The Holy Father in his recent pronouncement, declared a year dedicated to St. Joseph to begin on December 8, 2020; the date of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This date coincides with the 150th anniversary of the declaration of St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. Some would recognize this also as the infamous day marking the conclusion of the Presidential contest (the deadline for U.S. Electoral Vote challenges).
This declaration could not have come as a better time. This dedication comes at the unfolding of a new era of evil. We call on St. Joseph as the Terror of Demons to lead the war against the onslaught of demons being unleased on our nation at this time.
The Sleepy Joes
The newly elected Biden administration is expected to unfold a massive attack of the family with a number of policies with diabolical goals. Prominent among these is the expectation of furthering abortion and the profanation of God’s distinctive roles and designs pertaining to sexuality and gender. Three of the things that exorcists often cite as animating demons the most are abortion and sexual immorality and radical feminization of men. It is also expected that the Apostate Biden will favor policies that promote atheistic communism, what Catholics understand as the Red Dragon of Revelation 12. All of this amounts to what has been dubbed “The Great Reset.” As Church and family girds itself for persecution and spiritual battle, the importance of St. Joseph becomes paramount in countering the increasing demonic influences in government and culture.
President Trump was known to have coined the nickname “Sleepy Joe” for President Biden, a reference to his low energy level and diminished mental acuity. How, ironic is it then that we call on the patronage of the other “Sleepy Joe,” Jesus’ foster-father Joseph who in sacred scripture is most notably depicted in sleep and is best known for his angelic dreams. These dreams are most notable things we have about him from Scripture. So what do we know about St. Joseph?
The Silent But Deadly Terror of Demons
Show Me the Receipts
So where do we see the office of St. Joseph specifically acting to depose or inflict pain on the demons? Did he ever terrorize demons during his life here on earth? Is there convincing evidence that we should place him foremost in charge of our war against the demons? And what have we learned about demons in light of the private revelations and traditions pertaining to St. Joseph?
To answers these questions, we look to the insights into the life of Joseph thanks to the visions and interior locutions of Sister Maria Baij, Ven. Mary of Agreda and others. These mystics tell us that the angels often spoke to him in his dreams about the demons and this enabled him to anticipate any attacks from the evil ones.
In her writings, Mary of Agreda would affirm his title.
I’ll Fix Your Little Red Dragon
We place the vast campaign of the Church against world communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty protector.DIVINI REDEMPTORIS, Encyclical of Pope Pius XI
As a result of Pope Pius XI’s words, Catholics fervently began to pray to St. Joseph, specifically under the title “Terror of Demons,” to combat the atheistic ideas of communism. Venerable Pope Pius XII, turned to St. Joseph, as his predecessor had done, and denounced the falsehoods of communism by elevating the dignity of workers in a very specific way.
On May 1, 1955, Pope Pius XII declared May 1 to be the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Worker. In this feast, we see how work is sanctified and made holy in support of the family and the Church as an act of the Providence of God. This opposes the demonic Marxist ideal that all work and jobs comes through the dictates and provision of big government. As governmental power and authority increases, the influence of the Church and its roles is suppressed. Marxists would ideally like to see the government become people’s religion and Church abolished.
Not Your Average Joe
We have an insight into the childhood of Joseph thanks to the visions and interior locutions of Sister Maria Baij, a Benedictine Sister who lived in Italy in the 18th century (Imprimatur with conditional approval by Pope Benedict XV).
She gave an account that God permitted a demon to attack the child in between the tender age of 3 and 6:
The sight of this virtuous child put the devil into a frightful rage. He eventually even became violent, and undertook one day, to cast Joseph down headlong over a flight of stairs. God permitted this so that Joseph would have the opportunity to practice virtue and to make Satan suffer greater confusion. As he was falling, Joseph called to God for help and the Most High prevented him from being harmed. Whereas the devil was now forced to withdraw disconcertedly, Joseph had another opportunity to render praise and thanksgiving to God.–The Life of St. Joseph, Sr. Maria Baij
She further accounted that the child is his advanced path of virtue attracted the attention of Lucifer. However, his two guardian angels never allowed any further advances against the child directly. Therefore, Satan had to stir up people around him to antagonize him. We are told by Sr. Baij that certain undisciplined youths of his neighborhood would bombard him with jeers and insults. As they followed him around antagonizing him, Joseph perceived through divine enlightenment that it was best to accept the persecution not only without complaint, but with joy. He even convinced his father Jacob not to approach them or their parents but to accept persecutions and defamations in imitation of past prophets and patriarchs.
Having failed that tactic, the devil then provoked people to praise him and acclaim his virtues. God even permitted Satan to tempt Joseph directly with the visions of glory associated with leading a faultless life. However, Joseph remained steadfast in his humility. We are told all sorts of assaults and temptations were directed at Joseph—the only temptation that was never permitted was that of impurity.
