike most Christians throughout the first 1,400 years of the Church, many today can treat St. Joseph as an afterthought or some kind of ancient “player-to-be-named-later” in a package deal for the young virgin to whom he was espoused. His role as “foster father” of Jesus can often be regarded as an expendable accessory.

As Matthew’s and Luke’s genealogies show us, however, St. Joseph was the penultimate piece in a divine cascade stretching all the way back to King David, Abraham and even Adam, and it was through him that Jesus, under Jewish law and mentality, would be a descendent of David. If we were to ask Jesus and Mary, I’m convinced that they would want us to grow to love Joseph just as they did.

2020 is a particularly important year to do so.

We are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s naming St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church. It’s a special sesquicentennial that should influence everything the Church does this year, especially the way we prepare for and celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19.  ….

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