Saint Joseph

21
11

Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture.¬†We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). He wasn’t rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph’s genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as “son of David,” a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22)

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God’s commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus’ birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.

Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus’ public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.

Comments

21 COMMENTS

  1. Pray for us; the suffering Church on earth. It has not been easy. Pray also for the happy repose of Fr. Bernard Eze. Thank You!

  2. With love O St.Joseph you accept Mary and Jesus.May we imitate this love and live as brothers and sisters.St.Joseph,husband of Mary Ora Pro Nobis…….

  3. Darkness has Spiritual Value

    I need the shadows of Good Friday to appreciate the full possibilities of the Easter mystery. The most distant object I can see on a clear day is the sun. But on a dark night I can see the stars, millions of miles farther away.

  4. Have mercy on us o Lord and grant us the grace to listen to your voice without complain just as your servant Joseph is. Help us to be creative and have something doing with or without white color jobs in the whole world just as you granted Joseph the Talent of Carpentry.May peace reign in the whole universe especially our Country Nigeria and deliver us from the hands of Boko-haram in Jesus name amen.

  5. Please pray for my brother and his family. They are in financial trouble and need to sell their home as soon as possible. Thank you!

  6. st Joseoh, patron of workers please intercide for me to find a job and help me to make a wise descisine in my life help to find or to make a wise choise husband.

    Please help me to find the right job because I an sufferning financial loose. Pleaase hear my prayers and answer me.

    Thank you st Joseph.

    Amen

LEAVE A REPLY