The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. Joseph on March 19. Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Virgin Mary and foster father of Jesus Christ our Lord. He was of the line of David and worked as a carpenter at Nazareth. God chose him for the greatest mission ever conferred upon a man. His humility, his sanctity and his confidence in God were remarkable. Devotion to Saint Joseph had its orgins in the West. The whole Church now venerates him; the Maronite Church also commemorates him on the Fifth Sunday of Announcement as it prepared for the Birth of our Lord.
|Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus|
“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,” Pope John Paul II had once said.
There is very little about the life of Joseph in Scripture but still, we know that he was the chaste husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter and a man who was not wealthy. We also know that he came from the royal lineage of King David.
We can see from his actions in scripture that Joseph was a compassionate man, and obedient to the will of God. He also loved Mary and Jesus and wanted to protect and provide for them. Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph had probably died before Jesus entered public ministry.
Matthew's gospel describes St. Joseph as a "just man" (1:19). He is the patron saint of the Universal Church, and people invoke his aid for workers, families, and the grace of a happy death, among other things.
St. Thomas Aquinas once noted that St. Joseph is unique among patron saints in that he is able to assist us at anytime for anything. St Theresa of Avila echoed this sentiment when she wrote "I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me."