St. Joseph: Terror of Demons

Saint Joseph is most powerful against the demons which fight against us.
— St. Alphonsus Liguori

Saint Joseph the Worker

Like all Christians at that time, I too was happy and grateful at the Church’s decision to declare a liturgical feast in honor of St. Joseph the Worker. This feast, which ratifies the divine value of work, shows how the Church publicly echoes central truths of the Gospel which God wishes men to meditate on, especially in our own time.
— St. Josemaría Escrivá

The “time” St . Josemaría Escrivá mentions was the year 1955. It was the year the Church called upon her great protector to overcome a great evil: communism.

In the first half of the 20th century, communism had gained support from many leaders around the world, and entire nations had succumbed to its ideas. In 1937, Pope Pius XI realized the serious threat that communism posed to the common good and called upon St. Joseph to protect the Church from the many errors of communism. He wrote:

We place the vast campaign of the Church against world communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty protector.

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. They also invoked the help of St. Joseph in the cause of workers’ rights. Both of these issues were major topics of concern in the mid-20th century.

On a related note, did you know that in the mid-19th century, May 1 was celebrated by many countries around the world as a secular holiday? It was called “May Day” and was neither a religious nor a political holiday. Sadly, in the mid-20th century, communists wanted to take over the secular holiday and re-designate it as “Communist Worker’s Day.” Renaming the holiday and emphasizing the ideas of communism were viewed as a way of influencing the masses. This development greatly concerned the Church because a celebration honoring the communist idea of work would have long-lasting effects on workers and negatively impact society and the family. At the time, the threat of worldwide communism was felt by everyone, including the pope.

The Vicar of Christ, 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. He wrote:

We are happy to announce to you our determination to institute — as in fact we do institute — the liturgical feast of St. Joseph the Worker, assigning it as the first day of May. Are you pleased with this our gift, beloved workers? We are certain that you are, because the humble workman of Nazareth not only personifies before God and the Church the dignity of the man who works with his hands, but is always the provident guardian of you and your families.

Saint Joseph is, indeed, a light in the darkness and the Model of Workmen. He brings to light the malice of the enemies of the family. He brings light into the darkness of erroneous movements that seek to strip people of their human dignity and eliminate God from the minds and hearts of families and nations. Whether he is confronting communism, fascism, or any other kind of political ideology, St. Joseph is the protector of human dignity. He is the Terror of Demons!

God our Father, creator and ruler of the universe, in every age you call man to develop and use his gifts for the good of others. With St. Joseph as our example and guide, help us to do the work you have asked and come to the rewards you have promised.
— Opening Prayer for the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker

Terror of Demons

O glorious St. Joseph, pray for me, assist me, and defend me from Satan.
— St. Anthony Mary Claret

After the Virgin Mary, demons fear St. Joseph more than any other saint. The devil fears St. Joseph more than he fears the pope. How is this possible? Isn’t the pope the Vicar of Christ? Yes, but the pope is only the Vicar of Christ; he is not the father of Christ. The Vicar of Christ has authority over the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church), but St. Joseph has the extraordinary gift and power of paternal intercession in heaven. 

The power of St. Joseph is greater than that of the ancient Joseph, of Moses, of Joshua, and of St. Peter.
— Blessed William Joseph Chaminade 

The power of St. Joseph is truly extraordinary. He alone bears the title “Terror of Demons.” What makes this unique title of St. Joseph so extraordinary is that St. Joseph was not a pope, a priest, a monk, or a martyr. Saint Joseph is a layman. Like most laymen, he is a father and a husband. It is his loving fatherhood, in particular, that gives St. Joseph extraordinary intercessory power. 

Have you heard of Blessed Bartolo Longo, who lived during the late 19th and early 20th century? He was born in Latiano, Italy, to a devout Catholic family. As a young man, he studied law at the University of Naples. After being swept away by various political ideologies, he became anti-Catholic, radically opposed to what he believed were the “old wives’ tales” of Catholicism. Within a short period of time, he went from adhering to nationalistic ideologies to becoming involved in spiritualism. This led him to attend séances and become an ordained priest of Satan. 

Bartolo’s involvement with the occult and spiritualism left him empty and unhappy. He suffered from hallucinations, torturous nightmares, frazzled nerves, bodily ailments, and severe depression. Seeking guidance, he turned to a friend and a Dominican priest, and began to experience a radical conversion. Fearing for his soul, he renounced spiritualism and its practices, and turned back to the Catholicism of his youth. In gratitude for having been delivered from the occult, he became a Third Order Dominican and dedicated his life to the spread of the rosary, especially by renewing the Catholic faith in the ancient city of Pompeii and building there the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. He was very devoted to St. Joseph, prayed to him every day, and was particularly fond of his title “Terror of Demons.” Bartolo had such a great love for St. Joseph that he wrote a lengthy book of meditations and prayers to St. Joseph to be used for the month of March. Bartolo Longo, the former satanic priest, was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1980. 

