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Saint Joseph-Spouse of the Virgin Mary

Saint Joseph-Spouse of the Virgin Mary
  • Century:
  • Patronage:
  • Feast Day: March 19th

Patronage – Against Hesitation, Americas, California, Cabinetmakers, Canada, Carpenters, Confectioners, Craftsmen, Dying People, Emigrants, Engineers, Expectant Mothers, Families, Fathers, Happy Death, Holy Death, House Hunters, Immigrants, Laborers, People in Doubt, Pioneers, Protection of the Church, Social Justice, Travelers, Unborn Children, Universal Church, Vatican II, Workers

St. Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus.  It is believed he was born in Bethlehem and died in Nazareth.  St. Joseph played an important mission in “God’s plan” of man’s salvage, by accepting Jesus into his family.  This put Jesus into the line of David, which according to the prophets – the Messiah would be born.  He was called to act as Jesus’ father and guardian.  Most information about St. Joseph comes from the opening two chapters of St. Mathew’s Gospel, although none of his words are recorded.  He is sometimes called the “Silent One”.  There was no devotion to St. Joseph in the early Church, to firmly impress upon the minds of the faithful the Virgin Birth of our Lord.  But later by the early Middle Ages, he became venerated as a great saint.  

St. Joseph descended from the royal house of David, and was an ordinary laborer.  He was chosen to be the Divine spouse of Mary, and bestowed on him as the most honorable gift – he was the “Foster Father of Jesus”.  Sacred Scripture tells us that he was a “just man”, which indicates how faithful he was at protecting and guarding God’s precious Son.  We know that some of his darkest hours may have been when he learned of Mary’s pregnancy, but even in this trial, Joseph showed himself to be a man of character.  After Divine Inspiration and an angel appearing to him, he accepted his duties and did all he could to protect his family and then modestly retires into the background.  

The Bible tells us nothing of his death, although indications show he died before the beginning of Christ’s public life.  His was the most beautiful death that one could have, as he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  How more precious and holy could ones death be?  He humbly passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten.  He remained in the background through centuries of Church History, always there – but in the background, showing his willingness to help as a humble man.  Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, being fostered by Saints Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena.  St. Teresa did much to further veneration to St. Joseph as well.  

The Catholic Church has two major Feast Days in honor of St. Joseph.  On March 19, he is venerated personally, and to commemorate his “Part” in the work of redemption.  On May 1, we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.  He is invoked as patron saint of many things.