St Teresa of Avila took as her patron St Joseph, or as she refers to him in her autobiography (VI, 9),
Glorious St Joseph. This truth of the glory of St Joseph is taken up by Edward Healy Thompson MA
in his book 'The Glories of St Joseph' published in 1888, in which the author recognises the
Divinely predestined role of St Joseph in the Incarnation or Hyperstatic Union. The author recognises that
the order of the Incarnation is the supreme order under which all other orders and hierarchies, including
the angelic, are subordinate and subject. This is so for the reason that Jesus is the beginning, the
author, and the head of this order, and on Jesus, as Sovereign Prince, depends every hierarchy in Heaven
and on earth.
Jesus is the principal subject of the Incarnation, and the author of the Redemption of the world; Mary is
the immediate co-operatrix and, so to say, the executrix of the Incarnation itself; Joseph, the faithful
depository of these two most precious pledges, was to provide that this sublime mystery of the Incarnation
and Redemption should be brought about with the greatest possible congruity, so that the honour of the
Mother and of the God-Man, her Son, should remain intact.
Just one year later in 1889, Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical Quamquam pluries declares "Blessed
Joseph...was indeed the husband of Mary and the father, as was supposed, of Jesus Christ. From this arise
all his dignity, grace, holiness and glory...[The Church] is his numberless family, scattered throughout
all lands, over which he rules with a sort of paternal authority, because he is the husband of Mary and the
father of Jesus".
Mindful of the Honour due to St Joseph, an indult was granted by Blessed Pius IX to Cardinal Manning to
crown the statue of St Joseph in the presence of the hierarchy of England and Wales on 13th April 1874,
with a magnificent jewelled crown, thereby establishing the National Shrine to St Joseph. One of a select
few statues of St Joseph to be granted this priviliege, it is set at the centre of a beautiful marble
Housed today in the sanctuary of the the magnificent Abbey Church of St Michael in Farnborough, the
National Shrine of Saint Joseph remains a place of prayer and pilgrimage for those who wish to pray for
the Church, for families, or for whatever personal prayer or intention they bring to Saint Joseph's feet.
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