Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005 and before that a regular correspondent for the paper. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, Catholic Exchange <i>, and <i>Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in major newspapers. He is the author of Fruits of Fatima — Century of Signs and Wonders. He holds a graduate degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
“Do you love St. Joseph?” asks Father Donald Calloway of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in his new book. “I can tell you with absolute certainty that Jesus and Mary do.”
Once we pick up St. Joseph Gems we will to, whether for the first time or, if we’re already a devotee, with even deeper love for this extraordinary saint, the most powerful after our Blessed Mother.
The subtitle Daily Wisdom on Our Spiritual Father tells us this book follows the same format of Father Calloway’s wonderful Marian Gems: Daily Wisdom on Our Lady. In it he plants 366 gems of sparkling insights about St. Joseph — one gem for each day of the year, plus the extra one for leap years. With this perfect set up, we can look at the entry for whatever calendar day it is, read that Joseph gem chosen for the day, then think about it, savor it, meditate on it, and remember it during the day.
You’ll learn so many surprising insights like this one from St. Francis de Sales: “Nothing will be refused him, neither by Our Lady or by his glorious Son.”
After all, as Father Calloway tells us in his introduction, “St. Joseph is the only human person given the title ‘savior of the Savior.’ St. Joseph is the man truly closest to Christ.” Remember that hasty trip to Egypt to flee the murderous Herod?
Echoing what is to come in the book, Father Calloway also has this to say: “Even in eternity, Jesus perpetually shines his divine face on St. Joseph and responds to his every request and desire.”
In fact, in the introduction this author of such major books as the major Champions of the Rosary and Under the Mantle himself gives quotable gems about St. Joseph. Here are a couple more:
“Along with his virginal bride, the first to bring the Messiah to the nations, St. Joseph is the second greatest person in human history because he, too, shared in the role of bring Jesus to souls.”
“Mary’s feminine heart always felt safe and secure in the strength, holiness, and calmness of her beloved St. Joseph.”
Father Calloway shows and proves with a very enlightening chronology why he believes “within the last century and a half, Heaven has clearly called us to increase our knowledge of and devotion to St. Joseph.”
Remember, he appeared with Jesus and Mary in the last Fatima apparition on Oct. 13, 1917.
Here, Father Calloway continues answering this call with this magnificent collection of the most gleaming of gems about St. Joseph offered by saints past and present, from Sts. Augustine and Alphonsus Ligouri, to Francis de Sales and Teresa of Avila, through modern Joseph Marello and Andre Bessette.
To whet your spiritual appetite these are just a random handful of the flawless St. Joseph Gems sparkling throughout the pages of this book.
“The Almighty has concentrated in St. Joseph, as in a Sun of unrivalled lustre, the combined light and splendor of all the other saints.” — St. Gregory of Naziansen
“As he himself [Jesus] was subject to St. Joseph while on earth, recognizing in him the authority of foster father and guardian, so now in heaven he is pleased to grant all his requests.” — St. Teresa of Avila
“We wonder why the Gospel makes so little mention of St. Joseph. But did it not say everything when it taught us that he was the husband of Mary?” — Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
“God gave him [St. Joseph] to Mary as companion of her purity. For that reason he had to surpass all the saints, and even the angels and cherubim.” — St. Peter Julian Eymard
“There are many saints to whom God has given the power to assist us in the necessities of life, but the power given to St. Joseph is unlimited: It extends to all our needs, and all those who invoke him with confidence are sure to be heard.” — St. Thomas Aquinas
“Jesus and Mary themselves obey and offer homage to Joseph, for they reverence what the hand of God has established in him, namely, the authority of spouse and the authority of father.” — Pope Pius XI
“I do not know how one can meditate on the care which the Blessed Virgin took of the Divine Child, without thinking of St. Joseph for the care he likewise took of both the mother and the Child.” — St. Teresa of Avila
This easy-to-read and use book should find a handy spot on our desk or wherever we’ll readily use it day by day. It will surely enrich our love for St. Joseph and bring him the veneration and acclaim he richly deserves. With each new gem on St. Joseph we gather from this wonderful storehouse, our treasure increases. At the same time, our treasure grows in a second way. Father Calloway reminds us that St. Joseph is our “spiritual father” who “desires to lead us to Jesus, Mary, and the Church, and growth in virtue.”
Reading one gem per day as it follows the calendar year, from St. Joseph Gems we can surely reap other major effects. First, it will inspire us to continue learning about St. Joseph and developing a great devotion to him. (The book includes the Litany to St. Joseph too.)
Second, since this is the third of Father Calloway’s trinity or triumvirate of “Gems” books after Marian Gems and Rosary Gems, we should find inspiration enough to get the other two. In just a minute of reading a day, what a great trio of treasures will continue to fill our minds, hearts and souls.
Let’s take that directive given in the Old Testament and brought to fullness and fulfillment in the New — Ite ad Joseph — Go to Joseph. Now Ite ad St. Joseph Gems!