"Of old it was said to the needy and suffering people in the
kingdom of Egypt: 'Go to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to
you.’ (Gen. 41:55)
"The same is now said by the Sovereign Pontiff
to all needy and suffering people in the kingdom of the Church:
Go to Joseph...
"What was truly said of the first Joseph, as
to his future, and as to his goodness, his chastity, his patience,
his wisdom, his influence with the king, his power over the people,
and his love for his brethren, is verified much more perfectly,
even to this day, in the second Joseph."
-Herbet Cardinal Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster
16th CENTURY PROPHECY
Isadore of Isolanis, a pious Dominican of the 16th
century, prophesied that “the sound of victory” will
be heard in the Church Militant “when the faithful recognize
the sanctity of St. Joseph.” He continues: “The Lord
will let His light shine, He will lift the veil, and great men will
search out the interior gifts of God that are hidden in St. Joseph;
they will find in him a priceless treasure, the like of which they
had never found in other saints of the Old Testament. We are inclined
to believe that toward the end of time, God will overwhelm St. Joseph
with glorious honor.
If in the past ages during the storms of persecution,
these honors could not be shown to St. Joseph, we must conclude
that they have been reserved for later times. At some future time,
the feast of St. Joseph will be celebrated as one of the greatest
feasts. The Vicar of Christ, inspired by the Holy Spirit, will order
this feast to be celebrated in the Universal Church.”
OF ST. JOSEPH
THE PRIMARY FEAST OF ST. JOSEPH IS MARCH 19. It is
believed - his death occurred on that day. This feast was fixed
in the 15th century and was extended to the whole Church by Pope
Gregory XV in 1621. 0n December 8 1870, Pope Pius IX ordered that
this feast be celebrated throughout the Church as a double of the
first class. Holy Church also dedicates to St. Joseph the entire
month of March. In addition, pious custom dedicates Wednesday of
each week to the honor of St. Joseph.
May 1 was established as the feast of St. Joseph the
Workman by Pope Pius XII in 1955.The date was chosen to coincide
with the date on which Labor Day is observed in many countries,
thus to elevate and sanctify the observance. Formerly there was
a solemnity of the Patronage of St. Joseph which was celebrated
each year on the third Sunday after Easter, then changed to the
Wednesday following the Second Sunday after Easter, with an octave
following. On that day St. Joseph was honored especially as the
spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and as Patron of the Universal
Church. Formerly, there was also a feast of the Espousal of St.
Joseph on January 23.
JOSEPH, HUSBAND OF MARY
"There is a general rule concerning all special
graces granted to any human being. Whenever the divine favor chooses
someone to receive a special grace, or to accept a lofty vocation,
God adorns the person chosen with all the gifts of the spirit needed
to fulfill the task at hand."
"This general rule is especially verified in
the case of St. Joseph...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." (St. Bernardine
of Siena, Sermon 2 on St. Joseph; Cf. 2nd Reading, Liturgy of the
The gospel passage for this solemnity is St. Matthew's
account of the announcement to Joseph of the coming birth of Jesus.
It makes St. Joseph the central and active figure - Joseph is the
recipient of a revelation and God communicates his will to him.
The evangelist suggests that Joseph understood what was asked of
him and without further questioning or doubt accepted the call of
God. "When Joseph awoke he id as the angel of the Lord had
directed him" (Matthew 1:24). Joseph was a man of faith.
Earlier in the history of God's people, Abraham took
God at his word and believed. His faith was an act of confidence
in God and an act of hope in a promise that only God could guarantee.
Joseph, like Abraham, had only the barest knowledge about his vocation.
Yet he accepted it with the same unquestioning faith, absolutely
King David had intended to build a glorious temple
to the Lord, but the prophet Nathan bore a message from God not
to build a temple. Rather, God will build up for him a house, an
everlasting dynasty, a throne firm forever. Prophetically we understand
his words as a reference to Jesus Christ ad his kingdom. The place
of this reading in our celebration today serves also a historical
point of reference. Joseph was a descendant of David and a foster
father of Jesus, and therefore has a significant role in the establishment
of His kingdom.
Our scripture lessons today teach us about faith and
trust in God. Three figures are presented to us, each one an example
of faith -David, Abraham and Joseph. Each one of them committed
himself to an unknown without hesitation. The silence of the Scriptures
regarding St. Joseph speaks a eloquently of his faith. The few passages
in which he is mentioned show him as a man going about the business
of what God asked of him.
The short reading at evening prayer on this solemnity
speaks to us of St. Joseph:
"Whatever you do, work at it with your whole
being. Do it for the Lord rather than for men, since you know full
well that you will receive an inheritance from him as your reward,"
Generally, we have some notion of what God wants of
us after seeking guidance and advice. It may be clear to us how
we are to go about doing his will, yet we need still faith and trust
in God's Providence as we face the future. In any adventure with
God difficulties may be encountered, challenges will have to be
The events of sacred history are a source of encouragement,
as we give ourselves unreservedly to God, and his purpose and will
Our prayer today honors St. Joseph,"that just
man, that wise and loyal servant whom [God] placed at the head of
his family," (Preface of the Mass), to cherish Mary and to
watch over Jesus. We ask for Joseph's watchfulness over the Church
with the same care and unselfish love he gave to Mary and Jesus.
STORY ABOUT ST. JOSEPH
He was the royal and divinely-trusted man to whom
the Blessed Virgin Mary was given as a bride, and whom God knew
would guard her innocence as a virgin and protect her Divine Child.
Saint Joseph is the foster father of Jesus. The Litany of the Saints
refers to him as the last of the patriarchs. Saint Joseph was espoused
to Our Blessed Lady by divine arrangement on when she was just fourteen
years old. Saint Joseph was thirty years old at the time. He was
a man of faith.
He was faithful, patient man, obedient to the demands of God and
willingly accepted the hardships. The gospel passage for this solemnity
is St. Matthew’s account of the announcement to Joseph of
the coming birth of Jesus. It makes St. Joseph the central and active
figure - Joseph is the recipient of a revelation and God communicates
his will to him. The evangelist suggests that Joseph understood
what was asked of him and without further questioning or doubt accepted
the call of God. “When Joseph awoke he id as the angel of
the Lord had directed him” (Matthew 1:24).
As the Second Vatican Council teaches, “The obedience of
faith must be given to God as He reveals Himself. By this obedience
of faith man freely commits himself entirely to God, making the
full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals and
willingly assenting to the revelation given by Him.” St. Joseph
is the model of this obedient faith.
Saint Joseph died when he was sixty years old, just before the
public life of Our Lord began. The whole month of March is dedicated
to Saint Joseph. Saint Joseph’s body arose into Heaven, in
soul and in body, forty days later, to await there the coming of
Mary on the great feast of the Assumption, on August 15, in the
year 58. Saint Joseph has now two special feast days, one for his
royalty on March 19, and one for his humility as a workman, on May
1. It was told to the Israelites in the Old Testament, “Go
to Joseph,” if they wanted any favor or benefit. “Go
to Joseph,” is the advice and counsel given to every Catholic
who wants a favor and who believes in the sanctity of the Holy Family
and its simple and innocent hierarchy. Anything Saint Joseph asks
of Mary and of Jesus in eternity, he will get. He is still the head
of the Holy Family.
In 1870, Pope Pius IX proclaimed Joseph as the Patron of the universal
Church, honoring his role of support, protection and guidance and
named March 19 as "the heavenly birthday of St Joseph".