Saint Joseph Page
Added February, 2013

Saint Joseph, Father and Model
Taken from MARY IN HER SCAPULAR PROMISE by John Haffert
with Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, 1942

A TRUE parent begets children, nourishes them, clothes them, educates them, and gives them their identity in society by giving them a family name. Mary has done all these things to show how really She is a mother to those whom She has adopted by Her Scapular contract. "The Most Glorious Virgin Mary, who by virtue of the Holy Spirit brought forth Jesus Christ, is the same Virgin who produced the family of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel" (Pope Sixtus IV). [l] She then nourished this family; "She brought forth the Order of Carmel and nourished it at Her breasts," says Gregory XIII. [2] And She clothed it in a garment of Salvation, saying: "Whosoever dies clothed in this shall not suffer the fires of Hell." She then gave it Her name, on account of which five successive Popes have indulgenced the title of Her family so that by designating the Carmelites or their confreres as "Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel," one might gain thirteen years and thirteen quarantines indulgence! And finally, as the reader has just seen, Mary teaches Her Scapular children. Saint John of the Cross said: "I wish to practice with fervor all the virtues of Mary which this Holy Habit signifies," and not only does Our Lady's Habit signify Her virtues but, as we have also seen, She actively inculcates them in its wearers.

Now, when either husband or wife adopts children, as Mary has adopted us by Her Scapular contract, those children are naturally also those of the spouse. Hence, Saint Joseph is especially the father of the Scapular family. There was never a marital union more purely intense than that which was divinely contracted by Providence between Mary and Joseph. It was a union of two hearts for the greatest work of all time, intensified by a common love for a Divine Infant, Our Salvation. Hence, that children adopted by Mary in an assurance of salvation should become the special children of Saint Joseph is even more certain than that adopted children in general should become the children of the foster father as well as of the mother.

We are not surprised, therefore, to find history showing the Carmelite Order to be the originator of the public cult of Saint Joseph in the Church. [3] Nor are we surprised that the Order of Carmel seems to be the Order of Saint Joseph as it is the Order of the Blessed Virgin. It seems that the Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, was merely extended to the Universal Church from where it already existed in the Order of Carmel. As the Carmelites erected the first chapel on earth to the Blessed Virgin, so the first church in Europe dedicated to Saint Joseph was erected to his honor by them. "The Carmelites brought the public cult of Saint Joseph from the Orient when they emigrated to the West," was the conclusion of that great papal savant, Benedict XIV, "and that is the opinion commonly held by all learned men." [4] Being the special family of Mary and hence of Saint Joseph, Divine Providence has willed that the present devotion to Saint Joseph in the Church should come to it through Carmel. And that the present world-wide devotion to him did arise from Mary's family is true if for no other reason than that, as Father Faber says, "the great Patriarch is endebted especially to Saint Teresa for his glory on earth." [5]

Indeed, being special children of Mary the Scapular-wearers are all special children of Saint Joseph, Her spouse. Even though the Mother came alone to adopt special children from the orphanage of the world, Saint Joseph took part by his hidden union with Her and by his own deep desire to have intimate children from the legion of the redeemed.

Of all the benefits that flow from the Scapular, this benefit of being the special children of Saint Joseph is one of the greatest. After an assurance of Mary's presence in life, at death and after death, what could be more desirable than the continual love and special protection of the greatest Saint in Heaven? Moreover, during those years at Nazareth Jesus filled the heart of Saint Joseph with a more tender love than has ever been felt by any created father before or since, "not only that Joseph might love Him as a Son," as Father Huguet says, "but that he might love all men as his sons, for as we are all the children of Mary so also is Joseph our father". [6] Hence, here is another fathomless benefit which Mary confers upon us in being Our Mother in a special way: She thereby renders us the special children of Her spouse, the most loving of fathers. "And after devotion to Our Blessed Lord and His Immaculate Mother, there is nothing more pleasing to God or more beneficial to our souls than devotion to the holy Patriarch, Saint Joseph." [7] Our Lady seems to indicate that it was Her express intention to make us special children of Saint Joseph when She contracted the Scapular alliance. Not only were the Carmelites the special envoys of devotion to Saint Joseph, but Our Lady actually expressed Her desire to have them consecrated to him.

