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Day 7

33-Day Consecration to St. Joseph

Head of the Holy Family

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover . . .He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. (Luke 2:41, 51)

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph compose the Holy Family. Jesus was God, and Mary the Mother of God; and yet we see from the above passage that St. Joseph was head of the Holy Family; for thirty years Jesus and Mary paid him homage and obedience.

The Holy Catholic Church teaches, through Scripture and Tradition, that the husband is the head of his family and has God-given authority over his wife and children. This gift of authority does not give a husband any greater dignity than his wife. Both are equal members of the marital covenant, as is reflected by God creating woman from the side of man (as opposed to his head or feet). Instead, this order of authority reflects the divine order between God, Christ and man. The Sacred Scriptures clearly affirm that God has assigned the responsibility of spiritual leadership in the home to husbands:

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is head of his wife just as Christ is head of the church, he himself the savior of the body. As the church is subordinate to Christ, so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. So [also] husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (Eph 5:21-28)

In this passage, St. Paul is calling for wives to freely put themselves under the care of their husbands and he calls husbands in their role as “head” of the family to be like Christ. With Jesus as the model, this can only mean that the man is supposed to follow the path of a servant-leader. The man dies to self and prioritizes his family’s (or parish family’s) needs over his own. He is concerned for the family’s spiritual welfare. He looks for ways to help its members grow in their relationship with God. He provides physical support, grace, and encouragement. He is ready to protect, help, and defend. In good times and in bad, he is ready to lay down his life for those who have been entrusted to his care.

Jesus and Mary delighted in the headship of St. Joseph. His fatherly example shows that strength, authority, and headship are meant to be at the service of others.

St. Joseph, Head of the Holy Family, help me to live my life in humble service to my family. Pray that I may have the grace to imitate Christ’s sacrificial love and love the ones you have entrusted to my care. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge

Think of one way you can “die to self” and prioritize your family’s needs over your own. Commit to this behavior for at least one week.

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Noble Offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph Most Just, pray for us.
Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us.
Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us.
Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us.
Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us.
Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of Patience, pray for us.
Lover of Poverty, pray for us.
Model of Workmen, pray for us.
Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us.
Guardian of Virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of Families, pray for us.
Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the Sick, pray for us.
Patron of the Dying, pray for us.
Terror of Demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
He has made him lord of his household,
And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, who, in your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother, grant us the favor of having him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

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