Skip to comments.March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
Posted on 03/19/2005 2:04:28 PM PST by NYer
Everything we know about the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus comes from Scripture and that has seemed too little for those who made up legends about him.
We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55). He wasn't rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).
Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew disagree some about the details of Joseph's genealogy but they both mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). Indeed the angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as "son of David," a royal title used also for Jesus.
We know Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was as yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God. He planned to divorce Mary according to the law but he was concerned for her suffering and safety. He knew that women accused to adultery could be stoned to death, so he decided to divorce her quietly and not expose her to shame or cruelty (Matthew 1:19-25).
We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-2 3).
We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, "Is this not the son of Joseph?" (Luke 4:22)
We know Joseph respected God. He followed God's commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.
Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry.
Joseph is the patron 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.
Joseph is also patron of the universal Church, fathers, carpenters, and social justice.
We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.
There is much we wish we could know about Joseph -- where and when he was born, how he spent his days, when and how he died. But Scripture has left us with the most important knowledge: who he was -- "a righteous man" (Matthew 1:18). In His Footsteps:
Joseph was foster father to Jesus. There are many children separated from families and parents who need foster parents. Please consider contacting your local Catholic Charities or Division of Family Services about becoming a foster parent. Prayer:
Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen
Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints, but nmh says that Joseph, whom Scripture attests to be a just man, is irrelevant. You'll pardon me if I think God's opinion matters more.
It is what is written about Christ in the Bible that should be the most important to you.
Are you saying that Joseph had nothing to do with Christ? Funny, it seems that Christ thought otherwise; Scripture says "He was subject to them."
It is HE Who has redeemed you; not Mary and certainly not Joseph
I believe we know that.
You need to thank 'BykrBayb' who was inspired and asked for this posting. And what an inspiration!
Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine foster-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.
Yes, the angel Gabriel just drops in from heaven to literally "Hail" irrelevant beings all the time. The Second Person of the Trinity also performs miracles at the request of any ol' irrelevant human.
You seem pretty irrelevant. Would you mind having our Messiah turn a few gallons of my tap water into good wine. Right now I'm drinking that crappy California jug stuff from the Woodbridge region.
The next thing you'll say is that Mary is "dead". I got that one not too long ago.
Thanks, BykrBayb & NYer.
I'm sorry. Mary is a Jewish mother. There is no way she is irrelevent.
Mary is dead to us.
No one with eternal life is dead to us. Mary has eternal life. She is very much alive.
Mary was a Jewish woman that housed Jesus till He was born. Very little is written about her. She should not be the focus of your attention - and certainly not on Palm Sunday.
Mary is in heaven but like other relatives and loved ones who have passed on and believe WE do not have access to her and we don't pray to them.
The saints are a mirror in which we can begin to fathom our own relationship with Christ. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
She isn't the focus of Palm Sunday. The Passion is. One of them will be read tomorrow in every Catholic church. It just so happens that today is the Feast of St. Joseph. Pure coincidence. Mary is never exactly the focus of anything. We ask her, as the Mother of Our Lord, to pray for us in her son's name. We ask all those who have passed before us and are with God to pray for us. Mary just happens to be very special as she was the vessel through which Our Lord was succored.
"She isn't the focus of Palm Sunday. The Passion is. One of them will be read tomorrow in every Catholic church. It just so happens that today is the Feast of St. Joseph. Pure coincidence. Mary is never exactly the focus of anything. We ask her, as the Mother of Our Lord, to pray for us in her son's name. We ask all those who have passed before us and are with God to pray for us. Mary just happens to be very special as she was the vessel through which Our Lord was succored."
The Feast of Joseph is a made up holiday honoring the wrong person. It is Christ that you should always be focused on not honoring other dead sinners.
Mary is another sinner like you and I. If it matters, the Bible makes this clear. First, David declared for ALL human beings , Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me Psalm 51:5.
Second, Pail affirmed that EVERY human born of natural parents since Adam's time sinned in Adam, for "through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to ALL man, because ALL sinned, Romans 5:12.
Here's the whole passage that I am referring to in Romans:
 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is very, very clear that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and that INCLUDES Mary! Mary is part of ALL! She is NOT without sin.
 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
There are other verses that state the same. The Bible is VERY clear on this.
Third, there is absolutely no trace anywhere in the Bible that Mary was an exception to the rule and not included in "all". In Christ's case, however it points out repeatedly that He was human, yet without sin as indicated here:
2 Cor. 5:21
 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
1 Peter 3:18
 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
And I'll end with this one even though there are other verses that state the same.
Finally, Mary proclaimed her own sinfulness when she confessed, "my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior"
 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
It really doesn't get any clearer. I would strongly suggest you take the Word of God over the word of fallible man.
Mary confessed she is a sinner like you and I in the verse I referenced - she needed Jesus as her Savior also. She is not sinless and just another human being. The Bible commands us to "Worship the Lord your God, and Him ONLY shall you serve" in Matthew 4:10:
 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
The angel from God did NOT confirm that Mary was blessed OVER ALL WOMEN but blessed AMONG WOMEN - big difference - ah the devil is in the details. He declared:
 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
The cult of Mariolatry grew in the Roman Catholic Church beginning in the Middle Ages, adding to her titles as a "Coredemtrix" and "Queen of Heaven". This is a pagan influence on Christianity patterned after the old Babylonian goddess called by this very name - "the queen of heaven" in Jeremiah:
 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
 But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.
