+ Joshua is the central figure of the Old Testament Book of Joshua.
+ Exodus, Numbers, and Joshua tell us that he was a member of the tribe of Ephraim and served as Moses’ assistant. He became the leader of the Chosen People after Moses’ death.
+ According to Scripture, he was one of twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan and he would eventually lead the people in the conquest of that land, helping the Chosen People settle in the land that had been promised to Abraham and his descendants.
+ The Book of Joshua records the decisive battle of Jericho, during which the trumpets of Israel brought down the city walls, and the battle of Gilgal when God is said to have made the sun stand still in the sky.
+ When Joshua was “advanced in years,” he called together the elders and leaders of Israel, urging them to be loyal to God and to remain true to the laws that had been given to them by God through Moses. The tomb of Joshua is said to be located at Timnath-serah in modern-day Jordan.
+ Later Christian tradition came to see Jesus as a “new” Joshua, who leads the people into a new and eternal Promise Land. His name is included in the Roman Martyrology (the Church’s official list of saints) on this day.
For prayer and reflection
“Take great care to love the Lord, your God.”—Joshua 23:11
On this day, the Church honors the memory of 12 Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God who were killed on September 1, 1936, as victims of the anti-clerical violence of the Spanish Civil War. These martyrs, including 11 brothers and 1 priest, were beatified in 1992.
O God, who alone are holy and without whom no one is good, command, we pray, through the intercession of blessed Joshua, that we be numbered among those who do not deserve to be deprived of your glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For One Saint)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.