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St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

February 28, 2009

The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph, a wonderful example of faith for all Christians

St. Joseph Framed Print

March 19 – the Feast of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

What emanates from the figure of Saint Joseph is faith. Joseph of Nazareth is a “just man” because he totally “lives by faith.” He is holy because his faith is truly heroic. Sacred Scripture says little of him. It does not record even one word spoken by Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth.

And yet, even without words, he shows the depth of his faith, his greatness. . . 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

Few details of St. Joseph’s life are known. Neither his birth date nor the date of his death are known for sure. Tradition holds that he was older than Mary at the time of their marriage, though his exact age can not be definitively determined as the only documents that note his exact age and other details are apocryphal works. Joseph died sometime prior to Christ’s Passion, and tradition holds that Mary was already a widow when Jesus’s public ministry began.

Still, with just a few short mentions in Holy Scripture, Joseph’s character is evident. His actions portray him as a man who was open to God, obedient, upright, and kind. In learning of Mary’s pregnancy, Joseph did not act to repudiate and shame her publicly, a harsh step which could even put a woman in danger of capital punishment at the time. Rather he decided to divorce her quietly. But Joseph was open to God and so when an angel came to him in a dream and told him to take Mary home as his wife, he faithfully obeyed. He was obedient again when commanded to flee to Egypt to protect Mary and the infant Jesus. In these passages, Scripture shows a man of Faith and virtuous action whose willingness to follow God is an example to all.

Joseph’s wise dealing with Mary is a model for us when we face complex moral and personal issues. He subordinated his feelings to do what God required. He was open to whatever God wanted, and when he sensed the Divine Will, he obeyed.”
Voices of the Saints, by Bert Ghezzi

Find this article about St. Joseph here.

The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity.

Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself. By faith “man freely commits his entire self to God.” For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God’s will. “The righteous shall live by faith.” Living faith “work[s] through charity.”

Let Us Pray

Prayer to St. Joseph

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms.

I dare not approach while He reposes near your Heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.


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