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Joseph to be foster-father of the Incarnate Word precedes his predestination to glory and to grace.

In other words, the reason why he was predestined to the highest degree of glory after Mary, and in consequence to the highest degree of grace and of charity, is that he was called to be the worthy foster-father and protector of the Man-God. Joseph’s first predestination was one with the decree of the Incarnation shows how elevated his unique mission was. Joseph was made and put into the world to be the foster-father of the Incarnate Word and that God willed for him a high degree of glory and grace to fit him for his task. Joseph’s Mission This point is explained admirably by Bossuet in his first panegyric of the saint: Among the different vocations, I notice two in the Scriptures which seem directly opposed to each other: the first is that of the Apostles, the second that of St. Jesus was revealed to the Apostles that they might announce Him throughout the world; He was revealed to St.

It explains also why the Apostles who were nearer to Our Blessed Lord than the saints who followed them had more perfect knowledge of the mysteries of faith. To understand it we must add one remark: all works which are to be referred immediately to God Himself are perfect. But is it simply of the order of grace, as was that of St.

as can be seen clearly in the case of the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, and it is to that order that the ministry of St. Joseph co-operated intrinsically as physical instrument of the Holy Spirit in the realization of the mystery of the Incarnation—for under that respect his role is very much inferior to that of Mary—but that he was predestined to be, in the order of moral causes, the protector of the virginity and the honor of Mary at the same time as foster-father and protector of the Word made flesh: “His mission pertains by its term to the hypostatic order, not through intrinsic physical and immediate cooperation, but through extrinsic moral and mediate (through Mary) co-operation, which is, however, really and truly co-operation.” (14)St.

Joseph is a veil to cover Him; and under that mysterious veil are hidden from us the virginity of Mary and the greatness of the Savior of souls…

He Who makes the Apostles glorious with the glory of preaching, glorifies Joseph by the humility of silence. There should be no room for doubt, however light, regarding the honor of the Son and the Mother: if ever doubt did arise Joseph, the most informed and the least suspect witness, would be there to defend it.

He who is least in the depth of his humility is, because of the interconnection of the virtues, the greatest in the height of his charity: “He that is the lesser among you all, he is the greater.”St. This idea is expressed in the litanies approved by the Church: St. Joseph’s Pre-eminence What is the justification of this doctrine which has been more and more accepted in the course of five centuries?

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Joseph’s pre-eminence was taught by Gerson (1) and St. (2) It became more and more common in the course of the 16th century. Teresa, by the Dominican Isidore de Isolanis, who appears to have written the first treatise on St. Joseph, illustrious descendant of David, light of the Patriarchs, Spouse of the Mother of God, guardian of her virginity, foster-father of the Son of God, vigilant defender of Christ, head of the Holy Family; Joseph most just, most chaste, most prudent, most strong, most obedient, most faithful, mirror of patience, lover of poverty, model of workers, glory of domestic life, guardian of virgins, support of families, consolation of the afflicted, hope of the sick, patron of the dying, terror of demons, protector of the Holy Church. The principle invoked more or less explicitly by St. Bernardine of Siena, Isidore de Isolanis, Suarez, and more recent authors is the one, simple and sublime, formulated by St.

We do not hesitate to look on the humble carpenter as higher in grace and eternal glory than the patriarchs and the greatest of the prophets—than St. Sinibaldi; (8) it is very ably treated of in the article “Joseph” in the Dict. Though he is not mentioned in the Canon of the Mass, he has a proper preface, and the month of March is consecrated to him as protector and defender of the universal Church.