Born: 90 B.C. in Bethlehem, State of Palestine
Died: 18 A.D. in Nazareth, Israel
Venerated: Catholic Church; Anglican Communion; Lutheranism; Methodism; Orthodox Church; Oriental Orthodox Church
Feast Day: March 19
Patronages: Universal (Catholic) Church; Unborn Children; Fathers; Immigrants; Workers; Employment; Travelers; Carpenters; Relators; Against Doubt and Hesitation; Happy Death
PLACES: Canada; Croatia; Korea; Zapotlan, Mexico; Vietnam; Various Cities in the Philippines
Saint Joseph, the purse spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and foster-father of our Blessed Lord, was descended from the royal house of David. He is the "just man" of the New Testament, the lowly village carpenter of Nazareth, who among all men of the world was the one chosen by God to be the husband and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ, God Incarnate. To his faithful, loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world.
After the Mother of God, not one of the children of men was ever so gifted and adorned with natural and supernatural virtues as was Saint Joseph, her spouse. In purity of heart, in chastity of life, in humility, patience, fortitude, gentleness, and manliness of character, he reveals to us the perfect type of model of the true Christian.
Poor and obscure in this world's possessions and honors, he was rich in grace and merit, and eminent before God in the nobility and beauty of holiness. Because Saint Joseph was the representative of the Eternal Father on earth, the divinely appointed head of the Holy Family, which was the beginning of the great Family of God, the Church of Christ, on December 8, 1870, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, Pope Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the foster-father of Jesus as Patron of the Universal Church, and from that time his feast has been celebrated on March 19 as one of the high rank. In some places it is observed as a holy day of obligation.
Devotion to Saint Joseph, fervent in the East from the early ages, has in later times spread and increased in such a marvelous way that in our day the Catholics of all nations vie with one another in honoring him. Besides the feast of March 19 there is another feast, that of Saint Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 1). Promulgated in 1955, it replaced the older "Solemnity of Saint Joseph" which had been celebrated since 1847 - first as the "Patronage of Saint Joseph" on the third Sunday after Easter and after 1913 as the "Solemnity of Saint Joseph" on the Wednesday before the third Sunday after Easter. John XXIII inserted the name of Saint Joseph in the Roman Canon or Eucharistic Prayer I.
From his throne of glory in heaven, Saint Joseph watches over and protects the Church militant, and no one who calls on him in need ever calls in vain. He is the model of a perfect Christian life and the patron of a happy death. His patronage extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, over the Christian family, the Christian school, and all individuals who in their need appeal to his charity and powerful intercession, especially in the hour of death; for he who, when dying, received the affectionate ministry of his foster-Son, Jesus, and his Virgin spouse, Mary, may well be trusted to obtain for us the mercy of God and the grace of a peaceful and holy death.
PRAYER: Almighty God, You entrusted to the faithful care of Joseph the beginnings of the mysteries of man's salvation. Through his intercession may Your Church always be faithful in her service so that Your designs will be fulfilled. Amen.
The Seven Sorrows of Saint Joseph
1. The doubts of St. Joseph (Matthew 1:19)
2. The poverty of Jesus' birth (Luke 2:7)
3. The Circumcision (Luke 2:21)
4. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34)
5. The flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:14)
6. The return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:22)
7. The loss of the Child Jesus (Luke 2:45)
The Seven Joys of Saint Joseph
1. Told of the Incarnation (Matthew 1:20)
2. Angels adore the Infant Jesus (Luke 2:10-11)
3. Holy Name of Jesus (Matthew 1:25)
4. Effects of the Redemption (Luke 2:38)
5. Overthrow of the idols in Egypt (Isaiah 19:1)
6. Life with Jesus & Mary (Luke 2:39)
7. Jesus found in the temple (Luke 2:46)