When Saint Teresa founded the first monastery of a reformed Carmel, Our Lord said: "I wish it to be dedicated under the name of Saint Joseph. This Saint will be your guard at one of the doors, the Blessed Virgin at the other, while I shall be in your midst." [8] At another time Saint Teresa found herself in the church of the Dominican Fathers and she felt someone place a beautiful white cloak upon her shoulders. For a few moments she did not see who placed it there, but very soon she saw "the Blessed Virgin and Her holy spouse, Saint Joseph. The Saint felt a great joy within her heart. Mary spoke, and while Saint Teresa listened to that heavenly voice, she thought that she pressed Our Lady's hand in her own. "I am so pleased that you have consecrated yourself to Saint Joseph," Our Lady told Carmel's daughter, "that you may ask anything for your convent with perfect certainty that you shall receive it." The two holy spouses then placed a precious stone of great value in Saint Teresa's hands, and left the saint inundated with the purest joy and the most ardent desire to be consumed entirely with the violence of Divine love. [9]

If Joseph was so close to Mary on that journey to Bethlehem; at the birth of the Saviour in a cattle-shelter; on their flight to Egypt; at the Presentation, the Offertory of the Bloody Sacrifice of Calvary; during the three-days loss, and at the finding of Jesus in the Temple; when the Saviour of the world went back to Nazareth "And was subject to them"; then can we possibly believe that he was not with Her, in spirit, when She came down from the heights of Heaven to give us a Sign of salvation?

And not only does it seem that Mary and Joseph made the Scapular Promise, but also that Mary and Joseph keep it. Under no other title is Our Lady so like Saint Joseph as under the title, "Our Lady of the Scapular." In no other way has Mary made us so like Saint Joseph, as by the Scapular.

Saint Joseph is the "Patron of a Happy Death." And by the Scapular, are we not assured of a peaceful death? The statue of the Scapular Queen is very frequently seen in the cemeteries of Latin countries.

But not only has Mary made Herself like Saint Joseph, the Patron of a Happy Death, but in making a promise of salvation and extending the promise to Purgatory, Our Lady goes as far as possible to make us like our foster father, Her spouse, who had the great joy of dying in the arms of Jesus and Mary. "Preserver of Virgins!" the Church salutes Saint Joseph. And while a Saint declares there would be no hell were there no sixth commandment, the Scapular is its wearer's assurance that there will be no Hell for him if he perseveringly wears it. Hence the Scapular has almost come to be known as a sign of chastity. Was that not the one virtue Our Lady specified in making the conditions for the gaining of the Sabbatine Privilege?

Saint Joseph is the Patron of the Universal Church. Pope Pius X reasoned that he must be the special protector of the Family of the Church now, even as he was appointed by God to be the protector of the Family at Nazareth. But what does Mary do with the Scapular but render Herself, and Saint Joseph, particularly our protectors and our patrons, to the extent that we cannot be lost? By the Scapular, which constitutes a true devotion to his most pure spouse, St. Joseph exercises this patronage in a very special way.

A certain Carmelite used fervently to kiss his Scapular on passing a statue of Saint Joseph, and each time he felt the sweetness of spiritual consolation and the satisfactory peace of soul that accompanies a fitting spiritual duty. One day he decided to analyze just why he always kissed his Scapular to honor Saint Joseph, and with such profit. It appeared to him immediately that since by the Scapular he was a special child of Mary, that devotion also made him the special child of Saint Joseph. Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the Mother of all and our special Mother, having adopted us by the Scapular, "and as we are all children of this august Virgin, we may expect to be protected by Her most holy spouse." [10]

The Mother of God and the foster father of God have adopted special children. These children are clothed, nourished, named and educated in heavenly virtue, in such a glorious way that their lineage is unmistakable. They are a family of predestined ones. Anyone may join them and enjoy the special love of those parents whom God moulded to the greatest possible perfection. [11] Such is the significance of Mary and Joseph in the Scapular.

But Mary and Joseph have not adopted special children by the Scapular Promise simply that these children may increase the number of their devotees in the Church. Their reasons for the establishment of that vast family --- united by a perfect, wordless devotion --- are deep and, in their fulness, almost unsoundable. But of one reason we can be certain. They have wrought this work of centuries, from days of prophecy down to the present day, because they wish to establish the Reign of their Infant God, the Eucharistic King. That reign is to come about through Mary. Since Jesus dwells here on earth in our tabernacles, He can come to reign in the manner most pleasing to Him if Mary's children imitate Saint Joseph and establish the reign of the Sacred Heart in their hearts, by uniting themselves to Mary.

