Christened Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger.
Shown here, a Confraternity of Priestly Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament
St. Joseph: Perpetual Adorer
Some excerpts from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard
In profound adoration he [St. Joseph] united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of our Lord.
How greatly the Word Incarnate was glorified by the adoration of Mary and Joseph as they atoned for the indifference and ingratitude of His creatures!
Saint Joseph joined with Mary in adoration and united himself to Christ, Whose heart surged with sentiments of adoration, love and praise for the Father and of charity for men.
Saint Joseph’s adoration kept pace with every stage of our Lord’s life, drawing upon the grace, the spirit, and the virtue of each mystery. In the Incarnation he adored the self-annihilation of the Son of God; at Bethlehem, the poverty; at Nazareth, the silence, the apparent weakness, the obedience, and all the other virtues of Christ. He knew them well and he grasped clearly the reason why Christ practiced them—for the love and glory of His Heavenly Father.
Faith, humility, purity, and love—these were the keynotes of his adoration. No saint ever vibrated with a more ardent faith or bowed down in deeper humility; no angel ever glistened with brighter purity; and as for his love, neither saint nor angel ever has or ever will come within range of his burning charity which expressed itself so fully in devotedness.
Because his faith was so strong, Joseph's mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. At the same time respect the veil of
love and make the immolation of your mind and heart your most beautiful homage of faith.
Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father—and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries—is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration.
From close union with this holy adorer I shall learn to adore our Lord and to live in intimacy with Him. I shall then be the Joseph of the Eucharist as he was the Joseph of Nazareth.
Here is St Aloysius with other Jesuit saints adoring the Crib.
From the writings of Dom Gueranger
"Venerable old age is not that of long time, nor counted by the number of years: but the understanding of man is grey hairs; and a spotless life is old age." (Wisdom 4: 8-9) And therefore, Aloysius, thou dost hold a place of honour amidst the ancients of they people! Glory be to the holy Society in the midst whereof thou didst, in so short a space, fulfill a lon course; obtain that she may ever continue to treasure, both for herself and others, the teaching that flows that thy life of innocence and love. Holiness is the one only thing, when life is ended, that can be called a true gain; and holiness is acquired from within. External works count with God, only in as far as the interior breath that inspires them is pure; if occasion for exercising works be wanting, man can easily always supply the deficiency by drawing nigh unto the Lord, in the secrecy of his soul, as much as, and even more than, he could have done by their means. Thus didst thou see and understand the question; and therefore prayer, which held thee absorbed in its ineffable delights, succeeded in making thee equal to the very martyrs. What a priceless treasure was prayer in thine eyes, what a heaven-lent boon, and one that is indeed in our reach, too, just as it was in thine! But in order to find therein, as thou didst express it, 'the short cut to perfection,' perseverance is needed and a careful elimination from the soul, by a generous self-repression, of every emotion which is not of God. For how could muddy or troubled waters mirror forth the image of him who stands on their brink? Even so, a soul that is sullied, or a soul that without being quite a slave of passion is not yet mistress of every earthly perturbation, can never reach the object of prayer, which is to reproduced within her the tranquil image of her God.
The reproduction of the one great model was perfect in thee; and hence it can be seen how nature (as regards what she has of good), far from losing or suffering aught, rather gains by this process of recasting in the divine crucible. Even in what touches the most legitimate affections, thou didst look at things no loner form the earthly point of view; but beholding all in God, far were the things of sense transcended, with all their deceptive feebleness, and wondrously did thy love grow in consequence! For instance, what could be more touching than thy sweet attentions, not only upon earth, but even from thy throne in heaven, for that admirable woman given thee by our Lord to be thine earthly mother? Where may tenderness be found equal to the affection effusions written to her by thee in that letter of a saint to the mother of a saint, which thou didst address to her shortly before quitting thine earthly pilgrimage? And still more, what exquisite delicacy thou didst evince, in making her the recipient of thy first miracle, worked after thine entrance into glory! Furthermore, the Holy Ghost, by setting thee on fire with the flame of divine charity, developed also within thee immense love for thy neighbour: necessarily so because charity is essentially one; and well was this proved when thou wast seen sacrificing thy life so blithely for the sock and the plague-stricken.
