Posts Tagged ‘Jesu’

Guardian Angel

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on October 2, 2013

Guardian Angel of JesusGuardian AngelGuardian Angel

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mathew 18,10)

‘I am going to send an angel in front of you, to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared’ (Ex 23:20)

We should invoke the help of our Guardian Angels daily. “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and protection. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (CCC #336)

Our Heavenly Father in his loving providence sends guardian angels to watch over, defend and protect us. These Holy beings continually see the face of God in heaven.

Catholic Teaching on Angels

On September 29 we celebrate the Feast of the Archangels. On October 2, we celebrate the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. With this in mind, we provide the following catechetical points on angels.

  • The existence of angels is a truth of the faith witnessed to both in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It is taught by the Magisterium (the Pope and the Bishops in union with the Pope).

  • Angels are creatures made by God. They are pure spirits and personal beings. (Each angel is a person.) They are both powerful and intelligent. Note: Some people are inclined to think that the word “person” applies only to human beings. On the contrary, “person” applies to each of the three divine Persons of the Holy Trinity, to angels and to humans.

  • It has traditionally been taught that there are nine choirs of angels. “Choirs” in this usage means “groupings” or “genera”. In order of precedence, from lowest to highest, they are named as follows: Angels, Archangels, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim. This is not to be understood as if there were some system of promotion from one choir to another. These are categories that attempt to categorize the essential natures of these created pure spirit beings. There is a dazzling variety among angels, not only from one choir to another, but among the individuals within each choir.

  • Angels are not on the same level as God, not even close. God is God. He is all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present, etc. Angels are not all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere present, etc. In fact, some of the angels got into big trouble with God when they wanted to be on the same level as God. There is a lesson for us here. Humility is a bedrock virtue and there is no progressing in the spiritual life without humility.

  • Angels do not and cannot give themselves existence. God made each of them and keeps each of them in existence.

  • Angels are immortal spirits; their existence had a point of origin, but will have no point of termination. Human souls are also immortal spirits. However, angels are pure spirits, i.e. they have no bodies (material component), whereas humans are embodied spirits – body-soul composites.

  • While immortal, neither angels nor humans are eternal, because every angel, just like every human, has a beginning. God alone is eternal; the three divine Persons are the only Persons Who have no beginning or end.

  • The word angel means “messenger.” With their whole being they are servants and messengers of God.

  • They always behold the face of the Father, which is to say that they always have the Beatific Vision.

  • They surpass visible creatures in perfection.

  • There are incidents recounted in Scripture and in approved private revelations, wherein angels have taken on human appearance. These appearances never imply incarnation. No angel ever has taken on a human nature; no angel has ever become human. Note: This is distinctly different from the case of Jesus Who, in human history, truly became human and will be human for all eternity, while remaining God.

  • The angels belong to Jesus. They were made for Him and through Him.

  • They have been present since creation and throughout salvation history.

  • Archangels are a distinct “genus” of angelic spirits. They are the principal messengers of God. Three are named in Scripture – Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

  • There are hundreds of references to angels in Scripture. Here are just a few:

-An angel was sent to keep Abraham from sacrificing Isaac (Gen.22:11-12).
-The Archangel Raphael (whose name means “God heals”) assisted Tobiah on his journeys, leads Tobiah to his wife, Sarah, and heals Tobiah’s father, Tobit.
-The Archangel Gabriel (whose name means “God’s hero”) announced the birth of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus (Lk 1).
-The Archangel Michael (whose name means, “Who is like God?” is the chief angelic warrior for God (cf. Dan. 10, Jude 1:9, Rev. 12) He is also the principal angelic defender of the Church.
-Angels ministered to Christ in the desert (Mt. 4:11), and in his agony in the Garden (Lk.22:43).
-Angels witnessed to Christ’s resurrection (Jn.20:12-13).
-Angels surround the throne of God and give him constant praise and glory (Dan.6:9-10, (Book of Revelation).

  • The Church constantly benefits from the help of angels.

  • At Mass we join the angels in invoking the thrice-holy God. Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God of Hosts! (This is the angelic hymn, first noted in Isaiah 6:3)

  • Angels — the Archangel Michael in particular — are invoked in the Church’s funeral liturgy: – May the angels lead you into paradise…

  • In the Cherubic Hymn of the Byzantine Liturgy the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are invoked, as well as our Guardian Angels.

  • We should invoke the help of our Guardian Angels daily. “From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their watchful care and protection. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” (CCC #336)

  • The main task of our Guardian Angels is to help us get to heaven. The Guardian Angel Prayer is an excellent prayer. It is as follows:

  • Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to Whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

  • No angel ever was or ever will be a human being. No human being ever was or will become an angel. Note: It is common in sentimental piety to refer to children who have died as “angels”. It would be a service to the truth to point this out to the students because they have almost certainly been exposed to this particular inaccuracy.

  • We should not try to name our Guardian Angels. God knows their names; we don’t and won’t, at least until heaven. Assigning a name to someone implies a claim of authority by the one doing the naming over the one being named. Parents name their children. People name their cats. Children don’t name their parents nor do cats name their people (as far as we know!) We don’t have authority over our Guardian Angels; rather God has given them a certain authority over us.

  • It has often been said that St. Pio (Padre Pio) and other saints used to ask their Guardian Angels to go to other people to assist them in opening their hearts to God and minds to God’s grace.

  • There are also, as mentioned earlier, fallen angels, led by the chief of the fallen angels, Lucifer. Lucifer means “light bearer.” He was created good, but chose against God. Literature has attributed to him the battle cry of the sin of pride, “Non serviam,” meaning, “I will not serve.” We often refer to Lucifer as Satan which means “Adversary”.

  • Other angels followed Lucifer. We refer to these fallen angels as demons or devils. All the fallen angels were created good but, of their own free will, they chose against God, in an act of radical disobedience prompted by pride and envy. Because, unlike the intellects and wills of human beings, angelic intellects understand reality in one act of apprehension and because angelic wills choose permanently in one act of volition, there is no possibility that the fallen angels will ever repent. Neither is there any possibility that the good angels will ever sin.

  • The good angels are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, which is to say that they are our fellow members of the Church.

  • Because devils are immortal spirits, they too will always exist, but in hell.

  • They seek to tempt us and get us to wind up in hell.

  • We need to be aware of them, but should not be unduly frightened of them because God is infinitely more powerful than Satan and his minions. God is love and mercy itself.

  • God desires that all of us be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) and gives each of us sufficient grace to get to heaven.

  • Our job is to stay united to God in sanctifying grace. Holy Mass, frequent Eucharistic reception, frequent Confession, devotion to Mary, the angels and saints, faithfulness to the Church and her teachings, acts of charity – these are our weapons and they are much more powerful than anything that Satan can throw at us. Remember, all those who die in sanctifying grace will definitely go to heaven. If a person commits mortal sin, or even many mortal sins, God, in His infinite mercy, destroys those sins — all of them — every time we make a good sacramental confession.

  • It is good to keep in mind that our Blessed Mother, Mary, is Queen even of the Angels. This does not, of course, mean that she is an angel. She is not. However, she is their Queen and is created by God as first in the order of grace. This did not happen by her own power, but because God chose her to be so.

