Year of Saint Joseph 2021 – Part 1

Who is Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph by Spanish Old Master Paintings & Drawings

The Lineage of Joseph

Bethlehem, the city of David and his descendants, appears to have been the birth-place of Joseph. However, the Gospel history opens, Joseph was settled at Nazareth. We see Joseph’s appearances in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke; both the gospels state the genealogy of Jesus showing ancestry from King David. In the Gospel of Matthew follows the royal line from Solomon and as for the Gospel of Luke it traces the line back to Nathan, another son of David and Bathsheba. Hence, all the names between David and Joseph are different. Both the Gospels take different approaches however, Joseph was” of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4)

Due to his ancestry to King David, Joseph’s connection is between the past covenant made with Abraham and Moses and also the New and the long lasting covenant which will be made by Christ.

What do we know about Saint Joseph?

Saint Joseph was truly a silent figure of the New Testament. In his life, he did great things for God that speaks volumes. We know that he is a carpenter, a working class man and also the foster father of Jesus. In the Gospel, we are familiar of the righteousness of Joseph. He was loyal to God and was caring for his spouse, Mary when she was pregnant and he accepted the responsibility of being a responsible husband to Mary and a caring father to Jesus and he died a peaceful death with his wife, Mary and son, Jesus at his side. Everything we know about Joseph comes from the Bible.

“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.

Joseph’s Death

The events of Joseph’s death are not known, but it is likely he died before Jesus’s ministry began, and it is insinuated that he was dead before the Crucifixion (John 19:26-27). The presence of Joseph was not mentioned in Jesus’ public life, at Jesus’ crucifixion or resurrection. In truth we do not know when Joseph died and the possibility is that he died and was buried at Nazareth.

Apart from what is written in the scriptures, very little is known about the life of Joseph. In the epistles written by Paul, make no reference to Joseph. There are many stories depicting the life of Joseph however these claims are factitious and are not accepted by the Roman Catholic Church.

Patron Saint of the Universal Church

Joseph was declared patron saint of the universal church by Pope Pius IX. He was also a patron of many things, fathers, and the dying and social justice.

St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar.

March 19 – “Joseph, the Husband of Mary”.

May 1 – “Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker”.

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