From Saint Joseph's point of view, the Scapular Confraternity is a great family which he is to protect and for which he is spiritually to provide. From Mary's point of view, it is a legion of hearts wherein She wills to bring forth the King of Kings by making them, like Saint Joseph, one with Her; She clothes them in a wedding garment of Salvation, as it were, espousing them as once She was espoused to Joseph, that they may be like him. And from Our Lord's point of view, the Promise of Salvation is an assurance of His Precious Blood being infallibly applied to us by Her into whose hands He has willed to entrust It, and through whom He desires to come to us, so that we, in imitation of Saint Joseph, should take the same way to Him.

For our sanctification through the Scapular, therefore, there is indeed much to consider in the exclamation of the devout Gerson: "O beautiful, amiable, and adorable Trinity: Jesus, Mary and Joseph! United by such bonds of love and charity, you are truly worthy of the love and adoration of the children of God !" What more could the ordinary man aspire to but a trinity of his heart with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, like Saint Joseph? And yet it is just to such a glory that Mary, in making the Scapular alliance, invites us. She gives us Herself, Joseph as a model and foster father, and all but to unite us to Jesus. Seeing our ideal realized in the Holy Family we cannot but exclaim: "Great Saint Joseph! fill me with the virtues that will unite me to the Immaculate Heart of Mary whose garment of espousals I wear, that through Her I may be holy and immaculate in the sight of God! Can so loving a father refuse this to his chosen child?"

But why should Mary and Joseph work together?

What particular value is hidden in the fact that the Garment of Salvation which Our Lady gave to Saint Simon, and which constitutes the most perfect devotion to Her, so insistently recalls to us the meaning of the Holy Family?
The family is the foundation of society. As no chain is stronger than its links, society is no stronger than the permanent unity of the families of which it is composed. Every irreligious force in the world that seeks to destroy society directs its attacks against the Christian home.

Our present society, with its high degree of civilization, is the result of the value of the family having been proclaimed at Nazareth. Before Nazareth, the family was almost universally barbaric: woman was a slave, and the life of the child was at the disposition of the father. As a result, society was barbaric. However, God --- obedient to a human father and a human mother at Nazareth --- changed the status of woman and raised the family to its proper place of glory. The moral conquests of the Church which then rose out of Nazareth were conquests for a firm family and they brought forth a strong society.

Today, the Christian family totters. Thousands of divorces rend the bonds of matrimony and defile the sacredness of the home. Many children find themselves bewildered by having parents other than those who begot them, or, as in Russia, without parents. In the countries where the Christian family has actually ceased to exist, Christian society has disintegrated. Day by day, in other countries, court separations wreak havoc upon the family. These are advances of Satan to a world revolution...

"Back to Nazareth" is, and must be, our cry. Where God Himself --- under Mary and Joseph --- set an example to the world, we can acquire the force to come forth over the entire world to defend our Christian families with the arms of humility, prayer, chastity and fidelity. God will render us victorious.

However, how can we all return to Nazareth? How can we all enter into the mysteries of the Holy Family and bathe ourselves in the sweet presence of Mary, who works there with Saint Joseph to give us Salvation?

We carry the lessons of the Holy Family, and Its living strength, in the Scapular.

Since by the Scapular both husband and wife are united to Mary and Joseph, the father of the family is drawn to chaste union with the mother, to fidelity and to a love more lasting than life itself. The mother is drawn to return that love in the thousand little ways to which only a woman's heart contains the secret keys. From this follows a permanent union in the family whose core of love will be a staff with which the children may learn to walk in the spirit of Christ.

Entering into the Scapular devotion by imitating the humble carpenter in his union with Mary, we can achieve not only the personal perfection described in the last chapter, but we can perfect society. Thus may we effectively work to establish a universal reign of peace, a reign of the Sacred Heart. "If we are to believe the revelations of the Saints," says Father Faber, "God is pressing for a deeper, quite another devotion to His holy Mother." [12] And since this "quite another devotion to Mary" is but that modelled by Saint Joseph [13] and realized in the Holy Family, it is no wonder that the Church is beginning, the world over, to resound the cry of Scripture: "Ite ad Joseph!" "Go to Joseph!" No wonder, too, Mary and Joseph have a Scapular Family.
Our Lady said to Saint Cyril: "It is the will of my Divine Son, and mine also, that the family of Carmel be a light not to Syria and Palestine alone; its rays must illumine the whole world!" [14] And at Saint Cyril's word the old staff was planted here in the West where Mary, by the Scapular, became its Flower. It had borne with it the spirit of Nazareth, a spirit it had long contemplated from its favored height above the plain of Esdraelon, facing Tabor. And just a few years after Our Lady gave the Scapular, the Holy House was miraculously transported from its place at the foot of a Carmel emptied of its Carmelites. It also was planted in the West to be again placed in Carmelite hands. [15] It seems as though it followed the Family of Mary to confirm the Nazarene spirit that reigned in its members, bearing to the West a reminder of a Man-God's simple life of obedience to Mary and Joseph.

