Photo Courtesy: St. Teresa’s Motherhouse
Very Rev. Mario Esposito, O.Carm., Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, offered a Special Mass for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middletown, New York. His homily is posted here for the members of The Mother Angeline Society.
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
We are happy today to offer this Holy Mass in the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on this beautiful memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. With this feast, we usher in May, often referred to as the Month of Mary, as spring continues to warm our hearts and make nature more radiant. This Shrine is dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and she is always honored here. For the Carmelites, every month is Mary’s month and wherever there is Our Lady, there is Our Lord, our Savior and Redeemer, because her true gift to the Church and world is her Son. When we go to Mary, she gives us her Son. When we go to Jesus, as we learned at the foot of the Cross, He gives us His Mother to be our Mother. We stand with the Bishops of the United States and Canada today as they renew the consecration of our countries to Mary, once again imploring Mary’s protection and guidance for our two great nations, and asking her, pleading for her intercession and blessings during this extraordinary time of pandemic. Mary is the Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted and Help of Christians. There is no doubt, in fact, that never has she been known to fail in her maternal protection and intercession.
Can we not also say that where Mary is the communion of Saints is as well, and that no saint was closer to Mary than her beloved spouse, St. Joseph? As the centuries have passed, the Church has become even more conscious of the profound role of St. Joseph in the history of our salvation and how as the true spouse of Mary and foster father of Our Blessed Lord, he was entrusted by God with the most important persons of all time and was the head and the guardian of the Holy Family. The Carmelites from our earliest days have venerated St. Joseph as the Principal Protector of our Order, Mary’s Order, and Carmelites have looked to the example of Saint Joseph as practicing the most sublime of the virtues: purity of mind and body; dedication to the will of God; faithfulness; silence and prayerfulness; love of Jesus and Mary; obedience. He is a model of work, of fatherhood, protector of the family and the Church, lover of God and neighbor. Side by side, Jesus and Joseph worked in Nazareth and, as the gospel tells us, Jesus was never ashamed to be known as a carpenter and the son of a carpenter, a workman. God worked in the act of creating the world. St. Joseph worked at the very beginnings of God’s act of recreating the world in Christ. And now it is our time to work – faithfully and wholeheartedly in whatever duties or labor assigned to us in order to sustain and build up the world. In this, St. Joseph remains a perpetual model.
Our world, our country, our families and our neighbors are all struggling at this time in the midst of the reality of the crisis brought on by Covid-19. As people who believe in the Christ who died and rose for us, we understand that the process of dying and rising, however unpleasant it can be at times, is part of working out our salvation in His Name. We turn to Mary and St. Joseph the leaders of the Holy Family, and ask their holy help and strength. We pray to St. Joseph for all those longing to return to their work, to their jobs, to school and productive labor, and ask his intercession. We pray to Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows and Health of the Sick, for all those who are ill, and all those who care for the sick, aged and needy. In all things, we place our trust in Jesus, the son of Mary and the man not ashamed to be known as the son of Joseph the Worker, and seek His mercy today and every day.
May Venerable Mary Angeline Teresa, O.Carm., Foundress of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm who gave her life in the service of those most vulnerable and most in need, come to the aid of her beloved elderly today, as well as her Sisters and their co-workers in their daily struggle to protect and care for our precious seniors in this time of crisis.