The Feast of St. Joseph. Not once but twice

On March 19th 2023 at the Lokia Residence in Three Rivers, the Daughters of Jesus and the Associates honor St Joseph, a first time, in a vibrant celebration prepared by a team of Associates.

Some excerpts from an apostolic letter of Pope Francis echoed the texts of the word of God. The Pope presented us with three invitations that were addressed to St. Joseph.

First invitation

Before living with Joseph, Mary was expecting a child through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In a first dream, the angel said to Joseph:  “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife.”Joseph welcomed Mary without any restrictions. He listened to the angel.  In our world of violence, Joseph seems to us as a respectful and gentle man. He chose charity rather than the law and in so doing he respected Mary’s dignity.

Prayer

Joseph, make us attentive to God’s manifestations and capable of welcoming the unforeseen events of our lives. Amen.

Second invitation

At the time of Governor Quirinius, Caesar Augustus ordered a census of all the earth. Joseph obeyed human laws. He left Nazareth and went to Bethlehem to be registered along with Mary, his wife who was with child. Mary gave birth to her firstborn and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.

Prayer

Joseph, you the just man, give us your gentleness so that those who approach us may find comfort and peace.

Third invitation

The angel said to Joseph: “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt. After Herod’s death, Joseph, in answer to God’s will, returned to the land of Israel. Finally, another dream advised him to live in Nazareth.

Reflection

Joseph, in the silence of the night, listened to the word of God that advised him, by the voice of an angel, what he had to do. Joseph experienced the same persecution as so many of our brothers and sisters in the faith …. threatened with death and deportation. Only the Lord can give us the strength to welcome life as it is.

With Joseph’s outlook, let us observe all those refugees who have to leave their country, their city, their village because of war, natural disasters and conflicts of all kinds. The Lord can make flowers sprout in rocky soil.

Prayer

Joseph, you listen to all our requests, you hear all our distress, you who suffered and toiled without complaining or getting upset. You watched over Mary, your beloved. Keep guard over the Church, your Son’s spouse … this Church of which we are a part. Teach us to be gentle and humble. Amen.

Gratitude

This celebration came to an end with many spontaneous ‘thank you’(s) that sprang from our hearts like a beautiful bouquet of flowers. We then sang our favorite hymn to St. Joseph of Kermaria. Extend your hand over us and bless your children !

Second part of the celebration

March 19, being a Sunday in Lent, liturgically the feast of St Joseph is celebrated on March 20th. So, the following day a solemn Mass assembled us to celebrate Saint Joseph with grateful hearts. With song, we honored him as the patron saint of the Universal Church and as the patron of the Congregation of the Daughters of Jesus. Our musician, Mrs. Suzanne Bellemare interpreted several hymns to St Joseph. She played a medley at the beginning of Mass and during Holy Communion for the sheer joy that filled our hearts. Any resident of Lokia who wished to do so, freely wrote his or her prayer intentions to St Joseph. All these petitions were deposited at the foot of the statue of this great Saint.

Thank you Joseph for your boundless faith !

Sr. Angèle Lépine, fj

Three-Rivers Canada

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