As Joseph grew, he developed a heart for attending to and ministering to the dying. He would be there to assist a soul’s final struggle and resist any assaults of despair. The devil became enraged at this loss of souls due to Joseph’s efforts. God gave Satan permission to appear to him in the most horrible form:
He threatened to hurl Joseph to destruction if he would not refrain from this activity. The Saint was filled with fear from this sinister monstrosity. He had immediate recourse to God and begged for His help. The infernal dragon vanished.–The Life of St. Joseph, Sr. Maria Baij
He prayed for them all and God heard his petitions. He would often unite fasting to his prayers, and as a result the enemy found himself deprived of his powers. The devil desisted for a time from his attacks only in order to devise a new plan of action against Joseph, and to wait for an opportune occasion to initiate it. But always he found himself vanquished and beaten, for Joseph’s prayers were very powerful.The Life of St. Joseph, Sr. Maria Baij
This was an example of Joseph’s work against demons. No authoritative declarations. No dramatic acts worthy of a Hollywood depiction of exorcism. Just humble acts of prayer and fasting.
All in all, we are told that Joseph had very few respites from trials, temptations and persecutions initiated by the devil in his teenage and young adult years. It is suggested that all this was to strengthen and prepare him to become the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. References to attacks of the devils were only infrequently mentioned and therefore appeared much diminished after their espousal.
The Long Walk to Be Like an Egyptian
The accounts of Ven. Mary Agreda indicated that the Christ Child was hidden from view of the demons and the Holy Family was accompanied by a large legion of angels. Therefore, we would expect this office of St. Joseph to have been unveiled during their time in Egypt, living in a pagan country. Some theologians have proposed that the office of “Terror of Demons” derives from the biblical prophecy:
Behold, the Lord will ascend upon a swift cloud, and will enter into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence.Isaiah 19:1
However (according to Agreda), when the Holy Family enters the idolatrous Egypt with its demon-filled temples, it is the Child Jesus casting out the demons and bringing ruin to the pagan temples. We could easily imagine that false Gods would tumble in the presence of the incarnation of the True God and cause demons to flee. Thus there was no need for the actions of St. Joseph here.
Baij tells us that Joseph was later viciously persecuted by his neighbors who lost infants because the Holy Family fled without warning anyone. The demons took particular delight in inciting these thoughts against them.
While he was alive, we have no examples of St. Joseph in sacred tradition or legend using his office as “Terror of Demons.” Nor do we need it. In contrast, in his life, demons were actually given ample opportunities to terrorize St. Joseph, but ultimately to no avail.
On earth, St. Joseph gazed upon the radiant face of Jesus for decades. The purity of his soul was unmatched except by the Blessed Virgin Mary. In fact, the pure white veil that covered the ark of the covenant, is likened by Church fathers to Joseph as protector of Mary, prefigured as the ark of the covenant. His authority as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and father figure of the Child Jesus is thus unmatched. This measure of authority and purity explains the power behind his office as the Terror of Demons.
We might envision the stereotype of a zealous Protestant claiming in fervent prayer to be protected by the blood of Jesus, making him impervious to the attacks of the evil one and invoking the authority of our Lord’s Most Holy Name to send demons fleeing. Such a person might even claim to be a “terror of demons.” Such acts are noble and pious perhaps, even meritorious. However, based on the life of St. Joseph, it should be evident that is an initial stage of Christianity, but not one of maturity.
The private revelations of the life of St. Joseph give us a valuable but much different insight in the struggle against demons. We should reject the Protestant notion that invincibility or victory from the demonic oppression is proof of one’s piety and favor in the Lord. In fact, the opposite is true! God wills to give us what we can handle as is necessary for the forming of our soul. This includes enduring attacks by the evil one. We should aspire in our spiritual life to take the next step so that God might be pleased in His permissive will to allow demons to greatly tempt or even oppress us. The lives of the saints, including St. Joseph would indicate that such steps would seem necessary to reach that next level of dependence and union with God. But that need not stop us from ever assisting the aid of St. Joseph, Prince of the angels and Terror of Demons!
Prayer to St. Joseph
St. Joseph, Terror of Demons, cast your solemn gaze upon the devil and all his minions, and protect us with your mighty staff. You fled the night to avoid the devil’s wicked designs, now with the power of God, smite the demons as they flee from you! Grant special protection, we pray, for children, fathers, families, and the dying. By God’s grace, no demon dares to approach while you are near, so we beg of you, be always near us.
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- The Manual of indulgences (2006)
- The Raccolta Prayers and Devotions Enriched with Indulgences (1957)
- The Life & Glories of St Joseph
- Mystical City of God By Ven. Mary Agreda
- Manual of Practical Devotion to St Joseph
- The Life of Saint Joseph as manifested by Our Lord, Jesus Christ to Maraia Cecilia Baij, O.S.B.
- Favorite Prayers to St Joseph
- Day by Day with St Joseph