St. Joseph is one of the most beloved saints and the patron of so many causes. But, this man never spoke a word in scripture, so what could we know about him?
His Extraordinary Character
St. Joseph was a carpenter, a hard-working man, a man of principles, a man of faith, and a man of lowly means (which are all things evident from scripture). However, because of the lineage in Matthew’s gospel, we know that he was a descendant of David (the royal line!). He must have taught Jesus carpentry skills, which was the custom of the time in families with a trade.
Because of his strong character, compassion, and love for Mary, he refused to divorce Mary publicly (which would have potentially led to her being stoned). However, this was all cleared up when an angel came to visit him in a dream (it’s always Josephs who get the dreams, am I right?). The angel told him what to name their son, and also came back to tell them to flee to Egypt to keep his family safe from Herod.
Obviously Jesus had both a divine and human nature, but Joseph also modeled his faithfulness to God with his observance of the Holy Days, his faithful leadership of his family, and his care, love and respect of Jesus’ mother, Mary. Some believe he died before Jesus’ ministry, which makes sense because he didn’t appear and Mary was left to the care of John, the apostles, and The Church.
He is the patron of fathers, pregnant women, house sellers and buyers (I feel like we’ve all buried a Joseph statue at some point), craftsmen, and the dying (because it is assumed he died with Jesus and Mary by his side, which is ideal). He is called Mary’s “most chaste spouse” in the divine praises, and the fact that he’s included there signals to me that he is a saint of great importance and a fantastic intercessor. In addition, he is usually pictured with a lily and/or the baby Jesus, and his feast day is March 19.
Consecration to St. Joseph
There is a new Consecration to St. Joseph, very similar to the Consecration to Our Lady, written by Fr. Don Calloway, MIC (an awesome priest). It looks fantastic! Also, read more about St. Joseph here and read about him in the Gospels here.
Why a Carpenter’s Square?
St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade, a craft he likely passed down to Jesus. This tool of his trade signifies his care for the Holy Family as father and provider.
Who would be friends with St. Joseph?
- Real Estate agents
- Older parents
- Fathers of priests (and he was the father of the Great High Priest!)
- Pregnant women
- RCIA sponsors (they can become like parents!)
The Litany of St. Joseph (a snippet)
Renowned offspring of David,From the Litany of St. Joseph
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched, Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church