My Writings. My Thoughts.
In this particular program Mark and Frances discuss the simply yet remarkable life of a Secular Carmelite from Spain named Josefa Naval Girbes who lived from 1820 – 1893. Blessed Josefa lived a perfectly simple life, opening her home as a school for embroidery. She used the quiet hours of labor to instruct her young female students about the Catholic faith. She was well known for instructing her girls that their primary mission in life should be to “sanctify yourself and sanctify others.” Despite her remarkable simplicity, she had a very disciplined approach to her pursuit of holiness, and is also remembered for her rather direct counsel to “Reach holiness, no matter what the Cost.” This simple woman, who chose to live in the world, perfectly fulfilled God’s will by living a life of holiness, but also by bearing remarkable fruit in helping so many others to pursue a life in Union with God.
During this conversation Mark and Frances discuss the March 19 Feast of St. Joseph and the devotion to him, which has grown so much in the past 100 years in the Church. St. Joseph is a great role model for husbands, and this Feast in his honor has a special significance for Carmelites. A little known fact is that St. Teresa of Avila is credited a good deal with helping to spread devotion to this great Saint. In fact, St. Joseph is the Patron of the Discalced Carmelite Order formed by St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross. St. Teresa recommended in her writings that everyone should turn to St. Joseph, as she herself often did, to help them overcome the difficulties of our earthly life. Since St. Joseph was put at that head of the Holy Family, and provided for all their earthly needs, we should all feel comfortable turning to him to assist us in our daily needs. Just as importantly, as St. Joseph is also the Patron of the Universal Church, and we should feel comfortable turning to him for all of our spiritual needs as well.