Anything beautiful is worth protecting.

Anything beautiful. Anything good. Anything holy is worth protecting.

We instinctively know this.

Imagine for a moment an art gallery. And in this art gallery, filled with so much beautiful art, there is one particular painting which is the world’s finest masterpiece. It’s the most gorgeous work of art ever produced, and nothing will ever match its perfection again. It’s pure. It’s radiant. It’s glorious!

Now imagine — that a bunch of evil people really hate this beautiful masterpiece, and they are actively trying to destroy it. They want to come in and splash dark red paint all over it and make it look ugly. They want to rip the canvas apart, and smash its frame to pieces. They want to ruin this beautiful, good, and holy masterpiece…

Don’t you think that the Artist would want to prevent those evil people from doing such a terrible thing? Don’t you think the Artist would try to PROTECT his work?

Of course He would!

Well — God’s Masterpiece happens to be a very special lady: 

Mary, the Mother of God. That’s what we are celebrating today as a Church: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is God’s most beautiful work of art — preserved from the least stain, the slightest wrinkle of Original Sin from the moment of her conception.

Why would God do this?

Because God loved Mary so much that he wanted her to be the hand-crafted, perfectly prepared vessel for God’s only-begotten Son to come into this broken and hateful world.

But, as we already said, anything beautiful, good and holy — any true MASTERPIECE — ought to be… deserves to be protected.

And thankfully, the Immaculate Virgin was given a protector. A humble and loving guardian. A fierce and holy knight to fight off any would be attackers… to fend off those who hated her and her son, Jesus.

His name is Joseph.

Joseph’s job was to protect God’s masterpieces — Mary and Jesus.

The entire Story of Salvation had been building up to this moment from the very beginning of Creation.

In our first reading, we heard that in the Garden of Eden, Adam — the first Man — failed in his mission to protect his bride, Eve. Remember, both she and her husband, Adam, were created sinless. They were originally in right-friendship, right-relationship with God. 

But then the Devil, the terrible and wicked serpent, somehow managed to catch Eve alone and off guard. He cornered her into a conversation that would lead her eventually to freely disobey God — thereby inviting sin, disorder, and death into the whole of creation.

It would be easy to just blame Eve, wouldn’t it? After all, she was the one who chose to listen to the snake and take the fruit…

But I think the question we should really be asking is this — Where on earth was Adam? Where was Eve’s husband? What was he even doing?

It was his job to help protect Eve, to help protect this garden of purity and love, this garden of God’s goodness and beauty. This masterpiece!

But he’s nowhere to be found. He is absent and unavailable. 

Adam missed his chance to step up and be heroic, to protect his bride, when it mattered most!

Now, fast forward to the New Testament. We call Mary, the Mother of Jesus — the NEW Eve.

But this time, God gave the New Eve a husband who (unlike Adam) would serve diligently to protect this precious, Immaculate creation. 

Mary was given a man who wouldn’t wimp out, who wasn’t absent when he was needed the most. How often in our Godless and fatherless culture today do men sadly abandon their post. How often in our culture today are women — strong and capable in so many ways — left to fend for themselves in isolation, without a helpmate, without somebody supporting them and guarding them lovingly!

This is not the way God designed it to be. And Joseph is a firm, solid, and humble model for us to look to. Joseph shows us what true masculinity looks like!

Fr Don Calloway says that “St. Joseph’s manhood was [like] a protective shield, a protective cloak, for the Blessed Virgin. No man or beast could do any harm to the Virgin because St. Joseph stood attentive and ready to defend her, even to the point of death.”

Think about it: 

Joseph was the one who protected Mary from the slightest trace of shame or harm when she was found to be unexpectedly pregnant.

Joseph was the one who guarded Mary and Jesus in the womb as they traveled to Bethlehem and looked for a safe place for the Savior of the world to be born on Christmas night.

Joseph was the one who, at the warning of the angel in a dream, took the Holy Family into Egypt to protect them from King Herod, who was actively trying to destroy Jesus.

Joseph knew better than anyone else that anything beautiful, anything good, and anything holy was worth protecting! And he stepped up.

So what about us? How does this effect you and me?

Well — You are worth protecting, too! — Every single one of you. You are precious and good in the eyes of God. The Lord loves you so much. He is the Artist who hand-crafted each one of YOU…

Wouldn’t that mean, therefore, that St. Joseph is here to protect all of us, too? Wouldn’t God assign a guardian to protect YOU?  ————— 


The Church seems to agree. In fact, 151 years ago, on this very day — Blessed Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church. That means that he is the Patron Saint of the entire Catholic Church. He is the Guardian assigned to protect and shield ALL of us from evil and destruction.

We all are vulnerable. We cannot defend ourselves by our own strength.  Just as he once protected Mary and Jesus — now Joseph protects the Church.

What a great model we have in St. Joseph! He is the Guardian of the Immaculate Conception!

Women — I just want to say that you deserve men in your life who are more like Saint Joseph. Your boyfriends, your husbands, your brothers in the Lord ought to be strong and chivalrous. Courteous and selfless. Absolutely willing to sacrifice anything to protect your heart, to help you to be holy, and to guide you along the path to heaven.

I encourage you — Don’t settle for anything less!

Expect great things from the men in your life. Raise them up and hold them to high standards. Set good, pure boundaries — and if they’re not man enough to respect those boundaries, then I’m sorry to have to say this: But they are not worth your time.

Men — I exhort you — be true men, be FATHERS…not bachelors. Step up to the plate like St. Joseph did.  Claim the honor and the virtue that God wants you to have. Protect what is beautiful and good in this world. Freely sacrifice the world and its passing pleasures. Don’t waste yourselves on things that will hurt your own heart and the hearts of the women and children you are supposed to be humbly defending.

I encourage you — accept the mission God is giving you to be Protectors after the heart of St. Joseph. The world will tell you that you don’t have to. The world will say: “Eh, you can’t control yourself. You don’t have to take responsibility. You don’t have to guard or protect anyone or anything. Just take care of yourself. Slack off! Take it easy!”

And too often, we listen to those voices that draw us to comfort and ease. And the world applauds our abdication.

All of that is a lie — and it won’t make you happy. So reject that attitude, and claim responsibility. 

Remember — Everything good, beautiful, and holy is worth protecting.

May St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and Guardian of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, guard and protect all of us, the entire Body of Christ, and may his example and intercession inspire us to follow Christ, and make him the absolute center of your lives.