  • The angels worship God. We are to worship God as well, in spirit and in truth. The Greek word that theologians use for the worship due alone to the one, true God is Latria. We venerate (honor) the saints and angels. The Greek word for the veneration due to angels and saints is Dulia. Human beings and angels and saints do venerate (honor) the Blessed Virgin Mary to a high degree. The honor due to the Blessed Virgin is even higher than that due to the angels and other saints. The word for the special honor due to Mary is what theologians call Hyperdulia.

  • The Feast of the Archangels is September 29. The Memorial of the Guardian Angels is October 2.

To learn more about angels, I recommend the following reading:

  • The Holy Bible

  • Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • Angels and Demons: What Do We Really Know About Them? by Peter Kreeft, published by Ignatius Press

Composed by Jim Gontis
Director of Religious Education
Diocese of Harrisburg

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Lenten Message of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI – 2013 (Malayalam Translation)

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on February 10, 2013

Lenten Message of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI – 2013

(Click here for Malayalam Translation)

Here is the Malayalam translation of the Lenten Message of the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the year 2013. The theme of the message focuses on the compelling relationship between faith and charity; between believing in God, the God revealed by Jesus Christ, and the charity that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and that leads us to the horizon of a deeper openness to God and neighbour.

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World Day of Consecrated Life (Religious Day) – Eucharistic Celebration

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on February 2, 2013

2nd February

World Day of Consecrated Life (Religious Day)

Click here for World Day of Consecrated Life – Eucharistic Celebration

On 6 Jan,1997, The late Holy Father John Paul II decided that the nd World day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated on the 2 Feb, on the feast which commemorates the Presentation which Mary & Joseph made of Jesus in the temple to present Jesus to the Lord.(Lk.2:22).The presentation of Jesus in the temple is an eloquent icon of the total offering of one’s life for all those who are called to show forth in the church & in the world, by means of the evangelical counsels “ the characteristic features of Jesus- the chaste, poor & obedient one” (VC1).

The reason for the world Day for Consecrated Life:

The purpose of such a day is threefold. In the FIRST PLACE, It answers the intimate need to praise the Lord more solemnly & to thank him for the great gift of consecrated life which enriches & gladdens the Christian community by the multiplicity of its charisms & by the edifying fruits of so many lives totally given to the cause of the kingdom. In the SECOND PLACE, this day is intended to promote knowledge of & esteem for the consecrated life by the entire people of God. The THIRD REASON regards consecrated persons directly. They are invited to celebrate together solemnly the marvels which the Lord has accomplished in them, to discover by a more illuminated faith the rays of divine beauty spread by the spirit in their way of life, & to acquire a more vivid consciousness of their irreplaceable mission in the church.

Following the instruction of late Pope it is a challenge for every religious person to re-read, re-discover & re-state her/his vocation & find new meaning in her/his life as a prophet. They have to be Just as prophets have always arisen in times of crisis to proclaim the will of God to the people of Israel, so in the history of the church religious Orders have always had a prophetic vocation. They have offered a response, in the church and in society, to the longings of the people. They have put their finger on the wound when the church has been too turned in on itself. The first monk responded in this way to the worldwide spread of the church. Benedict, at a time of migration, set up places of community which brought stability to their surroundings. Confronted by the feudal structure of the church and of society, Francis reawakened sensitivity to poverty. Dominic made his own the desire of the Cathars for a pure and clear faith. Ignatius wanted to responded to the Reformation and direct life again only towards the figure of Christ. And many religious Orders in th the 19 century responded to the needs of their times. It is always a question of a prophetic response, a response which comes from God, an attempt to put the will of God into practice in a particular time.

The task of the prophet is not to predict the future but to proclaim the will of God for the present and the situation of today. The prophet claims the “today of God” for people. This” today of God” is often in contrast with the world. Honesty is necessary in announcing the word of God.

Consecrate life has always had a prophetic dimension in the history of the church. How can we live this prophetic dimension today?

– Placing God at the centre

– Making a critical reflection of the society and the church

– Offering a realistic hope and making the people aware that everything is transitory.

– Becoming a blessing for people and leave a legacy.

– Prophetic mission is always a mission for people.

Jesus has shown how to recognize our prophetic mission. Heinvites us to enter by the narrow gate and to journey by the hard road (Mth713-14).The narrow gate is hard and unique which God has planned for us. A certain effort is necessary to find that gate. The wide road is not bad road, but the road which everyone takes. Jesus believes that each one of us is capable of finding the unique way in which our life can become a blessing for people. Animated by the Spirit of God, may every consecrated live up to her/his commitment.

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Eucharist Jesus, Bread & Wine

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on January 29, 2013

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Avenge or Forgive?

If someone hurts me should I forgive or take revenge?  Some might say it depends on the nature of hurt.  I strongly feel I must not even think of revenge let alone do something to that effect whatever the nature of the hurt.  There are cases that need corrective measures or punishment – not revenge. Even in such cases the punishment must not be carried out by me. It must be decided and carried out by the judiciary.  All I must do is file a suit. Even that must be done without any thought of vengeance but out of consideration for the good of the individual and of the society.

 A better alternative than approaching the judiciary in most cases will be to forgive the offender from my heart and pray for him that he may change and become a better person. This can have a great effect on the offender causing conversion.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Jesus

“Am I not conquering my enemies when I make them my friends?” Lincoln

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Athirampuzha Church

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on January 24, 2013

The Church traces its existence back to 835 AD

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St. Mary’s Forane Church, Athirampuzha

The forane church of Athirampuzha, a world renowned pilgrim centre of St.Sebastian is dedicated to Blessed Virgin Mary.This church about 10Kms away from kottayam has been the hub of Christian life in and around central kerala from early 9th century. This is one of the biggest parishes of the Archeparchy of Changanassery. It consists of almost 2500 families and the total number of the faithful exceeds 10000.

Athirampuzha church must trace back her history to the Ettonnussery Illam which was the power centre of the local kingdom. It is said that the Namboodiri of this Illam donated the land to build a church in the name of blessed virgin Mary as a token of gratitude on the Miraculous birth of his son. The Church was blessed on August 15th 835 AD. Gradually it became an independent church and later was elevated to the status of a forane in 1929. The church also witnessed many historical events like the historic journey of Mar Abraham Karivatti and paremakkal Thoma Kathanar to Rome, the All India Eucharistic congress-the first and the last of its kind in Kerala conducted from 8 th to 15th May 1929.

The Church is an exemplary specimen of ancient architecture. There were ancient stones with engravings and Thaliyollas in ‘Nanam Moonam’ alphabet kept in the church. Here there is a good collection of objects of historic, Artistic, Archival, Archaeological and anthropological interest in granite, wood, metal ,ivory, including Granite cross, Altar, Bells, Articles used in holy Qurbana …etc.

