Thoughts for the Feast of St Joseph from Fr Willie Doyle

St Joseph

With great earnestness recommend to His mercy the poor souls who are in their agony. What a dreadful hour, an hour tremendously decisive, is the hour of our death! Surround with your love these souls going to appear before God, and defend them by your prayers.

COMMENT: Today is the feast of St Joseph. We traditionally pray to St Joseph for many things – work, fidelity to one’s vocation, purity, the protection of the Church, even selling a house. But St Joseph is also regarded as the patron saint of a happy death, because tradition tells us that he died with Jesus and Mary at his side – a happy death indeed!

I chose a reflection on death today because today is the anniversary of Fr Doyle’s mother – Christina Doyle died at 7am on this day in 1915. Fr Doyle had just returned from a mission in Glasgow and was with her when she died, and was able to say Mass immediately for her soul. Fr Doyle’s parents are buried in Deansgrange Cemetery, very near Dalkey where they lived. Below is a photo of their grave.

The grave of Fr Dole’s parents. His mother died on this day in 1915.

St Joseph is a powerful patron; many saints were greatly devoted to him. St Teresa of Avila tells us that he always answered her prayers. Blessed Pius IX proclaimed St Joseph as the patron of the Universal Church. We should have recourse to him for the needs of the Church, and of course in particular for Pope Francis whose pontificate was inaugurated one year ago today.

Perhaps readers might also pray to St Joseph for Silverstream Priory in the Diocese of Meath? This Benedictine Monastery was founded to pray for priests, in in particular in reparation for the sins of priests. This was a cause very close to Fr Doyle’s heart, and indeed the monks at Silverstream have a special devotion to Fr Doyle. The monastery has many pressing financial needs. Perhaps readers could pray for them today, or indeed help them in temporal needs? You may read about their urgent appeal here: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/03/an-urgent-appeal/ and pray a special prayer to St Joseph for this intention here: http://vultus.stblogs.org/index.php/2014/03/urgent-appeal-continues/

Also, a reminder that I shall be giving a talk about Fr Doyle tomorrow evening in Lismullin Conference Centre in County Meath at 8pm.