 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?
and verse 25
 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven,
Read through this book and see how this angered God.
Lastly but not exhaustive of your beliefs is the issue of praying TO Mary. Again the Bible clearly states something contrary to what you chose to believe. Again, you must decide, if you take the Word of God to heart or the word of fallible man.
1 Timothy 2:5 asserts:
 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
So the MEDIATOR is Jesus Christ but who is the INTERCESSOR? Mary? Another dead "saint"?
Let's see what the Bible, God's Word says.
In Romans 8:26-27 we find God's answer to the question:
 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
So, Christ is the MEDIATOR and the Holy Spirit is the INTERCESSOR for us. Christ ALONE died for our sins, not Mary or Joseph etc..
 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
The death of Christ made reconciliation possible as stated in 2 Cor. 5:19-21
 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The Holy Spirit did NOT die for our sins. It was Christ. Christ prays to the Father on our behalf. Having been on this earth He is sympathetic to our daily temptations. The INTERCESSION of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost is not in heaven, as Christ's work is according to 1 John 2:1-2
 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Rather the Holy Spirit or if you prefer to call Him the Holy Ghost, is INDWELLING within believers. The INDWELLING Spirit pleads in us TO the Father on the grounds of the MEDIATING work of Jesus Christ. THIS is what the Bible states.
No where, I repeat, NO WHERE does the bible state ANYONE else intercedes for us - not Mary, not Joseph nor any other mere fallible dead mortal does this for us. It is sooo clear, when the Bible is relied upon. Again, the choice is yours. If you wish to rely on man's word that CONTRADICTS what God clearly states in the Bible, that is a choice you can make however it is a most unwise one and it is not a "difference in interpretation".
There is more I can say on this FROM THE BIBLE but this should suffice. What else I would add is just a rehash with other verses to state the same. If you don't accept this, you won't accept more of the same so there is no point in me responding further.
Thank you again for this beautiful thread. Once again, I'm disheartened to see the intrusion of a hate-filled heart, bent on spreading that hatred. Why must they show up on every thread? I have such a long list of souls to pray for, and it's getting longer.
I just saw this thread, and although it is no longer technically St. Joseph's Day, I thought I might share that today is my "baptismal birthday" as I like to call them. I was baptised on this day as an infant and have celebrated it with much prayer once I came to realize it, about the time of my First Holy Communion about eight years later. St. Joseph has always been very special to me, because he was special to our Lord!
Happy baptismal birthday!
Thanks! Although I am sure there must be others who do it, my family is the only one I know of that celebrates baptismal birthdays. I find it's a great way to commemorate such a special day. I hope it's one tradition that my children will pass along, too. No gifts, just prayers! The only extra thing is that the birthday person gets to pick the dinner and dessert for the evening! (Had to have some special 'privilege' for the day when they were little!)
"To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary 'was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.' [LG 56.] The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as full of grace. [Lk 1:28 .] In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace."
"Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, 'full of grace' through God, [Lk 1:28 .] was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. [Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803.]"
"The 'splendour of an entirely unique holiness' by which Mary is 'enriched from the first instant of her conception' comes wholly from Christ: she is 'redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son'. [LG 53, 56.] The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person 'in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places' and chose her 'in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love'. [Cf. Eph 1:3-4 .]"
"Called in the Gospels 'the mother of Jesus', Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as 'the mother of my Lord'. [Lk 1:43 ; Jn 2:1 ; Jn 19:25 ; cf. Mt 13:55 ; et al.] In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly 'Mother of God' (Theotokos). [Council of Ephesus (431): DS 251.]"
People ask people to "pray for me" all the time. Why not ask the Virgin Mary or any other saint to "pray for you?" Just because they are no longer "of this world" does not mean they don't "talk" to God. The saints in heaven are not "separated" by death from the community of the Church (Romans 8:38-39) as we are ALL one Body in Christ (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12) and Christ "abolished death" (2 Timothy 1:10). Therefore, the saints in Heaven can pray for us just as anyone here on Earth can. In fact, better, as they are presently with God. The Virgin Mary asking God to help you should "carry more weight" so to speak than having your best friend on this earth praying for you. True or not? In fact, Christ's first public miracle was performed upon the "intercession" of His own mother (John 2:2-11).
Below is a prayer to St. Joseph that dates back to 50 A.D. - long before the last Apostle had died and less than 20 years after the death of Christ. If the early Christians asked the "dead" foster father of Christ to intercede for them and it was "wrong," why is there no "documentation" from the Twelve Apostles "reprimanding" them for this? Surely, the Apostles would have corrected the early Church had It been in error.
Wow! That's a beautiful prayer! Thank you for passing it on. I hope everyone who reads it can appreciate it's beauty. I have my doubts, but I can still hope.
Good ol' Joe has always been the "forgotten" member of the holy family. Its a shame...