Who is St Joseph?
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Who is St Joseph?

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Biblical Reference of St Joseph

St Joseph was a descendant of the house of  King David . After marrying  Mary , he found her already pregnant and, “being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace” (Matthew 1:19), decided to divorce her quietly, but an angel told him that the child was the Son of God and was conceived by the  Holy Spirit . Obeying the angel, St Joseph took Mary as his wife. After Jesus’ birth at  Bethlehem  in  Judaea , where the  Holy Family  received the  Magi , an angel warned St Joseph and Mary about the impending violence against the child by King  Herod the Great  of Judaea, whereupon they fled to Egypt. There the angel again appeared to Joseph, informing him of Herod’s death and instructing him to return to the Holy Land. Avoiding Bethlehem out of fear of Herod’s successor, Joseph, Mary, and Jesus settled in  Nazareth  (Matthew 2:22–23) in  Galilee , where Joseph taught his craft of carpentry to Jesus. Joseph is last mentioned in the Gospels when he and Mary frantically searched for the lost young Jesus in  Jerusalem , where they found him in the Temple (Luke 2:41–49). Like Mary, Joseph failed to comprehend Jesus’  ironic  question, “ ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ ” The circumstances of Joseph’s death are unknown, except that he probably died before Jesus’ public ministry began and was certainly dead before the Crucifixion (John 19:26–27).

Bible Verses on St Joseph

Matthew 13:55

55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

Matthew1:18-25

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about : His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Matthew1:19

19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

Luke 2:16

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Mark 6:3

3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

St Joseph is the Patron Saint of…

St Joseph is the patron saint of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth.

St Joseph is also patron saint of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general.

We celebrate two feast days for St Joseph: March 19 for St Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for St Joseph the Worker. March 19 has been the most commonly celebrated feast day for St  Joseph, and it wasn’t until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” to be celebrated on May 1. This is also May Day (International Workers’ Day) and believed to reflect St Joseph’s status as the patron of workers.

Many places and churches all over the world are named after St. Joseph, including the Spanish form, San Jose, which is the most commonly named place in the world. St Joseph is considered by many to also be the patron saint of the New World; of the countries China, Canada, Korea, Mexico, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Peru, Vietnam; of the regions Carinthia, Styria, Tyrol, Sicily; and of several main cities and dioceses.

Prayer to St Joseph

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Litany of St Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us!

V. He made him the lord of His household,
R. And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Feast Day of St Joseph

Saint Joseph’s Day, also called the Feast of Saint Joseph or the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, is in  Western Christianity  the principal  feast day  of  Saint Joseph , husband of the  Virgin Mary  and legal father of  Jesus Christ  celebrated on 19 March. It has the rank of a  solemnity  in the  Catholic Church . It is a  feast  or commemoration in the provinces of the  Anglican Communion ,and a feast or  festival  in the  Lutheran Church . Saint Joseph’s Day is the  Patronal Feast day  for Poland as well as for Canada, persons named Joseph, Josephine, etc., for  religious institutes , schools and parishes bearing his name, and for  carpenters . It is also  Father’s Day  in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy. It is not a  holy day of obligation  for Catholics in the United States.

19 March was dedicated to Saint Joseph in several Western calendars by the 10th century, and this custom was established in Rome by 1479.  Pope Pius V  extended its use to the entire  Roman Rite  by his Apostolic Constitution  Quo primum  (14 July 1570). Originally a double of the second class and a  feast of precept , it was re-raised to be of precept in 1917 after having this status intermittently lost, and consequently also raised to its current rank of double of the first class (now called a solemnity), having become in the meantime the rank common to all remaining general feasts of precept. Since 1969,  Episcopal Conferences  may, if they wish, transfer it to a date outside Lent. Even if it occurs inside Lent on the usual date of 19 March, it is still observed as a Solemnity of a Saint—this is one of the few times during Lent the  Gloria  may be said or sung, the vesture is changed from the purple or violet of Lent to white or gold (as it would be for such a solemnity normally), the  Collect  and the  Eucharistic Prayer ‘s Preface and other prayers are from the Solemnity and not Lent, the hymns are more joyful, and the Creed is said. However, the  Alleluia  is still not used, the  Tract  being used instead, per Lenten regulations.

Miracle of Loretto Chapel by St Joseph

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.

Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters’ prayers.

The stairway’s carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.

The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. It is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway’s construction.

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One thought on “Who is St Joseph?

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