“Thus should he be honored whom the King desires to honor!”
The Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary is on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. This year is also the 61st anniversary of the church approved apparitions of St. Joseph in America in which Sr. Mary Ephrem (1916-2000) saw him being crowned by angels.
“I was favored with a unique and marvelous vision of the glorious St. Joseph…His appearance, though quite youthful…seemed a bit taller than medium height…. I also saw his most pure heart at this time. Moreover, I saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above his head. Standing sideways, facing each other, were two angels, one on the right, the other on the left. Each carried what appeared to be a small pillow in a satin covering, the pillow on the right bearing a gold crown, the one on the left, a gold scepter. The angels were all white, even their faces and hair. It was a beautiful whiteness that reminded me of the stainlessness of heaven. Then I heard these words: ‘Thus should he be honored whom the King desires to honor.’” (March 19, 1958)
Similarly, the great Pharaoh crowned the Old Testament Joseph with a signet ring, jewelry, and special garments because he was the wisest man in all the world for saving the world from famine.
“Then Pharaoh removed the signet ring from his finger, put it on Joseph’s finger, clothed him in garments of fine linen, and placed a gold chain around his neck. He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, with men calling out before him, ‘Bow the knee!’ So he placed him over all the land of Egypt.” (Gen.41:42-43)
Likewise, we crown and honor the New Testament Joseph, for his kingly Davidic lineage (Mt.1:1-16) as St. Peter Julian Eymard remind us,
“Therefore, since Christ was King, of the line of David, He made Saint Joseph to be born of this same royal line. He wanted him to be noble, of earthly nobility. In the veins of St. Joseph, therefore, flows the blood of David and Solomon, and of all the noble kings of Judah. If his dynasty still sat on the throne, St. Joseph would be the heir and would have sat on the throne in his turn.”
A king in his own right and the spouse of the Queen of Heaven. He is the protector of families, intercessor of purity, but most especially the Patron and Protector of the Universal Church a title issued by Pope Pius IX when the church was facing troubled times.
The earliest known unofficial St. Joseph statue crownings occurred in Bogotá, Colombia in 1779, Mexico City in 1788, and Guanajuato, Mexico in 1790 according to Oblates of St. Joseph website.
Officially, popes have approved a total of eighteen pontifical crownings of a St. Joseph statue throughout the world. The first official crowning of a St. Joseph statue was approved by Pope Pius VI on May 15, 1796 for the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph, Kalisz, Poland and the last crowning was on August 24, 1963 by Pope St. Paul VI at the Convent of St. Joseph in Spain.
Pope Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, and Pope St. John XXIII each crowned St. Joseph twice while Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius XII issued three crowning’s of a St. Joseph statue. Pope Leo XIII crowned St. Joseph four times including one in the United States on September 25, 1891 at the National Shrine of Saint Joseph, De Pere, Wisconsin.
For more information on papal crownings of a St. Joseph statue.
At Saint Mary Cathedral in Austin, Texas, St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus statue have been crowned for many years during the mass. Each year two young boys are chosen to process with crowns from the back of the church as music is played. When the boys reach the steps of the sanctuary, the music stops and the priest blesses the crowns of St. Joseph and the Infant Jesus. The music begins again and the boys proceed to crown the statues, and then the mass resumes as normal. This crowning is very similar to the crowning done for a statue or image of Our Lady which is found in the Order of Crowning an Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary issued in 1987 by Pope St. John Paul II.
After mass there is a great celebration (yes, in the middle of Lent since it is a solemnity and even the clergy vestments are white instead of violet) of the St. Joseph’s table at the Bishop’s Hall where people bring all sorts of goodies to savor the palate and break the fast refreshing the soul in these most challenging times!
Finally, like St. Joseph in the vision of Sr. Mary Ephrem, we too, are called this Lent to strive to attain holiness as Paul, John, and Peter challenge us to go after “the Incorruptible Crown,” (1 Cor.9:25), “the Crown of Rejoicing,” (1Thes.2:19), “the Crown of Life,” (Rev. 2:10) “the Crown of Righteousness,” (2 Tim.4:8) and “the Crown of Glory!” (1Pt. 5:4) ST. JOSEPH TERROR OF DEMONS, PRAY FOR US!
This year’s St. Joseph Celebration occurs on Tuesday, March 19,