St. Joseph, man of sorrows
"St. Joseph, Guardian of the Eucharist, Protector of the Church, Patron of the world", in this way we call upon this great saint, and in this way we have learned to know and love him. On March 19 last, the Bishop of the Eucharist wanted to underline that the suffering was copiously present in the life of this man so great in the eyes of God, hence we can call upon him with a fourth title: "Man of sorrows". The putative father of the Redeemer and spouse of the Co-Redeemer would have been united to his Son and his spouse also in the suffering.
He devoted his soul to God and abode by the vows taken since he was a young man requiring his sacrifice and commitment, for he had to fight to keep them. His spiritual life reached sublime heights and rose more and more towards God. He experienced the inconvenience of not finding in the girls he would meet the same inner life wholly devoted to Heaven and detached from earth.
When Joseph met Mary, his heart leapt, but soon that joy left its place to the suffering caused by relatives and friends who heavily criticized the journey of the young couple going to help Elizabeth. Joseph escorted his spouse to the cousin and came back. Hard it was for him the parting from the one he loved so much and from loneliness he again suffered.
The two young people had offered their purity to God, but soon in Mary, pregnant by the work of the Holy Spirit, was evident the indication of motherhood. Joseph was quite sure about the holiness of his spouse and for him it was dramatic to fail to understand how she could be a mother, since they did not have any sexual contact. He did not think to himself, but to Mary's spiritual greatness, because the beauty of her soul was imposing. Joseph's enormous suffering was dissolved in a dream by God through an angel, so the couple could live happily together, but only for a few months.
Indeed, shortly thereafter there was the big adventure of the journey to Bethlehem. The track was hard, they had a donkey as the only means of locomotion, they had poor food and could not find a place to rest at night. Mary was now at the end of her pregnancy and Joseph was suffering a lot, for he could not give her what he would have liked. With their arrival in Bethlehem, came the terrible anxiety of not being able to find home for his sweet wife, Joseph did not willingly accept the decision to take refuge in a cave. Surely in those moments he felt he was a failure.
The joy for the birth of the Son of God filled the hearts of both parents, but soon they had to flee to Egypt and again, suffering and pain were not missing. Surely Joseph wondered why God, the Messiah, was forced to flee. Why they had to face another long, arduous, uncertain and dangerous journey when Jesus could, at once, make for a safe place? But Joseph, while suffering, went forth facing the desert storm, protecting his loved ones by shielding them with his body.
The years spent in Nazareth could have been peaceful and serene, but soon came the disease, from which Joseph suffered tremendous pain. He had God close to him and he would have asked: "Why you make me suffer? Save me some sufferings". His ordeal lasted eight long years and then his death came up. For Joseph it would have been better to keep on living rather than die because by living he had Jesus and Our Lady near him. When he died, he did not go To Heaven at once but to the dead until Christ went to pick him up and bring him before the Father.
The suffering of this great saint reached its peak under the cross, he suffered to see the One he loved as a son groaning, and also suffered for his spouse who, while showing strength and courage, was torn apart by grief. Before his eyes Joseph had a horrible show and wondered why so much suffering, when he knew that to save the world would have been enough the few drops of blood that Jesus poured the day of his circumcision.