By Leah Johanni
The Year of St Joseph calls for an ever deepening devotion, especially for women.
In this year dedicated to St. Joseph, what better time to focus on ever deepening our devotion to him than now. There are a plethora of articles and countless stories of the impact a devotion to St, Joseph has had on increasing masculinity for men. Yes! Men need to go to St. Joseph to grow in masculine virtue and to learn to be guardians of women’s hearts in the world. But in this article I especially want to draw attention to the fact that a devotion to St. Joseph is of utmost importance for women as well.
We can look around at our world today and see that there has been an ever-increasing degradation of true womanhood and femininity. The lack of appreciation for the feminine virtues and the oversexualization of everything in our pornified culture has impacted the mindset of girls and women to believe that their worth is found in matching the strengths of men in their masculinity and in competing with the sexual fantasies that are portrayed in everything, from advertising to all aspects of entertainment, and sadly, the increased use of pornography and sexual exploitation.
Therefore, there is a need and a call especially now to fight against this culture that is seeking to destroy men and women at the core of their sexual identity. And this call is not only for men, but so too for women. Dare I say - ESPECIALLY for women!
Venerable Fulton Sheen once said:
“To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”
Wow! We as women have a great role to play in digging deep into our feminine identity so we can live out truly feminine virtues, and in doing so, continue to challenge men to strive for greater masculinity. In this battle, who better to turn to than St. Joseph!
How can we as women find direction on how to live out our feminine identity from St. Joseph?
When we look to St. Joseph and his loving guardianship over the Virgin Mary and the Holy Family, we are drawn to see the standards for womanhood in Our Blessed Mother and the high level of dignity that should be acknowledged and respected in each woman. His devotion to protecting the purity, femininity, and dignity of Mary, empowering her to blossom underneath his watchful care, is exactly why we as women need to surrender our hearts to his guardianship as well. Under his protective cloak and by his gentle guiding hand, we can grow in our own identity as women.
St. Joseph is a father for us, a guardian for our hearts, a protector from the onslaughts of the world when we are seeking refuge, strength, and a defender. Of course, we have God the Father and Jesus Christ, who we should always turn to, for strength and growth in virtue. But even Christ went to his father on earth St. Joseph for protection as a child and guidance in his own maturing into manhood. In addition, the young Virgin Mother, Mary, sought solace in the arms and heart of St. Joseph, entrusting her every care to his loving protection and guidance. So, we too, as women need to renew our efforts in consecrating our hearts to St. Joseph, to trust in him, to put our woes in his hands, to beg his guidance in each step of our journey in order to blossom in our femininity as he allowed and guided Mary in her journey as well. Most especially, in battling the impurities of the world, his humble and pure heart can help us to break through those attachments and renew us. Pray to St Joseph to break free from the bondage of the world's distorted view of women and men and the oversexualization of everything in our culture and to see the true beauty in the unique identity in yourself and in those you interact with. Look to St. Joseph and his relationship with his Beloved Spouse to see how men and women are supposed to interact and truly care for one another in a pure and holy way.
There is much confusion in the world today about the difference between masculinity and femininity and what that really means. If we look back to the beginning of creation, we see that God created man and woman both equal in dignity, but with such a uniqueness between their masculine and feminine identities. In God’s divine plan, He created man and woman so that together their unique qualities would complement each other beautifully. The woman’s internal and receptive nature, as the heart of any home and relationship, is complemented by the protective guardianship of the man, as we see so clearly in St. Joseph and Mother Mary’s relationship. I would further encourage you if you are desiring a good and holy spouse, to go to St Joseph and offer prayers for your future husband, or for your current boyfriend and seek his intercession to protect and guard your heart and your future spouses’ heart to remain pure and steadfast and to unite in a holy unity.
When you let St. Joseph be the Guardian of your Heart and trust in his loving, guiding hand in your life, you will see countless blessings in your life.
So to all women I challenge you, this year especially, Go to Joseph – Ite Ad Joseph!
A few recommendations you could try to integrate into your life this year to start or increase your devotion to St. Joseph:
- Consecrate yourself to St Joseph – here is the link to Fr. Calloway’s Consecration to St. Joseph - https://www.consecrationtostjoseph.org/
- Each day entrust your heart to the Guardianship of St. Joseph
- Research and read from other women Saints about their devotion to St. Joseph. To name a few: St. Teresa of Avila, Ven. Margaret of the Holy Sacrament, St. Faustina Kowalska.
- Challenge another friend, either man or woman, to deepen their devotion to St. Joseph this year as well!
Leah Johanni is a trained Freedom Coach with Freedom Coaching. Learn more at freedom-coaching.net