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Monday, March 18, 2019
St. Joseph, First Among the Saints
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In honor of tomorrow's feast of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wish to share an insight I recently learned on the unique position of Saint Joseph amongst the saints. 

Whereas among the saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary is in a category to herself, after her comes St. Joseph as first among the saints. This position is not mere pious devotion but is based on the theological classification of St. Joseph with the word protodulia as Fr Broom explains:
The theologians classify the greatness of those in glory with the following titles: “Latria”, which means adoration that we give to the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “Hyperdulia” given to the Blessed Virgin Mary means the highest veneration. “Dulia”, given to the saints, implies veneration. Finally, Glorious Saint Joseph is rightly given “Protodulia”, meaning that among the saints he is given first place; “Proto” means first!
St. Joseph is ranked even before the Apostles themselves! Fr. Broom continues:
Saint Bernadine of Siena expounds upon the reason for this theological hierarchy. In simple terms, this Franciscan Doctor of the Church asserts that God gives special graces commensurate or corresponding to the specific office or mission given to the individual. 
Husband and wife married sacramentally have the sacramental grace of Matrimony to grow in mutual love for each other as well as to procreate children for the Kingdom of God. Priests, through Holy Orders, can grow daily in sanctity by preaching the Word of God and administering with joy the Sacraments to the People of God. God gives graces corresponding to the state of life! 
Therefore, in the case of Glorious Saint Joseph, God entrusted this greatest of all saints with two sublime missions; one mission even greater than the other. First, St. Joseph God called to be the spouse (husband) of the Queen of the angels and saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary. How sublime!  
However, God the Father entrusted Glorious Saint Joseph with an even more exalted and sublime mission—namely, the Office of being the “Foster Father” of the Son of the living God, Jesus, and the Son of the eternal Father!!!! This is even more sublime, ineffable, beyond the ability of human words to express! 
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