Students discover newfound devotion to St. Joseph as spiritual father


Photo by: Daniel O’Loughlin

A theology professor enlightened students about the importance of St. Joseph as a spiritual father in a talk in the Pugliese Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 19.

Continuing his Theology Live Series with a talk titled “Meet your spiritual father: St. Joseph,” Mark Miravalle, who holds a doctorate in theology, described Joseph in his role as both a father for the Redeemer of the world and a father to the faithful.

“What St. Joseph was to Jesus is what St. Joseph is to you,” said Miravalle. He explained that Joseph was no less of a father to Jesus simply because he was not his biological father. Instead, Miravalle said that Joseph had more characteristics of God the Father than anyone else; so, Jesus could see his heavenly Father through Joseph.

Miravalle explained that the faithful can go to St. Joseph and ask him for his intercession. Even Pope Francis trusts in St. Joseph’s intercession, said Miravalle, telling the story of Pope Francis stuffing prayer intentions under a statue of St. Joseph. According to Miravalle, Pope Francis said, “What happens when you ask a carpenter to do a good job? He may not have it done exactly when you want, but he perseveres and gets it done right.” Miravalle said that the faithful must be patient with St. Joseph when asking for his intercession.

Miravalle went on to describe four sacramentals used in devotion to St. Joseph: the cord of St. Joseph, which has seven knots representing the seven sorrows and joys of St. Joseph and is used to pray for the virtue of chastity; the oil of St. Joseph; the Litany of St. Joseph; and a consecration to the saint, which a person can do even if he or she already has a consecration to Mary.

Senior Leah Witham was inspired by how Pope Francis showed his devotion to St. Joseph. “The image of having a statue of St. Joseph and putting intentions under there (and) the miracles that can come about … is quite striking. It makes me want to have a St. Joseph statue,” said Witham.