Today’s “Josephite virtue”—his title in the Litany of St. Joseph—is Ioseph fortissime. Fr. Calloway’s version of the Litany translates this as “Joseph Most Courageous,” but the more precise translation is “Joseph Most Strong.” In fact, the venerable liturgical prayer known as the Trisagion or “thrice holy,” sung often in the Eastern Liturgy (and in the Latin Rite on Good Friday), calls upon God as the “Holy Strong One,” or Sanctus Fortissimus. Joseph, the quiet man, portrays the Strength of God the Father in his strength.
Fr. Calloway, however, uses the common translation of “courageous” rather than “strong.” The heart of this word is … the word “heart” (cor in Latin, coeur in French, etc.). Joseph was strong because he loved from his heart; he loved the good (God, Jesus and Mary, etc.) more than he feared evil and suffering. “Perfect love casts out fear,” writes St. John the Beloved (1 John 4:18). Demons tremble, but St. Joseph stands strong in his love for God. Therefore this simple quiet man is known also as the “terror of demons.” Love with all your heart, and you will be strong, invincible in Jesus Christ!