Friday, January 21, 2022
In his 2020 Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis recalled the 150th anniversary of the dedication of Saint Joseph as patron of the universal Church. To celebrate this historic event, he declared a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. The faithful responded in significant ways in honor of the discreet, faithful and hidden presence of this powerful support and guide .
Saint Joseph plays an important role within the Militia of the Immaculate and is considered the perfect living model of the spirituality of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, who founded the movement in 1917 to bring souls to Christ through the intercession of Our Lady, whom the saint generally called the Immaculate.
Although it is recognized that Saint John was invited by Our Lord to make his consecration at the foot of the Cross, “…. and the disciple took her into his home” (John 19:27), it was Saint Joseph who was the first to do so. In a dream, an angel of the Lord appears to Joseph and says to him: “Do not be afraid to take Mary into your home” (cf. Mt 1:20). The faithful invite her into their spiritual homes so that she, who bore the Word made flesh in her immaculate womb, reconstitutes him in them.
Joseph was spiritually engaged to the Immaculata and gave himself to her totally and unconditionally. This self-offering finds an echo in the words of consecration: “… take me with all that I am and possess it totally for yourself as your possession and your property…”.
As guardian of the Holy Family, Joseph brought them safely to Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth. By living the act of consecration, individuals are called to bring the presence of Jesus and Mary to others in their daily lives.
Tradition has it that Saint Joseph left this earth with Jesus and Mary by his side. Therefore, he is known as the patron of a happy death. The prayer of consecration is lived in life and in eternity: “Please make me, … with all my life, death and eternity, what pleases you most. It is with hope that after faithfully fulfilling his mission on earth, individuals will be granted a peaceful death and will continue their intercession in eternity.
Surprisingly, Pope Francis proclaimed that the Year of Saint Joseph would begin and end on December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, instead of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19. The Immaculate Conception is central to the spirituality of Saint Joseph. Maximilian Kolbe, who declares in his own offering: “Who are you, O Immaculate Conception, and what do you want me to do?
Let us follow the example of Saint Joseph by living our consecrations to the Immaculate who has always been obedient to the holy will of God, supported by the prayerful presence of his fiancée.
Daily Consecration Renewal Prayer:
Immaculate, I renew my consecration to you for this day and forever so that you can use me for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus. Amen
Donna Masek is an Immaculata Volunteer and represents the Immaculata Militia in Utah. Through Immaculata Village meetings, retreats and other outreach activities, MI serves both the English and Spanish communities. For more information, contact Donna at [email protected]