Today, the members of that family are legion; millions have clothed themselves in Mary's Scapular. Should they not practice the lessons of that Trinity, the Holy Family? Should they not leaven the settling paste of a society from which Satan would feign filter its only elevating force, the sanctity of the family? The Scapular is not only a symbol of the Josephine formula --- "To Jesus through Mary" --- but it is a symbol, too, of the humble magnificence of a Nazareth where the world was conquered without a word. The silent homage, confidence and love (faith, hope and charity) of the Scapular devotion are but the foundations of the deeper value: the complete gift of ourselves to Mary for Jesus. And when the whole Scapular Confraternity makes this consecration, will not Jesus have been born a second time, through the Blessed Virgin aided by Saint Joseph?

After Joseph had learned that his spouse bore the Son of the Eternal God, how he must have sought Mary's company and longed to talk with Her about Jesus, about how they would teach the Son of God to walk, embrace Him, how they would care for Him. These must have been moments of great, great joy as well as of love and understanding for Mary and Joseph.

Today, when the Son of God is being born again, born in the hearts of His redeemed, can we believe that Joseph is not discussing, in Heaven, "the coming of Jesus a second time through Her?" Is it not also Joseph's work, Joseph's task? Most certainly! Joseph stands as the model for the modern man: in poverty, in industry, in temperance, in union with Mary. And not only is he a model, but he actually engenders in us these virtues which are so hard to discover in the rush of modern "civilization". It was at the so-called Reformation, started by Luther, that our present troubles originated in defection from the Church. And when Our Lord then appeared to the great Saint Teresa and said, "My daughter, the ruse of the demon is to remove from the defectors all that would awake in them the love of God and more than ever My faithful ones must follow the direct opposite way," Saint Teresa says: "I suddenly understood how much I was obliged to honor the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph!" [16] And when another of the most glorious Saints of Our Lady of the Scapular, Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, was given to see the glory of Saint Joseph in an ecstasy, she cried out: "Joseph, united as he is to Jesus and Mary, is like a bright shining star that protects those souls who fight the battle of life under Mary's standard!" [17]

Before such manifestations of Saint Joseph as those at Montreal and of such wonders of Mary as those of Lourdes, all of which are witnesses of an unprecedented universalization of devotion to the Immaculate Conception and to Her spouse, it would seem that it has taken twenty centuries for men to understand the lessons of Nazareth. Should we not praise God if the devotion to Jesus through Mary, as modelled by Saint Joseph, has been learned by the world even in its old age? It is to be hoped that the whole world will soon discover that both Mary and Joseph are hidden in a humble Marian garment
worn by millions. That Sign of Salvation, a stumbling block to all the vast armies of Hell, seems to cry out an assurance to the saintly Pius IX who exclaimed --- half in wonder, half in awe --- "If Joseph and Mary regain the place they should never have lost, the world will again be saved!" [18]

"If Joseph is the father of those of whom Mary is the Mother, he is necessarily the special father of those who wear the Scapular." [19]

"As all that belongs to a woman belongs also to her husband, we may believe that Joseph may bestow as he chooses the rich treasures of Grace which God has confided to Mary, his chaste spouse." [20]
"There are three things that God cannot make greater than He has made them: the Humanity of Our Lord, the glory of the elect, and the incomparable Mother of God, of whom it is said that God can make no Mother greater than the Mother of God. You may add a fourth in honor of Saint Joseph. God cannot make a greater father than the father of God." [21]

"Mary directed Joseph. She enlightened him and animated him by Her example. Docile and attentive to the lessons given by his immaculate spouse, he learned to see things as She saw them, to despise what She despised, to love what She loved, to act as She acted. This was his perfection." [22]

