Concerning prayers, I must tell you that several of our Fathers want me to establish a daily invocation to St. Joseph, foster-father of the Holy Family, to obtain that from Heaven above he may provide for the temporal needs of the Congregation which recognizes him as its principal Patron. Not that we want to become rich, but that we may provide for the needs of those whom Providence sends us.

Letter to Fr Ambroise Vincens, Master of Novices, 7 November 1847, EO X n 953

Eugene’s name was Charles Joseph Eugene and thus Saint Joseph always held a special place in Eugene’s life and devotion. An example of this in his near-death experience in 1814:

On the morning of St. Joseph’s feast day I was close to the end; and as if my holy patron had wished to show me the effect of his powerful protection that was being invoked for me on all sides, that very evening I took a turn for the better with astonishing rapidity.  The next day or the day after that there was no longer any danger.

Eugene’s letter to his father, 17 June 1814, E.O. XV n. 126


It would seem that one has to see this devotion as being associated to Eugene’s vision of the Church, bought by the blood of Jesus Christ, a vision which extended beyond the limits of the Church here on earth and led him to enter into constant communion with the Church of heaven. This was the source of his deep devotion to the saints, especially to Mary Immaculate and as Father Toussaint Rambert wrote: “immediately after the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph held first place in his heart”. (

“Saint Joseph. One cannot love Jesus and Mary without loving the Holy Patriarch.” (St. Josemaria Escriva)

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Lay Oblate says:

    This morning has been an invitation to look at St. Joseph who is the Patron Saint of Canada, as well as being the name of the parish that I have belonged to for more than 40 years. It was/is an Oblate Church named after St. Eugene in 1846.

    As I sit and reflect on St. Joseph, I find myself looking at Fr. Henri Tempier OMI who never elevated himself in any way, but who was always there for Eugene and the Oblate Family just as Joseph was there for the Holy Family. Both carried the characteristics of being humble, persevering and truly loving without pointing the spotlight upon themselves.

    An invitation for us to reflect on who God has chosen and introduced us to our own Patron Saint and Guardian.

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