Valiyapally

The present church was constructed during the time of Fr.Joseph Ithiparambil. The renovation began in 1962 and was consecrated by Mar Mathew Kavukattu, the Archbishop of Changanachery in 1966. The church, brilliantly enshrining the western architecture, in 180 feet tall and 55 feet wide. The ‘madbaha and Roopakoodu’ were build in Portuguese style. The intricate altar engraving, the awesome gothic structure, the three huge glockenspiels in the belfry, the well known Kalkurish and the renowned feast of St.Sebastian with all its traditional ethos and the magnificent pyrotechnics- all these adorn the church and its elegance.

Cheriyapally

The Cheriapally(Little or small church) is situated in the location where the first church was built and blessed in AD 835.It was renovated to the present form by Fr.Thomas Olakkapady and was blessed by his Excellency Kurialacherry Mar Thoma on January 22nd, 1919. Cheriapally is situated 200 meters away from the Valiapally. The Church is known in the name of St.Sebastian. Meeting the demands of the time, recently the church was renovated by very Rev. Dr. Mani puthiyidom.

The Church has two main feasts: the feast of St.Mary and the feast of St.Sebastian

The church dedicated to blessed virgin Mary Celebrates her feast on 3rd Sunday of September. This Festal celebration is commonly called as Kannimasa Perunal / naragana Perunal. The members of Darsans Samooham (a pious association) plays a major role in this feast. They participate in their special costumes in the mass and Procession.

As per the record, the feast of st.sebastian was started at Athirampuzha church from the year 1647.Now the principal festal week in from 19th to 26th of January every year. The flag hoisting ceremony marking the beginning of the festival is on 19th.The annual feast attracts a large no. of devotees from all over south India. The statue of St.Sebastian installed here is considered very ancient. During the days of the Portuguese, three figures were brought to kerala. Legend says that the smallest of them has brought to Athirampuzha by local traders. This is known as ‘Adiyelpicha Roopam’ (the Tortured Figure). The statue of St.Sebastian in Athirampuzha is unique as it is the only statue of the saint without arrowation is very attractive.

St Sebastian

St. Sebastian’s statue is exposed for public veneration only during the feastal season. The dazzling display of fireworks in connection with the festival is a colorful visual treat. The procession is a spiritual ablu for the devotees. Band set including school bands, flags, gold-brass-silver wooden crosses, allavattom, venchamaram, Thazahakkuda, theevetti and beaded ornate umbrellas etc make the procession very gorgeous and regal. Ettamidam extends the celebration for eight more days. The Festival comes to an end by February 1.

Contact

St.Mary’s Forane Church

Athirampuzha

Kottayam – 686562

Phone : 0481 2730 742, 0481 2730 559, 0481 2730 159

Email : athirampuzhachurch@gmail.com

Altar

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Fr Mathew Kalambukattu MCBS

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on January 5, 2013

Fr Mathew Kalambukattu MCBS

Fr Mathew Kalambukattu MCBS

Life

Born:

Baptism:

Confirmation:

First Communion:

Joined Seminary:

First Profession:

Final Profession:

Ordination: 05-01-2013

Formation

LP School:

UP School:

High School:

Minor Seminary: MCBS Minor Seminary, Pariyaram

Novitiate: MCBS Novitiate House, Chembery

Philosophy Studies: Jeevalaya, Bangalore (2005-2008)

Regency:  Jesus Youth (2008-2009)

Theology: St Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha (2009-2012)

Appointments

Family

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Eucharistic Flame

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on November 28, 2012

Eucharistic Flame

Joy and Comfort

 A life of joy and comfort is all I need.

How to get this is the million dollar question.

What if everyone around you loves you very much?

Yes, that could make my life one full of joy and comfort.

But many of them hate me; some are angry or jealous.

Is there any way any one can make them love me?

You are the one who can make them love you.

How can I make my enemies love me?

Forgive those who have hurt you.

Ask forgiveness of anyone

whom you have hurt.

Fill your heart with love.

No other sentiment to be there.

When you love everyone selflessly,

all those around you will love you as well.

Yes, that will make my life one of joy and comfort.

This is the way to make heaven on earth, here and now.

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Provincial Day 2012-13, Lisieux MCBS Minor Seminary, Athirampuzha

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on November 27, 2012

 

 Comedy Skit

Musical Drama

Message by the Provincial

Felicitation by Rev. Fr Rector

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Saint Joseph / St Joseph / St. Joseph

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on November 19, 2012

Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus, Guido Reni (c. 1635)
Born Bethlehem,[1] c.90 BC[1]
Died Nazareth, July 20, 18 AD[1] (traditional)
Feast March 19 – Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary (Western Christianity), May 1 – St Joseph the Worker (Roman Catholic Church),The Sunday after the Nativity of the Lord (Eastern Christianity)
Attributes Carpenter’s square or tools, the infant Jesus, staff with lily blossoms.
Patronage The Catholic Church, unborn children, fathers, immigrants, workers, against doubt and hesitation, and of a happy death, Vietnam, Philippines. Many others; see [3].

Joseph (Hebrew יוֹסֵף, “Yosef”; Greek: Ἰωσήφ) is a figure in the Gospels, the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus and the guardian of Jesus Christ. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Christian traditions he is regarded as Saint Joseph.

The Pauline epistles, generally considered the earliest extant Christian records, make no reference to Jesus’ father; nor does the Gospel of Mark, generally considered the first of the gospels.[2] The first appearance of Joseph is therefore in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each contains a genealogy of Jesus tracing his ancestry back to King David, but the two are from different sons of David; Matthew follows the major royal line from Solomon, while Luke follows a minor line from Nathan, another son of David and Bathsheba. Consequently all the names between David and Joseph are different. According to Matthew “Jacob was the father of Joseph,” while according to Luke, Joseph, or possibly Jesus, is said to be “of Heli.” Some scholars reconcile the genealogies by viewing the Solomonic lineage as Joseph’s major royal line, and the Nathanic lineage in Luke to be Mary’s minor line.[3][4]

Matthew and Luke are also the only gospels to include the infancy narratives, and again they differ. In Luke, Joseph lives in Nazareth and travels to Bethlehem in compliance with the requirements of a Roman census. Subsequently, Jesus was born there. In Matthew, Joseph was in Bethlehem, the city of David, where Jesus is born, and then moves to Nazareth with his family after the death of Herod. Matthew is the only Gospel to include the narrative of the Massacre of the Innocents and the Flight into Egypt: following the nativity, Joseph stays in Bethlehem for an unspecified period (perhaps two years) until forced by Herod to take refuge in Egypt; on the death of Herod he brings his family back to Judea, and settles in Nazareth. After this point there is no further mention of Joseph by name, although the story of Jesus in the Temple, in Jesus’ 12th year, includes a reference to “both his parents”. Christian tradition represents Mary as a widow during the adult ministry of her son. The gospels describe Joseph as a “tekton” (τέκτων); traditionally the word has been taken to mean “carpenter”,[5] though the Greek term evokes an artisan with wood in general, or an artisan in iron or stone.[6] Very little other information on Joseph is given in the gospels, in which he never speaks.

