Friday 1 March 2019

O Blessed Joseph

March is here! Today I learned that Pope Leo XIII dedicated this month to St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19th, in his 1889 encyclical Quamquam Pluries.  

St. Joseph was special to Canada from the earliest days of the Recollect missionaries: they chose him as the patron of New France. From the chapel at Fort Ste. Marie to today's parishes and schools, many places in the Archdiocese of Toronto have been named after St. Joseph.

St. Joseph Chapel - Ste Marie Among the Hurons

S. Somerville, 1982

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ARCAT Photograph Collection

St. Joseph's Parish in Leslieville was erected in 1878 and the first church was dedicated in 1886.

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Leslie Street


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Baldwin Collection, Toronto Public Library

The Sisters of St. Joseph have a long history of serving the people of the Archdiocese of Toronto. They had a convent on Wellesley Street from 1863.

St. Joseph's Convent, Wellesley Street



Baldwin Collection, Toronto Public Library

The first St. Joseph's in Highland Creek, Scarborough, was completed as a mission church in 1856:

St. Joseph's Church, Highland Creek


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ARCAT Photograph Collection

St. Joseph's Church in Streetsville, Mississauga was consecrated in 1858:

St. Joseph's Church, Mississauga


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ARCAT Photograph Collection

Beaverton also has a St. Joseph's since the 1850s:

St. Joseph's Church, Beaverton


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ARCAT Photograph Collection

The Sisters of St. Joseph founded St. Joseph's Hospital in 1921 on the site of their west-end orphanage:

St. Joseph's Hospital


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ARCAT Photograph Collection

One among many schools named for St. Joseph, the high school in Barrie was first opened in a former Sisters of St. Joseph convent in 1946. Go Jags! 

St. Joseph's High School, Barrie


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ARCAT Photograph Collection

Clearly St. Joseph has had an influence on the Archdiocese of Toronto! This month, we can say Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St. Joseph:
To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.
Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

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