The VerbumQUO (may1quo.htm)

May 1, 2006
vol 17, no. 108

Go to Joseph!

The VerbumQUO for today as we begin Mary's Month of May is so appropriately "protéctor" which is the Latin noun for the same meaning "protector" and so fitting for the holy and pure protector of the Son of God and the Immaculate Virgin chosen for all time. He is also protector and patron of the universal Church and the Solemnity of Saint Joseph also applies to exemplifying the work ethic expected of man after the sin of Adam in the depiction of Saint Joseph the Worker, protecting virtue and values in this vale of tears.

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: We resume this reflective series which highlights one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we have coined the word "Verbumquo" by contracting quotidianum to quo and running it together as VerbumQUO for this feature series, thus "The Daily Word," as in the sum of the message, the 'quotient', if you will. It is also our hope that in choosing the Latin word with its meaning and etymology more will be attuned to hearing the word read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this glorious time of Pascaltide we can gain a higher appreciation and contemplation on how the Daily Proper of the Holy Mass applies in our lives in alignment with the will of Christ and His Blessed Immaculate Mother and His Mystical Bride, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    The VerbumQUO for today - the first day of May "protéctor" which is the Latin noun for "protector" taken from today's Introit, Collect, Alleluia, and Postcommunion and so fittingly applies to the Solemnity we celebrate today with Saint Joseph the Worker, which His Holiness Pope Pius XII moved from the Third Wednesday after Easter to give it more emphasis on the fixed date of May 1st. In earlier times the feast had replaced the Third Sunday after Easter. When Pius sought to simplify the feasts and eliminate the numerous Octaves after many centuries of additions, he translated the Feast of the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the universal Church to the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Worker.

    There is no stretch in translation for the English word "protector" comes purely from the Latin protéctor - pronounced PRO-TECK-TOR with the emphasis on the accent, the bold in phonetics the same way it is pronounced in English. Let us now see Webster's definition:

    "Protector", noun [From Latin verb pro over, for + legere to cover; thus to cover for, to watch over, to protect. 1. One who protects; a defender; guardian; patron. 2. Something serving to protect; a guard; as a chest protector. 3. English History One having the care of the kingdom during the king's minority; a regent. b [cap.] Short for Lord Protector. protectorship, noun - protectress, noun. protection, noun 1. Act of protecting; state or fact of being protected. 2. A protecting person or thing. 3. A safe-conduct; a passport. protect, verb 1. To cover or shield from injury or destruction; to defend, guard. protective, adjective. Protecting; affording protection. protectively, adverb.

    We can see how these definitions so perfectly describe Saint Joseph, whose name and lineage is derived from the Hebrew Patriarch Joseph, son of Jacob, and to which today's Epistle from Genesis is dedicated and of whom the prophet David was referring to in Psalm 32: 20-21 from today's Introit:
Adjutor, et protector noster est Dominus: in eo laetabitur cor nostrum, et in nomine sancto ejus speravimus, alleluja, alleluja. (Ps. 79: 2) Qui regis Israel, intende : qui deducis, velut ovem, Joseph.
The Lord is our helper and protector : in Him our Heart shall rejoice, and in His holy name we have trusted, alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel : Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep.

    In the Collect for today's Mass, the emphasis is transferred to the second Joseph, the holy spouse of Mary and foster-father of Jesus:
Deus, Qui ineffabile providentia beatum Joseph sanctissimae Genitricis Tuae Sponsum eligere dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus: ut quem protectorem veneramur in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in Caelis.
O God, Who in Thine unspeakable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph for Thy most holy Mother's Spouse : grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who revere him as our protector upon earth, may become worthy to have him for our intercessor in Heaven.

    In today's Alleluia, we have Joseph addressing those he has sworn to protect with the assuring, comforting words that he will ever be our protector:
Alleluja, alleluja. V. De quacumque tribulatione clavaverint ad me, exaudiam eos, et ero protector eorum semper. Alleluja.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. In whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them and be their protector always. Alleluia.
In the second part of the Alleluia, the priest, on our behalf, beseeches Saint Joseph to "ever be safe through thy patronage":
Fac nos innocuam, Joseph, decurrere vitam : sitque tuo semper tutua patrocinio. Alleluja.
Obtain for us, Joseph, grace to lead an innocent life : and may our life ever be shielded by thy patronage. Alleluia.

