St Joseph: the patron saint of fathering

St Joseph: the patron saint of fathering

Consecration to St Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father,

by Donald H. Calloway MIC

(Marian Press, £13.60)


This is a book promoting devotion to St Joseph, making it very suitable reading in this week after the celebration of the Feast of St Joseph the Worker. The steadfast member of the Holy Family, Joseph was always present, especially when he was most needed.

It seems to me that patience was St Joseph’s outstanding virtue and quality. His mission required a lot of waiting.

If St Joseph did not accompany Mary on her journey to Elizabeth’s house, he had to wait three months to see his wife again. When St Joseph observed that his wife was pregnant, he had to wait for the Lord to reveal what he wanted him to do in response to that wondrous happening.


Such trials of patience must have been extremely challenging for St Joseph. But he used them as an opportunity to grow in patience and holiness.

St Joseph exhibited heroic patience in Egypt. Taking his wife and newborn child to a country with a different language, culture, religion and currency must have filled him with anxiety.

Finding work in Egypt and providing food and shelter for his family would not have been easy. He had no idea how long he had to stay there, yet in every difficult situation he remained peaceful, calm and resigned.

The author provides quotations from a number of well-known saints and popes to indicate how they viewed St Joseph. They refer to his many other virtues.

St Brigid of Sweden wrote: “So perfectly was St Joseph dead to the world and the flesh that he desired nothing but the things of heaven.”

Pope Pius XI stated that “St Joseph won for himself the title of ‘The Just Man’ and thus serves as a living model of that Christian justice which should reign in social life”.

The position of St Joseph as husband and foster-father gives witness to the dignity of fatherhood”

For Blessed Gabriele Allegra St Joseph was: “The flower of Israel who had the faith of Abraham, the piety of David, his ancestor, the wisdom of the prophets, a patience more heroic than that of Job and of Tobias and a zeal greater than that of Elijah for the glory of God.”

Venerable Joseph Mindszenty highlights St Joseph’s crucial role as the foster-father of the Holy Family, writing: “The position of St Joseph as husband and foster-father gives witness to the dignity of fatherhood.”

Regrettably that fatherhood is absent from too many of today’s families hence, as sociologists claim, this has led to much of the criminal activity in society today.


This is a wonderful handbook on St Joseph which reaches out to the wisdom of the saints, the teachings of the popes and the reflections of theologians. It would be an excellent present to give to any young couple setting out on their married life.

Fr Donald Calloway MIC is the vicar provincial and vocation director for the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, as well as the author of a number of earlier books.

These include Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon, No Turning Back: A Witness to Mercy, and Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest, all Catholic bestsellers.

This book under review has sold more than one million copies worldwide and is now available in over 15 languages. A website is maintained for the book at

Fr Calloway also published a follow-up entitled Consecration to St Joseph for Children and Families with co-author Scott L. Smith, Jr., a book which opens up his ideas and spirituality for a much wider audience.