Cease not, O dearest saint, to aid us in the midst of so many miseries; lend a kindly hand to each and all. Christian youth has a special claim upon they patronage, for it is by the Sovereign Pontiff himself that this precious portion of the flock is gathered around thy throne. Direct their feeble steps along the right path, so often enticed to turn into dangerous by-roads; may prayer and earnest toil, for God's dear sake, be their stay and safeguard; may they be enlightened in the serious matter before them of choosing a state of life. We beseech thee, dearest saint, exert strong influence over them during this most critical period of their opening years, so that they may truly experience all the potency of that fair privilege which is ever thine, of preserving in thy devout clients the angelical virtue! Yea, furthermore, Aloysius, look compassionately on those who have not imitated thine innocence, and obtain that they may yet follow thee in the example of thy penance; such is the petition of holy Church this day.
The Pope was born on the Feast of Benedict Joseph Labre, hero of poverty who died in Rome. The choice of the papal name Benedict, so to speak, completed the name given by his parents in baptism.
The Maxims & Counsels of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre
Drawn from the history of his life.
By the grace of God we can do everything. We can remain unhurt in the midst of the fire, like the three holy youths in the furnace of Babylon.
Everything may be done by the help of God, provided we have a sincere goodwill.
To communicate through obedience is better and more pleasing to God, than to abstain from it through humility.
It is never allowable to use or keep anything when we know it has been stolen.
It is never lawful to tell a lie; we ought always to speak the truth, whatever it may cost us.
We offend God, because we do not know his greatness.
He who knows what God is, studies to avoid sin.
The want of proper examination, true contrition, and a firm purpose of amendment, is the cause of bad confessions, and of the ruin of souls.
In this world we are all in a valley of tears. Our consolation is not here; we shall have it eternally in Paradise, if we suffer tribulations on earth.
God afflicts us because he loves us; and it is very pleasing to him, when in our afflictions he sees us abandon ourselves to his paternal care.
Where fraternal charity is concerned, everything should be sacrificed.
Those only are to be called poor and unhappy, who are in hell, who have lost God for eternity, not those who are poor on earth.
However much we suffer for the love of Jesus Crucified, it is but little.
Let him who seeks true humility, employ two means: mental prayer, meditating on the greatness of God, and his own nothingness; vocal prayer, asking it of God, through the merits of Jesus and Mary.
By talking and irreverence in churches, we show disrespect to Almighty God in his own house.
Acts of irreverence in churches are sins which greatly displease God; they horrify the angels, and do great harm to the soul.
If there were only one person to be condemned, each should fear to be that one.
We should often meditate on the pains of hell, in order to abhor mortal sin, which casts us into it for all eternity; and think of the small number of the elect, that we may live in fear.
The Providence of God is never wanting to him who confides in God as he ought.
With regard to corporal provision, we should not think of a future day, according to the advice of our blessed Redeemer: "Be not solicitous for the morrow." God who provides for today, will also provide for tomorrow.
Particular sentiments concerning true poverty, which the Servant of God wonderfully loved and practised.
The poor should live by alms.
A little suffices for the support of the body; what is superfluous, will only serve to furnish the worms with a greater feast.
A poor man does not seek a bed in order to sleep, he throws himself down anywhere.
Conveniences are not for the poor.
Poor people should not use a loaf; they should be content with fragments.
The poor should not carry money in their travels.
The poor should not eat dainties.
The poor should not be well clad.
The poor should not drink wine: it is not necessary; water suffices to appease thirst.
Prayer for the Pope
A partial indulgence is attached to the versicle and response.
R. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedictus.
V. Let us pray for Benedict, our Pope.
R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]
R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]
Pater Noster, Ave Maria. Our Father, Hail Mary.
Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum Benedictum., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen. O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant Benedict, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PS The good news is that the house of the Pope's birth has been opened to the public. The Pope declared that above all that it should be a place where people encounter the Catholic Faith. This could not be said of