Happy Feast of St. Catherine of Siena! I recently finished Sigrid Undset’s lovely biography of this wonderful advisor to popes and terror to demons. Which brings us to St. Joseph’s penultimate title, Terror of Demons. Fr. Calloway commissioned a painting from one of my own parishioners, Bernadette Carstensen Cody, which you can see on page 318 of the book. Bernadette has graciously allowed me to post her second painting (a close-up of Joseph and Jesus) on this blog, and also to make cards of her painting for distribution at Star of the Sea.
Demons, who are quite real (participation in one exorcism will cure you of any doubts on that score), fear St. Joseph more than any pope or any saint other than Our Lady. Why? Because, Fr. Calloway asserts, “the lily St. Joseph holds in his hand is a mighty spiritual weapon, a sword of purity.” Other than Bernadette’s painting, I’ve never seen St. Joseph’s lily depicted as a sword, but purity indeed is the vital defensive weapon against the isolating filth of our pornographic society. Impurity in a man, like impurity in a metal or impurity in a medicine, render men impotent, powerless, and useless. Fr. Calloway has written powerfully on the two qualities of St. Joseph that terrify demons, which are his fatherhood and his purity, on pages 219-226.
“Men who want to be pure, pray.” God will not deny them what they ask for.