Thursday, May 1, 2014



SS. Philip & James Church Canal Fulton, Ohio

Yesterday, Discalced Carmelites throughout the world fasted in preparation for today's feast of St. Joseph.  St. Joseph is the Protector of the Order of Carmel. 

Just last year, on May 1, Pope Francis decreed that St. Joseph's name be added to the Eucharistic Prayers at each Mass. This was the culmination of the efforts begun by the newly-canonized St. John XXIII.

From the United States Bishops' Website:

On May 1, 2013, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments promulgated the decree Paternas vices by the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis. The decree instructs that the name of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, should be inserted into Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV. Already on November 13, 1962, Pope John XXIII had inserted the name of St. Joseph into the first Eucharistic Prayer (the Roman Canon), and now that work has been carried forward to the other three Eucharistic Prayers, initially by Pope Benedict XVI and now confirmed by Pope Francis.
Pious and liturgical devotion to St. Joseph is first recorded with certainty in the seventh century, though reference to him is made in Sacred Scripture and multiple patristic texts earlier than that. A full liturgical Office was established for him on March 19 in the 13th Century, and in 1870 he was proclaimed Patron of the Universal Church. Many church writers and several Popes have written of St. Joseph, including the apostolic exhortation by Pope John Paul II entitled Redemptoris custos (August 15, 1989).
The decree Paternas vices draws some of its language from this exhortation, expressing in concise words the role of St. Joseph in the economy of salvation, stating, for example, that St. Joseph, "stands as an exemplary model of the kindness and humility that the Christian faith raises to a great destiny, and demonstrates the ordinary and simple virtues necessary for men to be good and genuine followers of Christ. Through these virtues, this Just man, caring most lovingly for the Mother of God and happily dedicating himself to the upbringing of Jesus Christ, was placed as guardian over God the Father's most precious treasures."
The Congregation has provided the Latin texts, which are now considered the typical edition, as well as official translations in the major western languages, including English and Spanish.

We know the importance St. Joseph played in the life of St. Teresa of Jesus.  In fact, her first Carmelite monastery was named St. Joseph's. She writes:

When everything was ready the Lord was pleased that on St. Bartholomew's day the habit was received by some and the Blessed Sacrament was reserved, and with all due authority and power our monastery of our most glorious father St. Joseph was founded, in 1562.

St. Joseph, pray for us.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

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