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THE HOLIEST OF SAINTS
After the Virgin Mary, there has never been nor will there ever be anyone holier than Joseph. His closeness to Mary and Jesus made him achieve the highest degree of holiness. He was an exceptional witness to the Incarnation. He saw the newborn Christ, took him in his arms and held him to himself with the purest affection. As head of the family he himself gave the Child his name. Some, for this reason, call him the “shadow of the Father”, because the heavenly Father delegated him to take His place on earth; as His representative to take care of His Son and help him in everything as a good father. Saint Augustine called Saint Joseph the Father of Christ and Saint Bernard called him the Father of God. The Gospels mention him several times as the father of Jesus. Can anything be said of any other saint that is greater than being "father of Jesus" and, at the same time, "spouse of Mary," the holiest human person who has ever existed, exists and will exist?
St. John Damascene said: “Joseph is the husband of Mary, nothing greater can be said.” Saint Joseph is the shortest, quickest and surest way to reach Mary, Mediatrix of all graces. The Virgin Mary never loved anyone on earth, after Jesus, as she loved Joseph; she loved him with a total and spousal love. Who will ever be able to calculate St. Joseph's power of intercession with his spouse Mary and their son Jesus? His patronage and his power of intercession before his bride Mary and their son Jesus? His patronage and power of intercession is superior to that of all other saints and angels without any doubt.
Ubertino da Casale, an Italian devotee of Saint Joseph at the end of the 13th century, in his work Arbor Vitae Crucifixae, writes: “In every marriage the union of hearts is realized to the point where the bridegroom and the bride consider themselves as one person or, as the Bible says, as one flesh, as one reality in two persons. Thus Joseph resembled his bride. How could the Holy Spirit so closely unite the soul of the Virgin Mary to another soul if the latter had not been similar to her in the practice of the virtues? I am convinced that Saint Joseph was the purest man in virginity, the deepest in humility and the highest in contemplation.”
St. Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) wrote: “The Lord has gathered in Joseph, as in the sun, all the light and splendor of the other saints all at once.”
Father José María Vilaseca (1831-1910), founder of the Institutes of the Josephine Missionaries, affirmed: “The power of Saint Joseph far exceeds that of all the angels and saints put together, because he is at the same time, powerful in the heart of God and in the heart of Mary.”
Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam pluries says: “There is no doubt that Saint Joseph came closer than any other person to the very high dignity by which the Mother of God is raised above all created creatures.”
And Pope Pius XI said: “Between God and Joseph we cannot distinguish nor can we distinguish anyone greater than Mary Most Holy for her divine maternity. This means that Joseph is not only superior to any other saint, but also to any angel.”
In summary, Saint Joseph is the holiest of all saints and angels, and we can feel proud of him and call him, as some saints do, our father and lord.
After considering several aspects of Saint Joseph's life, we can say without fear or doubt that this is the holiest of all saints and that, although it is not dogma of faith, he is most likely already with Jesus and Mary in body and soul in Heaven. The three hearts, which were united on earth, will already be united forever in Heaven. And that is why the intercession of Saint Joseph as the father of Jesus and the husband of Mary is so powerful. No one loved them as he did, no one cared for them with such solicitude. Joseph is the faithful man, always available to the will of God, who was always at the service of Jesus and Mary without sparing himself. That is why his life is at the center of the history of the world and the salvation of humanity.
Joseph, Mary and Jesus are the surest steps to obtain any blessing from God, as so many saints, especially St. Therese of Jesus, have testified.
Saint Joseph is a model for spouses and parents, for workers, for the consecrated, let us commend ourselves to him so that he may teach us to live in chastity according to our state, fulfilling as he did, faithfully, the duties of each day.