Relics of St. Joseph and St. Patrick at Valley of Our Lady Monastery Print
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Written by By Sr. Mary Regina Anderson, O.Cist., Valley of Our Lady Monastery   
Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

[J]ust as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model. (Redemptoris Custos, 1)

PRAIRIE DU SAC -- On March 19, we celebrate the solemnity of St. Joseph. Although the Gospels leave his life shrouded in silence and mystery, he is nonetheless held out to people of all states in life as a great example and a most powerful intercessor, being named patron of the universal Church.

Entrusted by God the Father with Mary as spouse and Jesus as son, St. Joseph carried out his part in God’s plan with trust and faithfulness. Joseph did not at first know what to do, or how he could be involved in a divine mystery so far beyond him, when he realized that Mary had conceived by the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt. 1:18-20).

As he reflected and prayed, though, he learned that God wanted him to become the husband of Mary and the virginal father of Jesus; to look after them, protect them, and provide their earthly sustenance by the labor of his hands.

He answered this tremendous call unassumingly: because he knew it was God’s will for him, he overcame his fear with love, and took care of Jesus and Mary. Through his nearness to them, Joseph learned to make a deep interior love the source of all his everyday actions.

Model for all in Church

This love for God in communion with Jesus and Mary, lived out faithfully in an ordinary lifestyle, makes him the model for all members of the Church.

As a married man, St. Joseph shows husbands and fathers how to serve and safeguard their families. As a virgin, he teaches those consecrated to celibacy how their self-donation can bear fruit. The guardian of the Holy Family makes evident that living in the presence of Jesus and of His blessed Mother is, for everyone and for all time, the key to holiness.

St. Joseph is not, however, only a model for us to look to and imitate. God chose to embody in this man the fatherly tenderness of His own heart. As a father, St. Joseph is always ready to help every son or daughter who turns to him, confident of his loving concern.

Remembering his title as a craftsman (cf. Mt. 13:55), we should expect him to collaborate with us and take a hands-on approach to our human situations and problems. In this respect, one recalls the great trust that the foundresses of Valley of Our Lady, as well as present members of the community, have placed in St. Joseph to provide for their material needs. The world over, monasteries of poor Religious are to be found who will readily bear witness to his very opportune and practical help.

The litany of this saint calls on him as most just, most chaste, and most faithful; as the pillar of families and the guardian of virgins; as the terror of demons and the protector of Holy Church.

If we face in our day the immeasurable pain of broken families, if we decry the lack of integrity found even in some of our leaders, if we fear a seeming ascendancy of the power of evil, let us not submit to a stale and critical pessimism. Instead, let us turn to God with hope, and let us rely on the example and prayers of St. Joseph. He will carry us through, leading us by the light of his virtue.

Surely the one to whom the child Jesus was submissive, to whose care He entrusted not only Himself and His holy Mother, but also all the members of His Mystical Body, deserves our ongoing confidence.

Veneration on March 17

On Sunday, March 17, at Valley of Our Lady Monastery, the community’s rich collection of relics will once more be available for the veneration of the faithful. (Please note that the relics will not again be offered to the public until the third Sunday of May.)

Included in the collection is a certified second class relic of St. Joseph, a fragment of his mantle. There is also a relic of St. Patrick, the saint of the day.

The public are welcome to join the nuns for Mass at 8 a.m., for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from approximately 2 to 5 p.m., and to visit the monastery chapel throughout the day, praying before the relics so as to honor God in His saints.

Valley of Our Lady Monastery is located at E11096 Yanke Dr., Prairie du Sac, WI 53578-9737.

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