St. Joseph, long a hidden and under-appreciated saint, has risen to sudden prominence by way
  of apparitions to Sister Mildred Mary Neuzil -- the Ohio mystic
  who died last year and whose apparitions, already partially approved,
  are now being set before Church officials for further action.
  Among the details is the role of Joseph, faithful husband of Mary and father
  on earth of the Savior Himself. On March 11, 1958, the Virgin
  reportedly told Sister Mildred that Joseph was coming to speak to
  her because he has "an important part to play in bringing peace to
  the world." When Joseph appeared, said Sister Neuzil, he
described himself as the "virgin-father" whose stain from original
  sin was cleansed immediately after his conception "through the
  future merits of Jesus." "My heart suffered with the hearts of
 Jesus and Mary," said the saint. "Mine was a silent suffering, for it
  was my special vocation to hide and shield, as long as God willed,
  the Virgin Mother and Son from the malice and hatred of men. The
  most painful part of my sorrows was that I knew beforehand of their
  passion, yet would not be there to console them." In one vision
 Sister Mildred saw Joseph "suspended, as it were, a short distance
  above what had the appearance of a large globe with clouds moving
  about it. His head was slightly raised, the eyes gazing upward as if
  in ecstasy. The hands were in a position similar to that of the priest
 during the celebration of Holy Mass, only they extended upward
  somewhat more." His hair seemed dark brown, said Sister Mildred,
and he had a small beard. He was clothed in a white robe that
 reached to his ankles. Over this he wore a cloak, according to a
 pamphlet issued by the Our Lady of America Center in Fostoria, Ohio.
  If sanctioned the apparitions of Joseph would rank among the most
  powerful in Church history. In recent times he has been associated
  with just one major apparition, that of Knock, Ireland, and with
  lesser apparitions such as one on the side of a church in Pidkamin,
 Ukraine. But in those appearances he was silent; to Sister Mildred
  (whose messages were granted an imprimatur) he spoke. He came
  as a teacher of purity, said Sister Mildred, and through him God
 had "blessed all fatherhood." "Fatherhood is from God," Joseph
 said to the nun, "and it must take once again its rightful place among
 men. The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique
  fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed." In another vision
Sister Mildred, whose spiritual director was Archbishop
Paul F. Leibold of Cincinnati, said she saw Joseph's "pure heart"
on a cross of brown color. "It appeared to me that at the top of the
heart, in the midst of the flames pouring out, was a pure white lily,"
 wrote the nun, who said the saint desired a day set aside to honor
his fatherhood. "In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you
also honor Jesus and Mary," he told Sister Neuzil, adding that he
too was a "co-operator" or "co-redemptor." "The Divine Trinity has
 placed into our keeping the peace of the world." Sister Mildred
said St. Joseph's cloak at times seemed brown, at other times purple,
 with a belt and sandals that looked the color of gold. Though his
appearance seemed quite youthful, the nun said he gave the
impression of "great strength" and "rare maturity." "The lines of
his face appeared strong and purposeful, softened somewhat by a
gentle serenity," said Sister Mildred in a booklet available through
  the Fostoria center. "I also saw his most pure heart at this time.
 Moreover, I saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above
  his head." The nun added that two angels were at his side, each
  with a small, satin-covered pillow, one bearing a gold scepter, the
  other a gold crown. "Then I heard these words: `Thus should be
  honored whom the King desires to honor,'" said Sister Mildred.
 According to the revelations Joseph had been given special powers
  of protection over the Pope and Church, as well as individual
 households, and requested that his heart be honored in a special
  way each first Wednesday of the month through recitation of the
  Rosary's joyful mysteries and Communion. "Let them receive
 Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received
 the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms,"
said Joseph on March 30, 1958 -- thus setting the stage for
 possible creation of a new devotion in the same manner that
 Fatima began the devotion of First Saturdays. He promised that
  those dedicated to this new devotion "will be consoled by my
  presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely
  into the presence of Jesus and Mary." "Jesus and Mary desire
 that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored
  in a special way," said the apparition. "Their future suffering was
  ever present to me and became my daily cross," Joseph said in
 October 1956. "My spiritual fatherhood extends to all God's children,
  and together with my Virgin Spouse I watch over them with
 great love and solicitude. Through me the Heavenly Father has
  blessed all fatherhood, and through me He continues and will
  continue to do so till the end of time."  A move is currently afoot
to establish a special devotion to the Virgin as Our Lady of America
 as described in the Ohio apparitions.

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