Joseph is venerated as a saint in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran faiths. In Catholic and other traditions, Joseph is the patron saint of workers and has several feast days. He was also declared to be the patron saint and protector of the Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX in 1870, and is the patron of several countries and regions. With the growth of Mariology, the theological field of Josephology has also grown and since the 1950s centres for studying it have been formed.[7][8]

Contents

Paul and the canonical Gospels

Holy Family with the Holy Spirit by Murillo, 1675-1682.

Joseph in the New Testament

The epistles of Paul are generally regarded as the oldest extant Christian writings. These mention Jesus’ mother (without naming her), but do not refer to his father – other than God (Romans 15:26 etc.). The oldest gospel, that of Mark, also does not mention Jesus’s father. Joseph first appears in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, generally regarded as later than Mark. Luke may name Joseph’s father as Heli, although Lightfoot, Adam Clarke and others read “of Heli” as an elipsis, saying that Mary was “of Heli.” Matthew names Joseph’s father as Jacob, which parallels the Old Testament Joseph (whose father was also named Jacob) and, according to Spong (2007), is in keeping with that gospel’s depiction of Jesus as a second Moses.[2] This theme is developed further in the infancy narratives, which, like the genealogies, have the function of establishing Jesus as the promised Messiah, the descendant of David, born in Bethlehem. If the Solomonic major royal line in Matthew is correct then Joseph’s father was named Jacob (or James), coincidentally the name given to the James (or Jacob) oldest of the four “brothers of Jesus” mentioned later in Matthew.

Like the two differing genealogies the infancy narratives appear only in Matthew and Luke, and take different approaches to reconciling the requirement that the Messiah be born in Bethlehem with the tradition that Jesus came from Nazareth. In Matthew, Joseph obeys the direction of an angel to marry Mary and then to flee to Egypt to escape the massacre of the children of Bethlehem planned by Herod the Great, the tyrant who rules Judea.[9] Once Herod has died, the angel tells him to return to Galilee instead of to Bethlehem, and so Joseph takes his wife and the child to Nazareth and settles there.[10] Thus in Matthew, the infant Jesus, like Moses, is in peril from a cruel king, like Moses he has a (fore)father named Joseph who goes down to Egypt, like the Old Testament Joseph this Joseph has a father named Jacob, and both Josephs receive important dreams foretelling their future.[2] In Luke, Joseph already lives in Nazareth, and Jesus is born in Bethlehem because Joseph and Mary have to travel there to be counted in a census. Luke’s account makes no mention of angels and dreams, the Massacre of the Innocents, or of a visit to Egypt.

The last time Joseph appears in person in any Gospel is the story of the Passover visit to the Temple in Jerusalem when Jesus is 12 years old, found only in Luke. Like the infancy narratives the story is didactic, emphasising Jesus’ awareness of his coming mission: here Jesus speaks to his parents (both of them) of “my father,” meaning God, but they fail to understand.(Luke 2:41-51).

None of the Gospels mentions Joseph as present at any event during Jesus’ adult ministry. The synoptic Gospels, however, share a scene in which the people of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, doubt Jesus’ status as a prophet because they know his family. In Mark 6:3, they call Jesus “Mary’s son” instead of naming his father. In Matthew, the townspeople call Jesus “the carpenter’s son,” again without naming his father, and again he has brothers named James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:53-58). In Luke 3:23 “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli,” and Luke makes no mention of any brothers (Luke 4:16-30). In Luke the tone is positive, whereas in Mark and Matthew it is disparaging.[11] This incident does not appear at all in John, but in a parallel story the disbelieving Jews refer to “Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know” (John 6:41-51).

Joseph is not mentioned as being present at the Wedding at Cana at the beginning of Jesus’ mission, nor at the Passion at the end. If he had been present at the Crucifixion, he would under Jewish custom have been expected to take charge of Jesus’ body, but this role is instead performed by Joseph of Arimathea. Nor would Jesus have entrusted his mother to John’s care had her husband been alive.[1]

Gospel harmony

A sample Gospel harmony of the episodes of the life of Saint Joseph in the canonical Gospels, in summary form of harmonies for the four gospels.[12][13][14] See the gallery below for artistic depictions of some of these events.

Number Event Matthew Mark Luke John
1 Joseph lived in Nazareth Luke 2:4
2 Genealogy of Jesus Matthew 1:1-17 Solomon to Jacob Luke 3:23 Nathan to Heli
3 Joseph Betrothed to Mary Matthew 1:18
4 Angel visits Joseph (1st dream) Matthew 1:20-21
5 Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem Luke 2:8-15
6 Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:25 Luke 2:6-7
7 Temple presentation Luke 2:22-24
8 Angel tells Joseph to flee (2nd dream) Matthew 2:13
9 Flight into Egypt Matthew 2:14-15
10 Angel tells Joseph to return to Nazareth (3rd dream) Matthew 2:19-20
11 Joseph and family settle in Nazareth Matthew 2:21-23 Luke 2:39
12 Finding Jesus in the Temple Luke 2:41-51
13 Holy Family John 6:41-42

Professional life

St. Joseph the Carpenter, by Georges de La Tour, 1640s.

Jesus is identified in the Gospel of Matthew 13:55 as the son of a τέκτων (tekton) and the Gospel of Mark 6:3 states that Jesus was a Tektōn himself. Tekton has been traditionally translated into English as “carpenter”, but is a rather general word (from the same root that gives us “technical” and “technology”) that could cover makers of objects in various materials, even builders.[15] But the specific association with woodworking is a constant in Early Christian tradition; Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165) wrote that Jesus made yokes and ploughs, and there are similar early references.[16]

John Dominic Crossan puts tekton into a historical context more resembling an itinerant worker than an established artisan, emphasizing his marginality in a population in which a peasant who owns land could become quite prosperous. Other scholars have argued that tekton could equally mean a highly-skilled craftsman in wood or the more prestigious metal, perhaps running a workshop with several employees, and noted sources recording the shortage of skilled artisans at the time.[17] Geza Vermes has stated that the terms ‘carpenter’ and ‘son of a carpenter’ are used in the Jewish Talmud to signify a very learned man, and he suggests that a description of Joseph as ‘naggar’ (a carpenter) could indicate that he was considered wise and highly literate in the Torah.[18]

At the time of Joseph, Nazareth was an obscure village in Galilee, about 65 km from the Holy City of Jerusalem, which is barely mentioned in surviving non-Christian texts and documents.[2][19][20][21][22] Archaeology over most of the site is made impossible by subsequent building, but from what has been excavated and tombs in the area around the village, it is estimated that the population was at most about 400.[23] It was, however, only about 6 kilometres from the city of Tzippori (ancient “Sepphoris”), which was destroyed by the Romans in 4BC, and thereafter was expensively rebuilt. Analysis of the landscape and other evidence suggest that in Joseph’s lifetime Nazareth was “oriented towards” the nearby city,[24] which had an overwhelmingly Jewish population although with many signs of Hellenization,[25] and historians have speculated that Joseph and later Jesus too might have traveled daily to work on the rebuilding. Specifically the large theatre in the city has been suggested, although this has aroused much controversy over dating and other issues.[26] Other scholars see Joseph and Jesus as the general village craftsmen, working in wood, stone and metal on a wide variety of jobs.[27]

Modern appraisal

The name of Joseph is found almost exclusively in the genealogies and the infancy narratives.[28][29] The variances between the genealogies given in Matthew and Luke are explained on the basis that Matthew’s genealogy traces his legal descent, according to Jewish law, through St. Joseph; while Luke’s genealogy traces his actual physical descent through Mary.