"Happy is the soul who can say LIKE SAINT JOSEPH that Mary lives in her, and that she lives in Mary! For she has Mary constantly before her eyes, she studies Her virtues, and so becomes more and more like her divine model, more and more united to God"! [23]
"Two Carmelite religious, on leaving their monastery one day, met a venerable old man advancing toward them. He placed himself between them, and asked whence they came. The elder of the two replied that they were Carmelites. 'Father,' then asked the stranger, 'why do you Carmelites have such great devotion to Saint Joseph?' The religious gave several reasons, chiefly stating that Saint Teresa had had that devotion and instilled it in her followers. 'Look at me,' said the stranger when the priest had finished speaking, 'and have the same devotion to Saint Joseph as did Saint Teresa: whatever you ask of him, you shall obtain: Saying which, he disappeared." [24] ---- Chronicles of Carmel

"The Church, which at first consisted of the Holy Family, was in the beginning protected, guided and directed by Saint Joseph. Thus, is it not right that the guardian of the early days of Jesus and Christianity should be our protector in these latter days of the Church?" [25]


1. Dum Attenta, Nov. 28th, 1476, B. I. 428.
2. Ut Laudes, Sept. 18th, 1577.
3. R. P. Leon de St. Joachim, Le Culte de St. Joseph et [.'Ordre du Carmel, Gand. 1902.219 pgs.
4. De Serv. Dei Beatif., Lib. II, p. IV, xx, n. 18.
5. Cf. Le Culte de S. J. et L'Ord. du Carm., pg. 75.
6. R. P. Huguet, The Power of St. Joseph: 21st Med.
7. R. P. Huguet, op. cit., pg. 1.
8. Life, xxxiii; Bonix I, pg. 454.
9. Foundations, ch. xxxiii.
10. See ref. 6 above.
11. According to St. Thomas: see ref. 21.
12. "Devotion to Mary is not the prominent characteristic of our religion which it ought to be. It has no faith in itself. Hence it is that Jesus is not loved, that heretics are not converted, that the Church is not exalted; that souls, which might be saints, wither and dwindle; that the Sacraments are not rightly frequented, or souls enthusiastically evangelised. Jesus is obscured because Mary is kept in the background. Thousands of souls perish because Mary is withheld from them. It is the miserable unw,orthy shadow which we call our devotion to the Blessed Virgin that is the cause of all these evils and omissions and declines. Yet, if we are to believe the revelations of the saints, God is pressing for a greater, a wider, a stronger, quite another devotion to His Blessed Mother." (Preface to his translation of Bl. Grig. De Montfort's "La Vraie Devotion": London, 1904.)
13. Naturally Fr. Faber referred to the revelatory devotion preached by Grignion de Montfort, i. e., the consecration of oneself to Mary in order to be united to Her and thus to find Jesus.
14. Cf. Apologia Carmelitana, p. 281: Ita referunt Guillelm. Sanc. de multicit. Ord. c. 3.; Arnold, cap. 5; Paleonyd. Lib. 3, cap. 4; Thomas de Jesu, lib. 2 de frat. Carmeli, cap. 11.
15. R. P. Phillips, Loretto and the Holy House (London, 1917), pp. 110-116. N. B.: Blessed Baptist of Mantua, on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1489, witnessed the following marvel in the Holy House: "I will not pass over a thing which I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears. It happened that a French lady of some means and gently birth named Antonia, who had long been possessed by several evil spirits, was brought into the holy place that she might be delivered. Whilst a priest named Stephen, an exemplary man, was reading over her the usual exorcisms, one of the demons, who gave himself the name of Arctus, and who boasted that he had been the instigator of the massacre of all the Innocents, being asked whether this had been so indeed but that he owned it against his will, admitted, to his confusion, that he was compelled by Mary to confess the truth. He moreover pointed to the places (in the Holy House) where Gabriel, and where Mary, had each of them been. Being further adjured to say who had had charge of the place itself when it was in Nazareth, after repeated exorcisms he at length unwillingly replied that the ancient Carmelites had had the charge of it."
16. Letters, Ed. P. Gregoire, III, rel. ix, pg. 402.
17. Cf. Huguet, op. cit., Med. 25, pg. 130.
18. Ibidem, Med. 30.
19. R. P. Joseph Andres, S. J., Decor Carmeli, I, Decor xiv, n.40.
20. The Power of Saint Joseph: R. P. Huguet; 20me Med.
21. Cf. Ibidem, 10me Med.
22. Ibidem, 16me 'Med.
23. Ibidem, 4me Med.
24. Les Chroniques du Carmel: II, pg. 210.
25. Op. cit., Introduction.