St. Joseph

 
Feast day:

March 19: St. Joseph, Husband of Mary
May 1: St. Joseph the Worker

 

Patron of:

The Universal Church
Vatican II
Protection of the Church

People: The dying, emigrants, expectant mothers, families, fathers, house hunters, immigrants, married people, pioneers, pregnant women, travelers, unborn children, working people

Occupations: Bursars, carpenters, cabinetmakers, civil engineers, confectioners, craftsmen, laborers, wheelwrights, workers

Against: Doubt, hesitation

For: A happy death, a holy death, social justice

   

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. 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.

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. 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 of adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty.

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, 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.

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, St Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reniwe are told Joseph, along with Mary, searched with great anxiety for three days for him. We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son, for over and over, the people of Nazareth sayof Jesus, "Is this not the son of Joseph?"

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. The circumstances of Joseph's death are unknown.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Blessed Joseph, husband of Mary, be with us this day. You protected and cherished the Virgin; loving the Child Jesus as your Son, you rescued Him from the danger of death. Defend the Church, the household of God, purchased by the blood of Christ.

Guardian of the Holy Family, be with us in our trials. May your prayers obtain for us the strength to flee from error and wrestle with the powers of corruption so that in life we may grow in holiness and in death rejoice in the crown of victory.
Amen.

Pope John Paul II: What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith. Joseph of Nazareth is a "just man" because he totally "lives by faith." He is holy because his faith is truly heroic. Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth. And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness. Saint Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God. We see how the word of the Living God penetrates deeply into the soul of that man, that just man. And we, do we know how to listen to the word of God? Do we know how to absorb it into the depths of our human personalities? Do we open our conscience in the presence of this word?St Joseph and the Child Jesus by John Collier

St. Bernadine of Siena: There is a general rule concerning all special graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation, God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the Spirit needed to fulfill the task at hand. This general rule is especially verified in the case of Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord, and the husband of the Queen of our world, enthroned above the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph's wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying "Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." Remember us, Saint Joseph, and plead for us to your foster child. Ask your most holy bride, the Virgin Mary, to look kindly upon us, since she is the mother of him who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns eternally. Amen.

 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church
512 W. Wainman Ave.
Asheboro, NC 27203

Phone: (336) 629-0221
Fax: (336) 629-6968
E-mail: stjoe@triad.rr.com
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