Modern positions on the question of the relationship between Joseph and the Virgin Mary vary. The Eastern Orthodox Church, which names Joseph’s first wife as Salome, holds that Joseph was a widower and merely betrothed, but never married, to Mary,[30] and that references to Jesus’ “brothers” are to children of Joseph and Salome. The position of the Catholic Church, derived from the writings of Saint Jerome, is that Joseph was the husband of Mary, but that references to Jesus’ “brothers” should be understood to mean cousins or step-brothers. In both cases, the church doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity means that Joseph and Mary never had sexual relations. The Protestant churches, following the tenet of Virgin Birth but not that of Perpetual Virginity, hold no strong views on the subject.[31]

Later apocryphal writings

The canonical gospels created a problem: they stated clearly that Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, and that Joseph was not his father; yet Joseph’s paternity was essential to establish Jesus’ Davidic descent, and he and Mary were so much husband and wife that only divorce could dissolve their union (Matthew 1:19).[32] The theological situation was complicated by the gospel references to Jesus’ “brothers and sisters” (repeated in Paul, where James is called the “brother of Christ”), and by the fact that he was described unambiguously by John and Mark as “Joseph’s son” and “the carpenter’s son.”[32] From the 2nd century to the 5th writers tried to explain how Jesus could be simultaneously the “son of God” as well as the “son of Joseph”.[32]

The first to offer a solution was the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James, written about 150 AD. The original gospels never refer to Joseph’s age, but James presents him as an old man chosen by lot (i.e., by God) to watch over the Virgin. Jesus’ brothers are presented as Joseph’s children by an earlier marriage, and his years and righteousness explain why he has not yet had sex with his wife: “I received her by lot as my wife, and she is not yet my wife, but she has conceived by the Holy Spirit.”[33]

The Protoevangelium was extremely popular, but it leaves open the possibility that Joseph might have had relations with Mary after the birth of Jesus (“she is not yet my wife…”). A few centuries later the developing doctrine that Mary was a virgin not only at the time of the conception and birth of Christ, but throughout her life, meant that this possibility had to be excluded. The apocryphal History of Joseph the Carpenter, written in the 5th century and framed as a biography of Joseph dictated by Jesus, describes how Joseph, aged 90 (the Protoevangelium had not given Joseph a specific age), a widower with four sons and two daughters, is given charge of the twelve year old Mary, who then lives in his household raising his youngest son James the Less (the supposed author of the Protoevengelium) until she is ready to be married at age 14½. Joseph’s death at the age of 111, attended by angels and asserting the perpetual virginity of Mary, takes up approximately half the story.[34]

Sainthood

Main articles: Holy Family and Josephology
A series of articles on
JosephologyGuido Reni 042.jpg
General articles
St. JosephHoly FamilySaint Joseph’s Day
Prayers & Devotions
PrayerNovenaChapletScapularCord
Organizations
Sisters of St. JosephJosephite FathersOblates of St. Joseph
Papal Documents
Redemptoris CustosQuamquam Pluries

Together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus Joseph is one of the three members of the Holy Family; since he only appears in the birth narratives of the Gospels, Jesus is depicted as a child when with him. The formal veneration of the Holy Family began in the 17th century by Mgr François de Laval.

Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870, the unofficial patron against doubt and hesitation, as well as the patron saint of fighting communism, and of a happy death[citation needed]. Having died in the “arms of Jesus and Mary” according to Catholic tradition, he is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death, and prays especially for families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general.

The earliest records of a formal devotional following for Saint Joseph date to the year 800 and references to him as nutritor Domini (educator/guardian of the Lord) began to appear in the 9th century, and continued growing to the 14th century.[35][36][37] Saint Thomas Aquinas discussed the necessity of the presence of Saint Joseph in the plan of the Incarnation for if Mary had not been married, the Jews would have stoned her and that in his youth Jesus needed the care and protection of a human father.[38][39]

In the 15th century major steps were taken by Saint Bernardine of Siena, Pierre d’Ailly and Jean Gerson.[35] Gerson wrote Consideration sur Saint Joseph and preached sermons on Saint Joseph at the Council of Constance.[40] In 1889 Pope Leo XIII issued the encyclical Quamquam Pluries in which he urged Catholics to pray to Saint Joseph, as the patron of the Church in view of the challenges facing the Church.[41]

Josephology, the study of the theology of Saint Joseph, is one of the most recent theological disciplines.[42] In 1989, on the occasion of the centenary of Quamquam Pluries Pope John Paul II issued Redemptoris Custos, i.e. Guardian of the Redeemer which presented Saint Joseph’s role in the plan of redemption, as part of the “redemption documents” issued by John Paul II such as Redemptoris Mater to which it refers.[43][44][45][46]

Feast days

Main article: Saint Joseph’s Day

Holy Family by Raphael, 1506.

March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day, has been the principal feast day of Saint Joseph in Western Christianity,[47][48] since the tenth century, and is celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, many Lutherans and other denominations.[49] In Eastern Orthodoxy, the feast day of Saint Joseph is celebrated on the First Sunday after the Nativity of Christ.

In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Joseph patron of the universal Church and instituted another feast, with an octave, to be held in his honour on Wednesday in the second week after Easter. This was abolished by Pope Pius XII, when in 1955 he established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker”, to be celebrated on 1 May. This date counteracts May Day, a union, workers and socialists holiday and reflects Joseph’s status as what many Catholics and other Christians consider the “patron of workers” and “model of workers.” Catholic and other Christian teachings and stories about or relating to Joseph and the Holy Family frequently stress his patience, persistence, and hard work as admirable qualities which believers should adopt.

Pope John XXIII added the name of Joseph to the Canon of the Mass. The 19 March feast is a solemnity and is transferred to another date if impeded (for instance, if it falls on a Sunday, which must fall in Lent). The 1 May celebration is an optional memorial, and so is omitted if impeded. (However, the 1 May celebration is 1st class in the Tridentine calendar, so in it St. Joseph the Worker was celebrated on 2 May in 2008 because 1 May was Ascension Thursday and in 2011 because 1 May was in the Easter octave.)

Places, churches and Institutions

Many cities, towns, and locations are named after Saint Joseph. According to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Spanish form, San Jose, is the most common place name in the world. Probably the most-recognized San Joses are San José, Costa Rica, and San Jose, California, United States, given their name by Spanish colonists. Joseph is the patron saint of the New World; of the countries China, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Peru, Vietnam; of the regions Carinthia, Styria, Tyrol, Sicily; and of several main cities and dioceses.