It is a great blessing for souls to be under the protection of the saint whose name makes demons tremble and flee.
— Blessed Bartolo Longo 

Pronounce often and with great confidence the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Their names bring peace, love, health, blessings, majesty, glory, admiration, joy, happiness, and veneration. Their holy names are a blessing to angels and men, and a terror to demons. Christians should always have the names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their hearts and on their lips.
— Blessed Bartolo Longo 

The life of Blessed Bartolo Longo gives us more proof that the wonders of St. Joseph are without number and the devil is terrorized by all of them. 

The fatherhood of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The humility of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The charity of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The poverty of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The purity of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. 

The obedience of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The silence of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The suffering of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The prayer of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. The name of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. 

The sleep of St. Joseph terrorizes the devil. 

Of the wonders, two in particular need to be emphasized in our day: the fatherhood of St. Joseph and the purity of St. Joseph. These wonders of St. Joseph need to be highlighted because all men (laymen and clergy) need to realize the power that fatherhood and purity have over the forces of darkness. 

All fatherhood is a threat to Satan. For centuries, the devil “delighted” in the reality that so few Christians prayed to St. Joseph and called upon his paternal intercession. Today, God wants to make St. Joseph’s fatherhood known and replicated in the world. This terrifies Satan. The devil knows what the intercession of St. Joseph is capable of doing. If men resemble St. Joseph, the kingdom of Satan will be destroyed. 

Satan hates motherhood, too, of course, especially disdaining and fearing the Virgin Mary. Women are the bearers of life, and the devil hates life. Satan hates fatherhood because of the inherent power in all fatherhood. All fatherhood has its origin in God and finds its earthly model in St. Joseph. All fatherhood has the power to combat evil. Lucifer fears the fatherhood of St. Joseph more than any other creaturely fatherhood because the devil knows that there is no created person who has a greater participation in the fatherhood of God than St. Joseph. 

The devil is infuriated by the fact that God humbled himself to become a man and submitted himself to the fourth Commandment. 

Honor your father and your mother. 
— Ex 20:12 

In taking on human nature, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity chose a life of submitting to, obeying, and honoring mortals. The fact that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords obeyed the fourth commandment and submitted himself to the authority of St. Joseph on earth is incomprehensible to Satan. God lowered himself to obey and serve creatures made from dust. The filial obedience of Jesus to St. Joseph was met with the disdain of the devil. 

Saint Joseph’s fatherhood has power. The devil hates that Jesus and Mary obeyed the loving directives of St. Joseph. Now, in heaven, the intercessory power of St. Joseph poses a serious threat to the wiles of the devil and the devil knows it. 

The Eternal Father shares with St. Joseph the authority which he has over the Incarnate Word, just as God shared with Adam his authority over creatures.
— Blessed William Joseph Chaminade 

In the Holy Family he [St. Joseph] represented the heavenly Father.
— Blessed James Alberione 

The two greatest personages who ever lived on this earth subjected themselves to him [St. Joseph]. 
— St. Madeleine Sophie Barat 

Saint Joseph was called by God to serve the person and mission of Jesus directly through the exercise of his fatherhood.
— St. John Paul II 

In the home of Nazareth, St. Joseph’s directives were akin to paternal commands. In heaven, Jesus continues to listen to his virginal father because St. Joseph’s desires are always in accord with God’s most holy will. Satan is terrified that St. Joseph continues to exercise paternal influence in heaven through his extraordinary intercession with the Son of God. 

The devil hates God the Father and every reflection of his father- hood. This hatred incites the devil to destroy fatherhood in all men, laymen as well as priests. Undoubtedly, the devil has a tremendous fear of zealous popes, holy priests, and the blood of the martyrs, but he also greatly fears laymen who pattern their fatherhood off of St. Joseph. The last thing the devil wants is for men to be apparitions of St. Joseph, increasing the presence of St. Joseph in the world. If a man allows himself to be an apparition of St. Joseph, imitating the virtues of St. Joseph, Satan becomes powerless in his attacks against the family (the domestic church) and the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church). When laymen, priests, and bishops pattern their paternal authority after that of St. Joseph, the Church will experience tremendous victories over evil. 

The loving and merciful fatherhood of St. Joseph serves as the model for all men, teaching them the proper use of paternal authority and cooperation with Jesus and Mary in the salvation of the world. 

