Have you ever wondered how it feels like, at the end of your journey here on earth to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary? Such was the awesome and glorious case of St. Joseph – a happy death. Tradition holds that St. Joseph died before Jesus began His public ministry. This belief is based on two points: First, he never appeared during Jesus’ public ministry while Mary did, like at the wedding feast at Cana and other occasions. Secondly, from the cross, Jesus entrusted the care of His mother to St. John the apostle, indicating she was a widow with no other children to care for her (an affirmation of Mary’s perpetual virginity).
Thus, having Christ as his Son and Mary as his wife in the home at Nazareth, tradition holds that Joseph died a holy death in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Little wonder the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of him as the patron of a happy death and urges us to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph so that he could pray for us at the hour of our death. To buttress this, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC #1014), states: “The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the ancient litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: ‘From sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord’; to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us ‘at the hour of our death’ in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.”
Dear friends in Christ, there is one thing we can rely on, and it is a guaranteed holy death based on an ardent devotion to St. Joseph and making efforts to imitate his virtues – this is a sure way of dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary, like St. Joseph.
Prayer: Lord God, you rewarded St. Joseph with a holy death because of his ardent love and desire in following the ways of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that we too, imitating the virtues of St. Joseph, we may be graced with the presence of Jesus and Mary at the hour of our death. Amen
© Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
Paroquia Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Vila Sabrina, São Paulo, Brazil
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