    Saint Luke refers to Joseph in today's Gospel in the context of Christ's baptism, after Joseph's death, but a confirmation that Joseph had protected well his divine Protege as God the Father affirms. In the Postcommunion we again see the merits of beseeching Joseph to protect us as Patron of the universal Church.
Divini muneris fonte refecti, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster : ut sicut nos facis beati Joseph protectione gaudere : ita ejus meritis et intercessione, Caelestis gloriae facias esse participes.
We who have been refreshed at the fountain of divine blessing, beseech Thee, O Lord our God : that as Thou dost gladden us by the protection of blessed Joseph, so by his merits and intercession Thou wouldst make us partakers of everlasting glory.

    Just as Christ had the protection of Joseph in His early years, and knew that His Blessed Mother would be protected always by Joseph her most chaste spouse, so also Christ bequeathed to us His holy foster-father as everlasting Protector and Patron of the universal Church. There are those who criticize Pope Pius XII for giving prominence to St. Joseph, and yet the venerable scholarly Benedictine Abbot Dom Prosper Gueranger defends this pious defender of the Faith who has been so maligned by Modernists:

        "Devotion to St. Joseph was reserved for these latter times. Though based on the Gospel, it was not to be developed in the early ages of the Church. It is not that the faithful were in any way checked from showing honor to him who had been called to take so important a part in the mystery of the Incarnation; but divine Providence had its hidden reasons for retarding the liturgical homage to be paid, each year, to the Spouse of Mary. As on other occasions, so here also; the East preceded the West in the special cultus of St. Joseph: but in the fifteenth century the whole Latin Church adopted it, and since that time it has gradually gained the affections of the faithful."

    God has a method to His meshing everything together and here it shines through as the Abbot explains:

        The goodness of God and our Redeemer's fidelity to His promises have ever kept pace with the necessities of the world; so that in every age appropriate and special aid has been given to the world for its maintaining the supernatural life. An uninterrupted succession of seasonable grace has been the result of this merciful dispensation, and each generation has had given to it a special motive for confidence in its Redeemer. Dating from the thirteenth century, when as the Church herself assures us, the world began to grow cold (Frigescente mundo Collect for the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis), each epoch has had thrown open to it a new source of graces. First of all came the feast of the most Blessed Sacrament, with its successive developments of Processions, Expositions, Benedictions and the Forty Hours. After this followed the devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus (of which St. Bernardine of Siena was the chief propagator( and that of Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross with its wonderful fruit of compunction. The practice of frequent Communion was revived in the sixteenth century, owing principally to the influence of St. Ignatius and the Society founded by him. In the seventeenth was promulgated the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was firmly established in the following century. In the nineteenth, devotion to the Holy Mother of God made such progress as to form one of the leading supernatural characteristics of the period. The Rosary and Scapular, which had been handed down to us in previous ages, regained their place in the affections of the people; pilgrimages to sanctuaries of the Mother of God, which had been interrupted by the influence of Jansenism and rationalism, were renewed; the Archconfraternity of the Sacred Heart of Mary spread throughout the whole world; numerous miracles were wrought in reward for the fervent faith of individuals; in a word, the nineteenth century witnessed the triumph of the Immaculate Conception - a triumph which had been looked forward to for many previous ages."

    Note the triumph Gueranger refers to should not be confused with the Triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart promised at Fatima. And yet, just as it is through Mary that we grow closer to her divine Son, it is through Mary that we can better appreciate the attributes and powerful intercession of her chaste spouse and protector Joseph as the Abbot points out:

