It's funny: I'm a cradle-Catholic from a fairly Catholic family; we celebrated feasts and the liturgical calendar; we lit candles at Advent and avoided desserts during Lent. But somehow, we never really did much for St. Joseph. Our grammar school was run by Sisters of St. Joseph, so we did have our school/parish festival on St. Joseph's Day ... but honestly, that's all I can remember!
But this year is different. Worrying about the house not selling in Colorado (yep, it's still available if you want it!), worrying about dh worrying about the house, discerning what we should do .... and on and on ... has been a blessing in many ways: I'm praying much more and have really discovered a strong devotion to St. Joseph, the patron of everything and anything.
Often, when you have trouble selling a house,folks will suggest burying a St. Joseph in the front yard. This is not the St. Joseph to whom I've found a devotion, the St. Joseph of superstition and magic.
The St. Joseph to whom I have a new-found devotion is the one that is described by St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
"There are some saints who have the power of protecting in certain specific circumstances; but St. Joseph has been granted the power to help us in everySt. Teresa of Avila is even more specific: "to other saints our Lord has given power to help in one sort of need, but this glorious saint helps us in EVERY need."
kind of need, and to defend all who have recourse to him with pious
How cool is that ... a saint who is second only to our Blessed Mother in closeness to Jesus and thus, God; a saint who wants to help us and only needs to be petitioned!
We've been praying the St. Joseph Novena to petition the good saint for help with our house in Colorado and discerning God's will. One part of the prayers is particularly apropos for us now: obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine will. Wonderful stuff!
I particularly like this image of St. Joseph ... the father working hard while his son sits and chats and learns. When I see this, I think of my own dh gardening or working on the car and the boys sitting and talking with him, learning from him. And learning more than just a skill ... learning how to be an adult and how to love. Georges de La Tour (1593 - 1652) painted this painting titled, St. Joseph the Carpenter.
Here's the St. Joseph Litany we prayed at the end of Mass:
V/ Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
V/ Jesus, hear us. R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.
V/ God, the Father of Heaven, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ God, the Holy Spirit, R/ have mercy on us.
V/ Holy Trinity, One God, R/ have mercy on us.
R/for ff: pray for us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world. R/ have mercy on us.
He made him the lord of his household. R/ And prince over all his possessions.
- boneless-skinless chicken breasts marinated in italian dressing
- garlic-butter breadsticks (that looked like Joseph's staff) -- see recipe below
- salad with Italian dressing
- shell-pasta with butter and garlic
- Fritelle di San Guiseppe -- see recipe below
After dinner, we sat and watched the classic The Dog of Flanders, a great movie with a strong parental character, a "not sure he wants to be a father" paternal figure and a few grumpy men who should NEVER be fathers!
St. Joseph, Protector of the Holy Family, pray for us!
St. Joseph's Staffs (garlic butter breadsticks)
1 tbs yeast
1 1/3 c. Warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
3 tbs Vegetable oil
1 tsp. Salt
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp. honey
Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2 quart bowl. Stir in 1 cup of the flour, the oil, honey and 1 teaspoon salt. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, scraping dough from side of bowl, until soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Stir down dough by beating about 25 strokes. Turn dough onto generously floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour. Divide into 18 equal parts. Roll and shape each part dough into a rope, about 9 inches long, sprinkling with flour if dough is too sticky. Place on greased cookie sheet. When baking, bake until crust is deep golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Store loosely covered.
Garlic-butter: while sticks are still hot, brush with mixture of 1/4cup melted butter, a minced clove of garlic, and 1 tsp dried parsley.
2-1/4 cups milk
1 cup rice (I used brown)
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbls flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbs fruit brandy (optional – I didn’t use)
Grated rind of 1 large orange
1/2 cup golden raisins (original called for just 3 tbls)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (called for pine nuts, but I used chopped pecans; original called for just 3 tbls)
Oil for frying; powdered sugar for dusting fritters
The night before or very early on St. Joseph’s day: bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan. Add the rice, salt, vanilla and sugar. Cover the pan and simmer gently until rice is cooked and the milk absorbed – about 30-45 minutes. Let the rice cool overnight or for several hours.
Mix the cooled rice with the eggs, flour, baking powder, orange rind, raisins and nuts.
Heat oil to 375 for deep-fat frying. Drop the frittellle mixture 1 tbls at a time into the oil. Cook a few at a time, keeping the frittelle separate. Fry till golden.
Drain on a paper towel. Serve hot, sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Both of these recipes are definite keepers -- good thing St. Joseph has another feast in the calendar -- St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st!