Many churches, monasteries and other institutions are dedicated to Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph’s Oratory is the largest church in Canada, with the largest dome of its kind in the world after that of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Elsewhere in the world churches named after the saint may be known as those of San Giuseppe, e.g. San Giuseppe dei Teatini, San José, e.g. Metropolitan Cathedral of San José or São José, e.g. in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The Sisters of St. Joseph were founded as an order in 1650 and have about 14,000 members worldwide. In 1871, the Josephite Fathers of the Roman Catholic Church were created under the patronage of Joseph, intending to work with the poor. The first Josephites in America re-devoted their part of the Order to ministry within the newly-emancipated African American community. The Oblates of St. Joseph were founded in 1878 by St. Joseph Marello. In 1999 their Shrine of Saint Joseph the Guardian of the Redeemer was named after the Apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos.[50]

Prayers and devotions

Altar of St. Joseph, Billafingen, Germany.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, during the feast day of Saint Joseph the following hymn is chanted:

Verily, Joseph the betrothed, saw clearly in his old age that the foresayings of the Prophets had
been fulfilled openly; for he was given an odd earnest,
receiving inspiration from the angels,
who cried, Glory to God; for he hath bestowed peace on earth.

In the Catholic tradition, just as there are prayers for the Seven Joys of Mary and Seven Sorrows of Mary, so there are also prayers for the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph; these include prayers for daily protection, vocation, happy marriage, happy death, and hopeless cases;[51] specific prayers, novenas and devotions include the Prayer to Saint Joseph and the Novena to Saint Joseph.[52] St. Francis de Sales included Saint Joseph along with Virgin Mary as saints to be invoked during prayers in his Introduction to the Devout Life,[53] Saint Teresa of Avila attributed her recovery of health to Saint Joseph and recommended him as an advocate,[54] and Saint Therese of Lisieux stated that for a period of time, every day she prayed to “Saint Joseph, Father and Protector of Virgins…” and felt safe and protected from danger as a result,[55] and Pius X composed a prayer to Saint Joseph which begins:[56]

Glorious St. Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil,
obtain for me the grace to toil, in the spirit of penance,
in order to thereby atone for my many sins…

There is a belief that planting a statue of St. Joseph on a house will help sell the house.[57] This belief is held by some theists as well as atheists, but traditional Christian teachings view it as superstition and not a devotion.[58]

In art

Nativity by Martin Schongauer (1475-80)

Up to about the 17th century Joseph tends to be depicted as a man advanced in years, with grey hair, often balding, occasionally frail and with arthritic fingers and a sharp nose, a comparatively marginal figure alongside Mary and Jesus if not entirely in the background, passive other than when leading them on their flight to Egypt. Joseph is shown mostly with a beard, not only in keeping with Jewish custom, but also because – although the Gospel accounts do not give his age – later literature tends to present him as an old man at the time of his wedding to Mary. This depiction arose to allay concerns about both the celibacy of the newly wedded couple,[59] the mention of brothers and sisters of Jesus in the canonical Gospels,[60] and Joseph’s other children spoken of in apocryphal literature – concerns discussed very frankly by Jean Gerson for example, who nonetheless favoured showing him as a younger man.[61]

In recent centuries – in step with a growing interest in Joseph’s role in Gospel exegesis – he himself has become a focal figure in representations of the Holy Family. He is now often portrayed as a younger or even youthful man (perhaps especially in Protestant depictions), whether going about his work as a carpenter, or participating actively in the daily life of Mary and Jesus as an equal and openly affectionate member.[62] Art critic Waldemar Januszczak however emphasises the preponderance of Joseph’s representation as an old man and sees this as the need, ” to explain away his impotence: indeed to symbolise it. In Guido Reni‘s Nativity, Mary is about 15, and he is about 70 – for the real love affair – is the one between the Virgin Mary and us. She is young. She is perfect. She is virginal – it is Joseph’s task to stand aside and let us desire her, religiously. It takes a particularly old, a particularly grey, a particularly kindly and a particularly feeble man to do that. It takes a Joseph. Banished in vast numbers to the backgrounds of all those gloomy stables in all those ersatz Bethlehems, his complex iconographic task is to stand aside and let his wife be worshipped by the rest of us. He is God’s cuckold. And art has no choice but to point this out – while, of course, appearing not to.” [63]

Saint Joseph sleeping, Nativity by Gentile da Fabriano

Full cycles of his life are rare in the Middle Ages, though the scenes from the Life of the Virgin or Life of Christ where he is present are far more often seen. The Mérode Altarpiece of about 1425, where he has a panel to himself, working as a carpenter, is an early example of what remained relatively rare depictions of him pursuing his métier. Some statues of Joseph depict his staff as topped with flowers, recalling the non-canonical Protoevangelion‘s account of how Mary’s spouse was chosen by collecting walking sticks of widowers in Palestine, and Joseph’s alone bursting into flower, thus identifying him as divinely chosen. Several Eastern Orthodox Nativity icons show Joseph tempted by the Devil (depicted as an old man with furled wings) to break off his betrothal, and how he resists that temptation. There are some paintings with him wearing a Jewish hat.