        Now devotion to Mary could never go on increasing as it has done, without bringing with it a fervent devotion to St. Joseph. We cannot separate Mary and Joseph were it only for their having such close connection with the mystery of the Incarnation - Mary, as being the Mother of the Son of God; and Joseph, as being guardian of the Virgin's spotless honor, and Foster-Father of the divine Babe. A special veneration for St. Joseph was the result of increased devotion to Mary. Nor is the reverence for Mary's spouse to be considered only as a just homage paid to his admirable prerogatives: it is, moreover, a fresh and exhaustless source of help to the world, for Joseph has been made our protector by the Son of God Himself. Hearken to the inspired words of the Church's Liturgy from Lauds: 'Thou, O Joseph! art the delight of the blessed, the sure hope of our life, and the pillar of the world.' Extraordinary as is this power, need we be surprised at its being given at its being given to a man like Joseph, whose connections with the Son of God on earth were so far above those of all other men? Jesus deigned to be subject to Joseph here below; now that he is in Heaven, He would glorify the creature to whom He consigned the guardianship of His Own childhood and the honor of His Mother. He has given him a power which is above our calculations. Hence it is, that the Church invites us on this day to have recourse, with unreserved confidence to this all-powerful protector. The world we live in is filled with miseries which would make stronger hearts than ours quake with fear; but let us invoke St. Joseph with faith, and we shall be protected. In all our necessities, whether of soul or body- in all the trials and anxieties we may have to go through - let us have recourse to St. Joseph and we shall not be disappointed. The king of Egypt said to his people when they were suffering from famine: Go to Joseph! (Genesis 12: 55) the King of Heaven says the same to us: the faithful guardian of Mary has greater influence with God than Jacob's son with Pharoah."

    All of the devotions and liturgical excellence described above are under attack today by the Modernists who seek to eliminate the toil that is necessary in this life, and thus, those intent on forging their own ideas strive for ease and convenience at the expense of souls and the vitiation of virtue. Never was there a more crucial time in Church history and we have the key in Joseph. It was from the cradle of the Carmelites that Saint Teresa of Avila fostered devotion of Joseph and showed us in her Life how we too can unlock the portal through which Joseph can fashion for us whatever is best in alliance with the ordaining Will of God. Even in Dom Gueranger's time in the mid-1800's, he recognized the powerful protection Joseph could render in his own prayer he pronounces in volume of The Liturgical Year:

        "Thou, O Mary! art pleased at seeing us honor him whom thou didst so tenderly love. Never are our prayers so welcome to thee as when they are presented to thee by his hands. The union formed by Heaven between thyself and Joseph will last for all eternity; and the unbounded love thou hast for Jesus is an additional motive for thee to love him who was the Foster-Father of thy Child, and the guardian of thy Virginity. O Joseph! we also are the children of Mary, thy Spouse; treat us as such, bless us, watch over us, and receive the prayers which, now more than ever, the Church encourages us to present to thee. Thou art 'the pillar of the world' - columen mundi; thou art one of the foundations whereon it rests; because of thy merits and prayers, our Lord has patience with it, in spite of the iniquities which defile it. How truly may we say of these our times: There is now no saint; truths are decayed from among the children of men! (Psalm 11: 2). How powerful then must not thine intercession be, to avert the indignation of God, and induce him to show us His mercy! Grow not weary of thy labor, O thou universal Protector! The Church of thy Jesus comes before thee on this day, beseeching thee to persevere in thy task of love. See this world of ours, now it is become one great volcano of danger by the boasted liberty granted to sin and heresy! Delay not thine aid, but quickly procure for us what will give us security and peace."

    And the peace referred is that peace that only God can give, not man. That is why Joseph is so vital in these times when he must be so offended that the modernist church which poses as the Church his foster-Son founded dares to besmirch and destroy the very Church Joseph serves as universal Patron. How offended must he be, this chaste and pure giant of virtue, at even the thought that the conciliar church dares to twist and compromise dogma and commandments by even offering the idea that a lesser evil would be justified to conquer a greater evil. What heresy!!! And yet, that is exactly what the modern Modernist Vatican has floated in the possibility of allowing condoms for married couples. We repeat here what the holy Apostle Paul emphasized in Galatians 1: 8-10: "But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I did yet please men, I should not be a servant of Christ." O dear Saint Joseph, stop the madness and return to the holy Church which you watch over a sure Pontiff who will be a true shepherd and rid the world of the paucity of false shepherds who have so defiled your divine Foster-Son and the perpetual Church He founded. Joseph, we call out to thee, we cry out to thee: Protect us in this vale of tears! In these tumultuous times that try men's souls, truly try, we turn to the one who holds the answers: Go to Joseph!

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

    May 1, 2006
    vol 17, no. 108