In the Litany of Saint Joseph, foster-father of Jesus and spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, he is referred to as the Terror of Demons. Dr. Paul Thigpen, author of Saints Who Battled Satan, joined Morning Air® to talk about Saint Joseph and how he can be an example for us in our spiritual journey.
“It’s not as if we have a picture of him in the scripture fighting demons the way we do with St. Michael, but … he is such a pivotal figure. Of course, Mary is the most pivotal in this battle of those who are simply human, but St. Joseph had such a critical role as well in cooperating with her, in providing a place for the Word of God to become flesh and to actually do the things that conquered the Devil definitively, for all time,” says Thigpen.
With the little that we know about St. Joseph, how do we know that he battled Satan? “The more you know about the patterns about how the Devil works to try to trip us up and lead us away or make us disobey God, the more you can imagine the kinds of strategies he would have used with Joseph,” explains Thigpen. “The enemy typically tempts us, he wants to lie to us, deceive us, instill fear or rage or lust. Saint Joseph, from what we do know of him, illustrates in such a beautiful way … about how the armor we have against the enemy is our character.”
God asked much of St. Joseph, to be the foster-father of His only-begotten Son, to be the spouse of the Mother of God, to protect and raise Jesus through His youth, and to demonstrate total trust and abandonment to God’s holy will. “What would the enemy have done when Joseph first hears that Mary is going to have a child and it’s not his? … The enemy would have come to him and said, ‘Adulteress? Put her away! She should be stoned, but at least send her away!’”
With all things that God asked of Joseph, he showed great faith and trust in the Heavenly Father. What a beautiful example of strength and commitment to family and to God. On May 1, the feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, we ask for his intercession in our families, for our fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers, that St. Joseph may be an example to the men in our lives. Saint Joseph the Worker, pray for us!
Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker
O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God, to work with order, peace, moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.