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St Joseph Terror of Demons
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear...”
1 John 4:18
“There were many reasons for Christ’s Incarnation. A key one was to defeat the devil...Jesus did the Father’s will. He resisted the devilish temptations in the wilderness...He lived by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. And He went on the offensive against the devil’s darkness, practicing exorcism with the word of command. He also taught His hearers about the devil and the devil’s ways. He made the darkness visible, as it were...Jesus taught the awareness of evil in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:13): ‘And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.’ It is interesting to observe that Satan must ask God for permission to sift Peter like wheat. Satan’s power is circumscribed. Indeed Jesus’ words reveal that God is the object of a demand from Satan and a prayer request from Jesus.”
Adapted from “Against the Darkness: The Doctrine of Angels, Satan, and Demons”
By Graham A. Cole
At the beginning of the Litany of St Joseph is the appellation “Noble Offspring of David” which moved me so much last December I decided to do a painting called “St Joseph Flower of Jesse,” King David’s Father. At the very end of the Litany is a petitionary title I have been deeply considering lately; St Joseph Terror of Demons. Often the best way for me to understand a person or a theological truth is to paint an icon or image so I can spend the time needed to read, pray and beg for illumination.
So I decided to paint an image of St Joseph Terror of Demons. This title implies towering spiritual power and strength, but how did Jesus exercise that kind of power ? Did Jesus learn something from his foster father about the way you terrorize demons ? Because of watching Jesus in the Gospels, command with a word and subjugate demons with the strength of his holiness, I imagined Joseph would do the same. And so I could not represent Joseph as another St Michael with a sword or lance slicing or skewering the devil. I imagined his eyes averted, in a prayer, and the visible aura of holiness, his depth of connection to God, being all the strength he needs to send the devils fleeing.
Dear St Joseph
Flower of Jesse
Husband of Mary
Foster Father and teacher of Jesus
Model of true strength for all men.
Joseph scattering the ongoing damage of the father of lies,
Protector of Pope Francis and Holy Church.
Sometimes the demons are without and sadly, sometimes within.
Lead us into your prayer, your intimate communion with God.
In this way be the Terror of Demons and at the hour of our death,
our passing into God, be there, be there, be there, and lead us to our eternal Home.
Fr William Hart McNichols 💮 February 2022
“Peacemaking goes nowhere; but it must be done.”
Holy Prophet Fr Daniel Berrigan, SJ
I never thought when I began this icon, I’d see the tragedies we are seeing in Ukraine in this last week of February into March. This icon has become more urgent to me now. And in my life, I have never seen so much love and support at one time from the entire world.
We have been watching lies, the insurrection, non-stop pettiness, rampant evil; perhaps only Ukraine can continue to unite us now watching their supernatural courage and heroism. Maybe you have heard that 400 Russian soldiers were sent into Ukraine to find and murder President Zelensky . He, his wife and children desperately need our prayers.
Dear Joseph, Terror of Demons, intercede for President Zelensky and his family, also the people of Ukraine and the good people of Russia.
Fr William Hart McNichols 💜 March 2022