Solemnity Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Joseph was a descendant of Israel’s King David and a carpenter by trade. Scripture tells us that he was a just and virtuous man who was betrothed to wed the young Blessed Virgin Mary. Upon finding her pregnant with the Son of God, Joseph, after a time of uncertainty, was encouraged by an angel to continue with the marriage plans. Because of his complete faithfulness and obedience to the will of God, St. Joseph was chosen to become the spouse of the Mother of God and the adoptive father of Jesus Christ.
As the divinely-appointed earthly guardian and protector of the Holy Family, St. Joseph provided and cared for the material needs of Mary and the Child Jesus. St. Joseph is the patron saint of many causes, especially fathers, families, married couples, children, pregnant women, workers, craftsmen, against doubt, the dying, and a happy and holy death. He is also the guardian and protector of the Universal Church.
The Church traditionally dedicates the month of March to the special veneration of St. Joseph, whose feast day is March 19th. “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,” says St. Bernardine of Siena. “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.'”
Due to St. Joseph’s leadership of the Holy Family, he has been declared the protector and patron of the universal Catholic Church.
He has two feast days: St. Joseph the Husband of Mary on March 19th, and St. Joseph the Worker on May 1st.
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If earthly princes consider it a matter of so much importance to select carefully a tutor fit for their children, think you that the Eternal God would not, in his almighty power and wisdom, choose from out of his creation the most perfect man living [St. Joseph] to be the guardian of his divine and most glorious Son, the Prince of heaven and earth?”
Saint Francis de Sales
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.
Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
The Gospel of the Lord
If God had charged you with the honorable task of choosing from among the kings a husband for the Blessed Virgin, would you not have given her the greatest mind in the world? And if he had ordered you to pick one of the saints, would you not have given her the greatest saint who ever trod the earth? Now, do you think that the Holy Spirit, who is the author of this divine marriage, is less concerned than you are to provide her with a husband suited to her merits?”
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
Let us allow ourselves to be filled with St Joseph’s silence! In a world that is often too noisy, that encourages neither recollection nor listening to God’s voice, we are in such deep need of it.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.