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Joseph,  Patron of the Universal  some of the main responsibilities of priests are to develop a devotion to
         Church                               the Blessed Sacrament, to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, and to administer
         “St. Joseph took loving care of Mary  communion to the faithful.
         and  gladly  dedicated  himself  to
         Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise  Medieval theologians and modern popes considered Joseph, the foster
         watches  over  and  protects  Christ’s  father of Jesus, as the antitype of the type of Joseph in the Old Testament.
         Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of  In Genesis, during the famine crisis, the Pharaoh made Joseph “lord of
         which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar  his house, and ruler of all his possessions” (Psalm 105:21) and the hungry
         and model.” 5                        were advised, “Go to Joseph!” (Genesis 41:55) and they received grain .
                                              “As patriarch of the New Covenant, Joseph defended and preserved the
         Pope  Pius IX,  during  troublesome  Bread of Life from the moment of His first repose on the food trough of
         times  in the history of the Church,  the stable.”  Joseph, perhaps, was the first one to lift the infant Jesus in
         placed her under the patronage of St.  his arms, thus, salus nostra in manu tua (Our salvation is in your hand).
         Joseph and declared him “Patron of  Extending our theological imagination, isn’t this a reflection of priests
         the Universal Church” in the decree  raising up the consecrated host, the Body of Christ, our salvation, and
         Quemadmodum Deus (December 8,  administering it to the faithful during holy communion?
         1870) promulgated by the Sacred
         Congregation of Rites.               The fifth chapter of Redemptoris Custos is entitled, “The Primacy of Interior
                                              Life.” Pope John Paul II explains that the aura of silence shrouding the
         The explanation is simple. Joseph is  actions of Joseph is an aura of deep contemplation.  Such proposition
         the head, provider, and defender of  is theologically sound since today we can pray before the Real Presence
         the Holy Family. “It is, then, natural  of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament but Joseph lived with Jesus in flesh
         and  worthy  that  as the  Blessed  and was absorbed  in an atmosphere of contemplative prayer. Hence,
         Joseph ministered to all the needs  Joseph is a model of interior life and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament
         of the family at Nazareth and girt it  especially for priests who share with his mission.
         about with his protection, he should
         now cover with the cloak of his  Henceforth, priests and especially members  of the Oblates of Saint
         heavenly patronage and defend the  Joseph, bearing in mind the mission that Joseph accomplished in his
         Church of Jesus Christ.”  Nonetheless,  earthly life and that he continues to perform up to the present time, must
         “this is not  meant only to indicate  heed the invitation of its founder, St. Joseph Marello, “Let us commend
         that  he has been assigned a place  ourselves to St. Joseph, master and guide of the spiritual life, sublime
         of honor. He is actively involved in  model of interior and hidden life.” 12
         the  protection and  progress of the
         Church today.” 7                     Footnotes:
                                              1 Sacred Congregation of Rites, Decree Quemadmodum Deus (8 December 1870)
         Joseph,  Protector of the Blessed    by Pius IX.
                                              2 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation On the Person and Mission of Saint Joseph in
         Sacrament (Exemplar of Priests)
         “He most diligently reared Him whom   the Life of Christ and of the Church Redemptoris Custos (15 August 1989), no. 7.
                                              3 Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum (18 Novem-
         the faithful were to receive as the bread
         that came down from heaven whereby   ber 1965), no. 2.
                                               John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, no. 8.
         they might obtain eternal life.” 8   5 John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, no. 1.
                                              6 Leo XIII, Encyclical On Devotion to St. Joseph Quamquam Pluries (15 August
         This might  be  an  unofficial title  1889), no. 3
         for  Joseph but  the  logic here is  A. Devasahayam, St. Joseph for the Third Millenium (Pasay: Paulines Publishing
         clear. Joseph is the Guardian of the  House, 2002), 250-251.
                                              8 Sacred Congregation of Rites, Decree Quemadmodum Deus (8 December 1870)
         Redeemer. He is also the Patron
         of the Universal Church since the    by Pius IX.
                                              9 The grain is a symbol of life and salvation for without food they will starve to
         Church is  Christ’s Mystical Body.
         From this, it may also be  inferred   death.
                                              10 Richard W. Gilsdorf, Go to Joseph (Wisconsin: Star of the Bay Press, 2009), 83.
         that  Joseph  is the  Protector  of  the
                                              To add, Bethlehem literally means “House of Bread.”
         Blessed Sacrament since the Blessed   11 John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, no. 25.
         Sacrament or the Eucharist is  also   12 From Joseph Marello’s counsel to Miss Bice Graglia (15 March 1889), quoted in
         Christ’s Real Presence. Thus, Joseph  Larry Toschi, Saint Joseph in the Lives of Two Blesseds of the Church (Santa Cruz,
         is also an exemplar of priests since  CA: Guardian of the Redeemer Books, 1994), 78.
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