Speaking Out: St. Joseph a guide for young love

By  Mary French, Youth Speak News
  • April 22, 2020

As a young person, finding love can be extremely hard. While Catholics have historically turned to St. Joseph for help in this matter, this revered saint is perhaps overlooked by today’s young people for the guidance he can provide to those looking for their future spouse.

Unlike the other members of the Holy Family, Joseph wasn’t conceived without sin. He was just a regular, well, Joe! Yet the devout follower of God shared in a sanctified relationship with Mary and Jesus, as a loyal husband to Mary and an earthly father to Christ. These bonds intimate that he can help guide our kinships to that same pure love. 

Joseph is a great upholder of chastity, the key to any loving relationship. The Catholic Church teaches that abstinence is the virtue whose development helps us to control our passions and thus to love others in a wholesome, rather than lustful, way. 

Before he knew that Mary’s pregnancy was divine, Joseph refused to enter into a relationship where chasteness was absent. In Joseph’s time, someone in his position was able to expose to the public a woman who was unfaithful or who got pregnant out of wedlock — often she would be killed for it. Instead, he chose to separate from Mary quietly. Joseph respected chastity while still respecting others and listened to God with complete trust.

This deep honouring of others’ intrinsic value, yet also great respect for the necessity of virtue in a relationship, is a great lesson St. Joseph has to offer us.

There’s a beautiful quote from the play Man of La Mancha that I think expresses this love so beautifully. The song is called “Dulcinea:”

“I have dreamed thee too long / Never seen thee or touched thee / But known thee with all of my heart / Half a prayer, half a song / Thou hast always been with me / Though we have been always apart.”

Respecting and loving our future spouse, even if we haven’t met them yet — what a transformational view of romantic love! It can also help us to keep in mind another important thing: our purity of mind and heart. Preparing our hearts for our future partner is just as important as actively determining the identity of our spouse. 

Throughout the years, prayers and novenas have been written so that Catholics can turn to Joseph for guidance in finding their spouse. Perhaps we should also turn to him for help so that we can chastely love our spouse when they come into our lives. 

What are some ways we can do this? Some chose to write a letter to their future spouse. This act helps them to focus more intently on the person they want to marry, and on who they want to be for that person.

The St. Joseph Novena Prayer is also an excellent prayer to seek out. It is one of the oldest in the Church — some historians date it to 50 AD.

In a world where chaste love is resented more than ever, Joseph is a guide for all young people.

(French is a third-year liberal arts student at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry’s Bay, Ont.)

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