Gallery of life in art

In music

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Saint Joseph

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d Catholic encyclopedia on Saint Joseph
  2. ^ a b c d Spong, John Shelby. Jesus for the non-religious. HarperCollins. 2007. ISBN 0-06-076207-1
  3. ^ Luke by H. A. Ironside 2007 ISBN 0-8254-2919-6 pages 73-75
  4. ^ Basic Theology by Caldwell Ryrie, 1999 ISBN 0-8024-2734-0 pages 279-280
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ Google booksJoseph, Mary, Jesus, Lucien Deiss, Liturgical Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8146-2255-0, ISBN 978-0-8146-2255-1
  7. ^ P. de Letter, “The Theology of Saint Joseph”, The Clergy Monthly, March 1955, Online at JSTOR
  8. ^ For the use of the term, see: A Thomistic Josephology by James J Davis 1967, University of Montreal, ASIN B0007K3PL4
  9. ^ Matthew 1:18-2:18
  10. ^ Matthew 2:19-23; Luke 2:39
  11. ^ Vermes, Geza “The authentic gospel of Jesus” (London, Penguin Books, 2004) Chapter 1: Narratives and commands, p. 1-37.
  12. ^ Gospels in harmony
  13. ^ Life of Jesus
  14. ^ Steven L. Cox, Kendell H Easley, 2007 Harmony of the Gospels ISBN 0-8054-9444-8
  15. ^ Dickson, 47
  16. ^ Fiensy, 68-69
  17. ^ Fiensy, 75-77
  18. ^ http://www.jstor.org/pss/1453874?cookieSet=1
  19. ^ Ehrman, Bart D. Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. HarperCollins, 2005. ISBN 978-0-06-073817-4
  20. ^ Crossan, John Dominic. The essential Jesus. Edison: Castle Books. 1998. “Contexts,” p 1-24.
  21. ^ Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition)
  22. ^ Sanders terms it a “minor village.” Sanders, E. P. The historical figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. p. 104
  23. ^ Laughlin, 192-194. See also Reed’s Chapter 3, pp. 131-134.
  24. ^ Reed, 114-117, quotation p. 115
  25. ^ Reed, Chapter 4 in general, pp. 125-131 on the Jewish nature of Sepphoris, and pp. 131-134
  26. ^ Fiensy, 74-77
  27. ^ For example, Dickson, 47
  28. ^ Vermes, Geza. The authentic gospel of Jesus. London, Penguin Books. 2004. Epilogue. p. 398-417.
  29. ^ Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The acts of Jesus: the search for the authentic deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998. “Birth & Infancy Stories” p. 497-526.
  30. ^ Holy Apostles Convent (1989). The Life of the Virgin Mary, the Theotokos. Buena Vista: Holy Apostles Convent and Dormition Skete. pp. 64. ISBN 0-944359-03-5.
  31. ^ See, e.g., David Brown. “Commentary on Matthew 13:56”. Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Whole Bible. Retrieved 2009-01-07. “An exceedingly difficult question here arises—What were these ‘brethren’ and ‘sisters’ to Jesus? Were they, First, His full brothers and sisters? or, Secondly, Were they His step-brothers and step-sisters, children of Joseph by a former marriage? or, Thirdly, Were they cousins, according to a common way of speaking among the Jews respecting persons of collateral descent? On this subject an immense deal has been written, nor are opinions yet by any means agreed. For the second opinion there is no ground but a vague tradition, arising probably from the wish for some such explanation. The first opinion undoubtedly suits the text best in all the places where the parties are certainly referred to (Mt 12:46; and its parallels, Mr 3:31; Lu 8:19; our present passage, and its parallels, Mr 6:3; Joh 2:12; 7:3, 5, 10; Ac 1:14). But, in addition to other objections, many of the best interpreters, thinking it in the last degree improbable that our Lord, when hanging on the cross, would have committed His mother to John if He had had full brothers of His own then alive, prefer the third opinion; although, on the other hand, it is not to be doubted that our Lord might have good reasons for entrusting the guardianship of His doubly widowed mother to the beloved disciple in preference even to full brothers of His own. Thus dubiously we prefer to leave this vexed question, encompassed as it is with difficulties!”
  32. ^ a b c Everett Ferguson, Michael P. McHugh, Frederick W. Norris, “Encyclopedia of early Christianity, Volume 1”, article Joseph, p.629
  33. ^ Luigi Gambero, “Mary and the fathers of the church: the Blessed Virgin Mary in patristic thought” pp.35-41
  34. ^ “The History of Joseph the Carpenter”. Comparative Religion. Retrieved 2007-05-06.
  35. ^ a b The liturgy and time by Irénée Henri Dalmais, Aimé Georges Martimort, Pierre Jounel 1985 ISBN 0-8146-1366-7 page 143
  36. ^ Holy people of the world: a cross-cultural encyclopedia, Volume 3 by Phyllis G. Jestice 2004 ISBN 1-57607-355-6 page 446
  37. ^ Bernard of Clairvaux and the shape of monastic thought by M. B. Pranger 1997 ISBN 90-04-10055-5 page 244
  38. ^ The childhood of Christ by Thomas Aquinas, Roland Potter, 2006 ISBN 0-521-02960-0 pages 110-120
  39. ^ Aquinas on doctrine by Thomas Gerard Weinandy, John Yocum 2004 ISBN 0-567-08411-6 page 248
  40. ^ Medieval mothering by John Carmi Parsons, Bonnie Wheeler 1999 ISBN 0-8153-3665-9 page 107
  41. ^ Vatican website: Quamquam Pluries
  42. ^ Sunday Catholic Magazine October 4, 2009
  43. ^ Foundations of the Christian way of life by Jacob Prasad 2001 ISBN 88-7653-146-7 page 404
  44. ^ Vatican website: Redemptoris Custos
  45. ^ Cradle of redeeming love: the theology of the Christmas mystery by John Saward 2002 ISBN 0-89870-886-9 page 230
  46. ^ Divine likeness: toward a Trinitarian anthropology of the family by Marc Ouellet ISBN 0-8028-2833-7 page 102
  47. ^ Roman Missal
  48. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1969), p. 89
  49. ^ 19 March is observed as the Feast of Saint Joseph, Guardian of Jesus, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, the Wisconsin Synod, and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Some Protestant traditions also celebrate this festival.
  50. ^ Mention Your Request Here: The Church’s Most Powerful Novenas by Michael Dubruiel, 2000 ISBN 0-87973-341-1 page 154
  51. ^ Devotions to St. Joseph by Susanna Magdalene Flavius, 2008 ISBN 1-4357-0948-9 pages 5-15
  52. ^ Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph Tan Books, ISBN 978-0-89555-446-8
  53. ^ Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales ISBN 0-7661-0074-X Kessinger Press 1942 page 297
  54. ^ The interior castle by Saint Teresa of Avila, Paulist Press 1979, ISBN 0-8091-2254-5 page 2
  55. ^ The Story of a Soul by Saint Therese De Lisieux Bibliolife 2008 0554261588 page 94
  56. ^ Ann Ball, 2003 Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 449
  57. ^ Applebome, Peter (2009-09-16). “St. Joseph, Superagent in Real Estate”. New York Times. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
  58. ^ Saint Joseph: His Life and His Role in the Church Today by Louise Bourassa Perrotta 2000 ISBN 0-87973-573-2 page 130
  59. ^ cf. Mt 1:25a
  60. ^ cf. Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:31-35, Luke 8:19-21; Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3; cf. section above
  61. ^ Shapiro:6-7
  62. ^ Finding St. Joseph by Sandra Miesel gives a useful account of the changing views of Joseph in art and generally in Catholicism
  63. ^ Waldemar Januszczak, No ordinary Joe, The Sunday Times, December 2003 [2]

References

Saint Joseph (Mariahilfer Kirche, Vienna, Austria)

Further reading

  • Guardian of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Custos) by Pope John Paul II, St. Paul Books and Media (January 1, 1989) ASIN: B002AQ5E08

External links

Preceded by
Heli
Ancestry of Jesus – Father of Jesus Succeeded by
Jesus

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Holy Spirit

Posted by Fr Nelson MCBS on November 19, 2012

Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit is a term found in English translations of the Bible, but understood differently among the Abrahamic religions.[1][2]

While the general concept of a “Spirit” that permeates the cosmos is a general feature of most religions (e.g. Brahman in Hinduism and Tao in Taoism and Great Spirit among Indigenous peoples of the Americas), the term Holy Spirit specifically refers to the beliefs held in the Abrahamic religions.[3][4]

For the majority of Christians, the belief in the Holy Trinity implies the existence of three distinct Holy Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit being One Eternal Triune God. This doctrine and designation, however, are not shared by all Christian denominations, or the other Abrahamic religions.[5][6]

Christianity

For the majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit (prior English language usage: the Holy Ghost from Old English gast, “spirit”) is the third person of the Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God.[7][8][9] The Holy Spirit is seen by mainstream Christians as one Person of the Triune God, who revealed His Holy Name YHWH to his people Israel, sent His Eternally Begotten Son Jesus to save them from God’s wrath, and sent the Holy Spirit to sanctify and give life to his Church.[10][11][12] The Triune God manifests as three Persons (Greek hypostases),[13] in One Divine Being (Greek: Ousia),[14] called the Godhead,[15] the Divine Essence of God.[16]