Saint Joseph was not only destined as a relief to the Mother of God, who had so many tribulations on earth; not only was he the supporter of Jesus Christ, but he was also destined to cooperate, in a way, in the redemption of the world. 
— St. Alphonsus Liguori 

The purity of St. Joseph also terrorizes Satan. 

It is a tragedy that the majority of art depicting St. Joseph has presented him as an elderly man. Sadly, sometimes he is even presented as soft and effeminate. This is far from the truth of who St. Joseph is as a man. Saint Joseph is a dragon-slayer! His lily is not the cane of an old man; it is the lance of a knight! Rare is the artist who has depicted the lily of St. Joseph as a sharp weapon piercing the serpent dragon. What the Church needs today are images that depict St. Joseph as a dragon-slayer. He worked with manly tools, chopped wood, and swung a sharp axe! Such images are needed in homes and churches today to convey the real manhood of St. Joseph. 

The purity of St. Joseph is a weapon against the filth and perversions of the devil. Satan is a filthy, perverse, and pornographic creature. Purity repulses him. It pierces him. 

The number one sin among men today is impurity. It is a spiritual plague destroying the minds and hearts of men on a global scale. The spiritual plague of impurity involves pornography, immoral actions with oneself, homosexual acts and lifestyles, pedophilia, cohabitation, contraception, and abortion. These sins leave men powerless and spiritually impotent. 

Men who are impure have no power. Impure men pose no threat to the devil because they are spiritually impotent. This explains why so many men today have no strength to fight evil. The devil doesn’t fear many men today. Satan has nothing to fear from a man who has freely chosen to let demons into his life through lust, pornography, immoral desires, and every other form of perversion. A filthy heart blinds a person to the countenance of God. If men want to see God and have power over darkness, they must strive to have a chaste and loving heart like St. Joseph. 

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. 
— Mt 5:8 

Saint Joseph sees the face of God and has power over evil because he is pure. On earth, he gazed upon the face of Jesus for decades. In heaven, he gazes upon the divine countenance forever. The radiance of St. Joseph’s face blinds the demons of hell. 

The Church and the world need men who are terrors of demons! It will only happen when men imitate the purity of St. Joseph. If men do this, the world will be renewed. If priests and bishops do this, the Church will be renewed. When priests and bishops have pure hearts that reflect the knight-like spirit and the warrior-like purity of St. Joseph, parishes will once again be filled with throngs of people zealous for the things of God. When bishops imitate the purity, zeal, and fatherhood of St. Joseph, mankind will once again look to the Church as the moral compass of the world. All men can become terrors of demons if they imitate St. Joseph. 

Valiant and strong is the man who, like St. Joseph, perseveres in humility; he will be conqueror at once of the devil and of the world, which is full of ambition, vanity, and pride.
— St. Francis de Sales 

Men who want to be pure, pray. Without prayer, no one (male or female) can be pure. Pope Leo XIII understood this very well. At the end of the 19th century, Satan unleased a spiritual deluge of filth, immodesty, and impurity on the world. Pope Leo XIII desired to fight it and forged together two of the greatest spiritual weapons the Church has in her arsenal: the rosary and St. Joseph. This prophetic pope requested that the following prayer to St. Joseph be prayed at the end of the rosary in the month of October: 

To you, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of your most holy spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg you to take us under your protection. Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by his blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength. 

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and strengthened by your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, die a happy death, and obtain everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.

The Church needs to constantly invoke the aid of St. Joseph to overcome the devil. Saint Joseph is more powerful in heaven than he was on earth! 

It is true that the other saints enjoy great power in heaven, but they ask as servants, and do not command as masters. Saint Joseph, to whose authority Jesus was subject on earth, obtains what he desires from his kingly foster Son in heaven.
— St. Thomas Aquinas 

What could Jesus Christ refuse St. Joseph who never refused him anything during his mortal life on earth? 
— St. Augustine 

The Lord wants us to understand that just as he was subject to St. Joseph on earth — for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord’s tutor, Joseph could give the child commands — so in heaven God does whatever he commands.
— St. Teresa of Avila 

Since it is written that God “will do the will of them that fear him,” how can he refuse to do the will of St. Joseph who nourished him for so long with the sweat of his brow? 
— St. Ambrose 

We must be convinced that, in consideration of his great merits, God will not refuse St. Joseph any grace he asks for those who honor him.
— St. Alphonsus Liguori 

**Excerpted from The Consecration to St. Joseph

**Used with permission of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM.

**We highly recommend our members purchase the book Consecration to St Joseph from Signs & Wonders and do the Consecration.