His parents: Parentes ejus. Thus again does the Holy Ghost plainly recognize and indicate Saint Joseph as the adopted father of Jesus. What has he done to merit so signal a share in the work of the world's redemption? It is hinted at in the presentation. Many fancy that rank dispenses from the observance of the ordinary precepts of life, and greatness consists in imagining oneself superior to all rule. Joseph thinks otherwise. Here is a law that concerns not the Holy Trinity, for what purification can she need, who, as Virgin-Mother, sanctifies by her mere presence? What stain can she have contracted in conceiving in her chaste womb and in giving birth to the Holy One : Quod nascetur ex te sanctum, Joseph and Mary know but one law, and on the day appointed they present themselves in the temple to take part in a ceremony which, in the eyes of man, associates Mary with the ordinary mothers of the human race.
Prudence and dignity consists first of all in the simple, regular, and faithful observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, of the rules of our profession, and the duties of our state. Law, rule, such is the expression of God's will concerning us; and all our wisdom and all our virtue consists in conforming our intelligence and will to the Divine wisdom and goodness as manifested in the Law.
Watchword.—Live up to your rule, and you will live to God.
15. Growth of Devotion to Saint Joseph.
In the brief in which Pius IX. raised the Association of the Children of Saint Joseph into an Arch-Confraternity, the Holy Father speaks thus: " There is nothing we desire so much as to see a daily increase of devotion to Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin." A learned and pious religious of the sixteenth century, who, on the testimony of Benedict XIV., has written a most remarkable work on Saint Joseph, in his Somme expresses himself thus with regard to the gifts bestowed on Saint Joseph: " In Eastern countries the Holy Ghost has filled men's hearts with the desire of rendering great honour to Saint Joseph ; and we are sure that this devotion will obtain for us, by the merits and intercession of this glorious Patriarch, the withdrawal of many of the dangers by which the Church is assailed, and for the faithful an abundance of grace."