Judaism

The term “holy spirit” only occurs three times in the Hebrew Bible. (Found once in Psalm 51:11 and twice in Isaiah 63:10,11) Although, the term “spirit” in the Hebrew Scriptures, in reference to “God’s spirit”, does occur more times. In Judaism, God is One, the idea of God as a duality or trinity among gentiles may be Shituf (or “not purely monotheistic”). The term Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) is found frequently in Talmudic and Midrashic literature. In some cases it signifies prophetic inspiration, while in others it is used as a hypostatization or a metonym for God.[17] The Rabbinic “Holy Spirit,” has a certain degree of personification, but it remains, “a quality belonging to God, one of his attributes” and not, as in mainstream Christianity, representative of “any metaphysical divisions in the Godhead.”[18]

In Judaism, the references to The Spirit of God, Ruach HaKodesh, The Holy Spirit of YHWH, abound, however it has rejected any idea of The Eternal God as being either Dual or Triune. The term ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, “holy spirit” also transliterated ruah ha-qodesh) occurs once in Psalm 51:11 and also twice in the Book of Isaiah [19] Those are the only three times that the precise phrase “ruach hakodesh” is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, although the noun ruach (רוח, literally “breath” or “wind”) in various combinations, some referring to God’s “spirit”, is used often. The noun ruach, much like the English word breath, can mean either wind or some invisible moving force.[20]

However, Shekinah is derived from the Hebrew verb שכן. In Biblical Hebrew the word means literally to settle, inhabit, or dwell, which suggests the concept of a Holy Spirit, and is used frequently in the Hebrew Bible. (See Exodus 40:35, “Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting, for the cloud rested [shakhan] upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.” See also e.g. Genesis 9:27, 14:13, Psalms 37:3, Jeremiah 33:16), as well as the weekly Shabbat blessing recited in the Temple in Jerusalem (“May He who causes His name to dwell [shochan] in this House, cause to dwell among you love and brotherliness, peace and friendship”).

Islam

In Islam, the Holy Spirit (Arabic: الروح القدس al-Ruh al-Qudus, “the-Spirit the-Holy”) is mentioned several times in the Qur’an, where it acts as an agent of divine action or communication. In Hadith it is commonly identified with the angel Gabriel (Arabic Jibreel). The Spirit (الروح al-Ruh, without the adjective “holy”) is also used as the creative spirit from God by which God enlivened Adam, and inspired the angels and the prophets. The belief in Trinity, as it is defined in the Qur’an, is explicitly forbidden by the Qur’an and called a grave sin. The same applies to any idea of the duality of God (Allah).[21][22] Though grammatical gender has no bearing on actual gender in non-personal nouns, the term holy spirit translates in and is used in the masculine form in all the Qur’an. In Arabic language the word “Holy Spirit” does not translate as سكينة Sakinah used in a feminine term. The term sakinah means state of relaxation.

Bahá’í Faith

The Bahá’í Faith has the concept of the Most Great Spirit, seen as the bounty of God.[23] It is usually used to describe the descent of the Spirit of God upon the messengers/prophets of God, which are known as Manifestations of God, and include among others Jesus, Muhammad and Bahá’u’lláh.[24] In Bahá’í believe the Holy Spirit is the conduit through which the wisdom of God becomes directly associated with his messenger, and it has been described variously in different religions such as the burning bush to Moses, the sacred fire to Zoroaster, the dove to Jesus, the angel Gabriel to Muhammad, and the maid of heaven to Bahá’u’lláh.[25] The Bahá’í view rejects the idea that the Holy Spirit is a partner to God in the Godhead, but rather is the pure essence of God’s attributes.[26]

References

  1. ^ John R. Levison The Spirit in First-Century Judaism 2002 p65 “Relevant Milieux : Israelite Literature : The expression, holy spirit, occurs in the Hebrew Bible only in Isa 63:10-11 and Ps 51:13. In Isaiah 63, the spirit acts within the corporate experience of Israel..”
  2. ^ Emir Fethi Caner, Ergun Mehmet Caner More than a prophet: an insider’s response to Muslim beliefs about Jesus and Christianity” 9780825424014 2003 p43 “In Surah al-Nahl (16:102), the text is even more explicit: Say, the Holy Spirit has brought the revelation from thy Lord in Truth, in order to strengthen those who believe and as a Guide and glad tidings to Muslims.”
  3. ^ Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol III. (of 3) by Charles Eliot 2007 ISBN 1-4068-6297-5 page 182
  4. ^ Holy Spirit and Salvation: The Sources of Christian Theology by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen 2010 ISBN 0-664-23136-5 page 420
  5. ^ Systematic Theology by Lewis Sperry Chafer 1993 ISBN 0-8254-2340-6 page 25
  6. ^ The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete New Testament by Warren W. Wiersbe 2007 ISBN 978-0-7814-4539-9 page 471
  7. ^ Millard J. Erickson (1992). Introducing Christian Doctrine.. Baker Book House. p. 103.
  8. ^ T C Hammond; Revised and edited by David F Wright (1968). In Understanding be Men:A Handbook of Christian Doctrine. (sixth ed.). Inter-Varsity Press. pp. 54–56 and 128–131.
  9. ^ “Catholic Encyclopedia:Holy Spirit”.
  10. ^ “Catechism of the Catholic Church: GOD REVEALS HIS NAME”.
  11. ^ St. Thomas Aquinas (1920). The Summa Theologica: First Part – The Procession of the Divine Persons (second and revised edition (Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province) ed.).
  12. ^ Pope Pius XII (1943). Mystici Corporis Christi.
  13. ^ See discussion in  “Person“. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
  14. ^ Grudem, Wayne A. 1994. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press; Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. Page 226.
  15. ^ from Old English: Godhood
  16. ^ “Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Dogma of the Holy trinity”.
  17. ^ Alan Unterman and Rivka Horowitz,Ruah ha-Kodesh, Encyclopedia Judaica (CD-ROM Edition, Jerusalem: Judaica Multimedia/Keter, 1997).
  18. ^ Joseph Abelson,The Immanence of God in Rabbinical Literature (London:Macmillan and Co., 1912).
  19. ^ Isaiah 63:10,11
  20. ^ Article Jacobs J. Jewish Encyclopedia: Holy Spirit 1911
  21. ^ Griffith, Sidney H. Holy Spirit, Encyclopaedia of the Quran.
  22. ^ Patrick Hughes, Thomas Patrick Hughes, A Dictionary of Islam, p. 605.
  23. ^ `Abdu’l-Bahá (1981) [1904-06]. “The Holy Spirit”. Some Answered Questions. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá’í Publishing Trust. pp. 108–109. ISBN 0-87743-190-6.
  24. ^ Taherzadeh, Adib (1976). The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Volume 1: Baghdad 1853-63. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 10. ISBN 0-85398-270-8.
  25. ^ Abdo, Lil (1994). “Female Representations of the Holy Spirit in Bahá’í and Christian writings and their implications for gender roles”. Bahá’í Studies Review 4 (1).
  26. ^ `Abdu’l-Bahá (1981) [1904-06]. “The Trinity”. Some Answered Questions. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá’í Publishing Trust. pp. 113–115. ISBN 0-87743-190-6.

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