ST. JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

St. Joseph
ST. JOSEPH
SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

The story and history of Saint Joseph

Joseph was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter when God raised him to the highest sanctity, and fitted him to be the spouse of His Virgin Mother, and foster-father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says the Holy Scripture, was a just man; he was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls. His conversation was with angels rather than with men.

When he learned that Mary bore within her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take her as his wife; but an angel bade him fear not, and all doubts vanished. When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an angel told Joseph in a dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses, nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all His servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation. “Joseph,” says he, “is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear. He rejoices at the Child’s birth, but a great fear succeeds: the furious king seeks to destroy the Child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away His life.

This is followed by another joy, the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises: he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance. It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus, all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled and in many places fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages most fruitful in Saints.

After the death of King Herod, of which St. Joseph was informed in another vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the land of Israel, which our Saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the country, and apprehensive that he might be infected with his father’s vices, he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done for the education of the Child; and therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth.

St. Joseph, being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Our Saviour, now in the twelfth year of His age, accompanied His parents thither. Having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast, they were returning with many of their neighbors and acquaintances towards Galilee; and never doubting but that Jesus was with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day’s journey before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and they could hear no tidings of Him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem. After an anxious search of three days they found Him in the Temple, discoursing with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard Him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of His understanding; nor were His parents less surprises on this occasion. When His Mother told Him with what grief and earnestness they had sought Him, and asked, “Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? behold Thy Father and I sought Thee in great affliction of mind,” she received for answer, “How is it that you sought Me? did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But though thus staying in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them. As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour’s ministry.

Source: iBreviary Pro Terra Sancta HD By Paolo Padrini


V. St. Joseph, Protector of the Church
R. Pray for us.

LITANY OF ST. JOSEPH

LITANY OF ST. JOSEPH

LORD, have mercy LORD, have mercy
Christ, have mercy Christ, have mercy
Holy Trinity, one God have mercy on us

Holy Mary pray for us
Saint Joseph pray for us
Noble son of the House of David pray for us
Light of patriarchs pray for us
Husband of the Mother of God pray for us
Guardian of the Virgin pray for us
Foster father of the Son of God pray for us
Faithful guardian of Christ pray for us
Head of the holy family pray for us
Joseph, chaste and just pray for us
Joseph, prudent and brave pray for us
Joseph, obedient and loyal pray for us
Pattern of patience pray for us
Lover of poverty pray for us
Model of workers pray for us
Example to parents pray for us
Guardian of virgins pray for us
Pillar of family life pray for us
Comfort of the troubled pray for us
Hope of the sick pray for us
Patron of the dying pray for us
Terror of evil spirits pray for us
Protector of the Church pray for us

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us

V. God made him master of his household
R. And put him in charge of all that he owned.

Let us pray
Almighty God, in your infinite wisdom and love you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary, the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our LORD.
R. Amen.


Recommended by Fr. Paul N. Check to fathers of families encouraging them to say it daily.

The Virginal Marriage of Mary and Joseph – A Biblical Clue

Holy Family Icon | Monastery Icons

With the Incarnation, the “promises” and “figures” of the Old Testament become “reality”: places, persons, events and rites interrelate according to precise divine commands communicated by angels and received by creatures who are particularly sensitive to the voice of God. Mary is the Lord’s humble servant, prepared from eternity for the task of being the Mother of God. Joseph is the one whom God chose to be the “overseer of the Lord’s birth,”(27) the one who has the responsibility to look after the Son of God’s “ordained” entry into the world, in accordance with divine dispositions and human laws. All of the so-called “private” or “hidden” life of Jesus is entrusted to Joseph’s guardianship.[1]


The “figure” in the Old fully realized in the New is the person Joseph son of Jacob (In Matthew, Jacob is father of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin).

Today’s ANTIPHON (Cf. Lk. 12:42):

Behold a faithful and prudent steward, whom the LORD set over his household. (My emphasis).

Joseph in the Old answers those who are possessed to claim that after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph had marital relations i.e., that their marriage was no longer virginal:

8 But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Lo, having me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand;9 he is not greater in this house than I am; nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife; how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”  – Gen 39:8-9 (RSVCE).

Further Reading:

[1] Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer), 8,  Apostolic Exhortation by Pope St. John Paul II [the Great] on St. Joseph, August 15 – the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – in the year 1989.


The Grandeur of St. Joseph by Dom Bernard Marechaux in Feast of St. Joseph 2017 | Torch of The Faith News, Sunday 19 March 2017


Endnote

Mary and Joseph lived in the here and now what will be our state in the age to come:

Mark 12:24-25 (RSVCE)
24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Cf. GENERAL AUDIENCES: JOHN PAUL II’S THEOLOGY OF THE BODY
Pope John Paul II > The Resurrection and Theological Anthropology

“That age” is not the world of the earth, but the world of God, who, as we know from the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, will fill it entirely, becoming “everything to everyone” (1 Cor 15:28).

Cf. USCCB » Bible » Daily Readings » May 22, 2018 » Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time | Lectionary: 342

You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives; don’t you realize that making the world your friend is making God your enemy? Anyone who chooses the world for his friend turns himself into God’s enemy. Surely you don’t think scripture is wrong when it says: the spirit which he sent to live in us wants us for himself alone? But he has been even more generous to us, as scripture says: God opposes the proud but he gives generously to the humble. Give in to God, then; resist the devil, and he will run away from you. The nearer you go to God, the nearer he will come to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and clear your minds, you waverers. Look at your wretched condition, and weep for it in misery; be miserable instead of laughing, gloomy instead of happy. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up. [The Jerusalem Bible: Reader’s Edition] (My emphasis)


Oratio Sancti Thomae Aquinatis Post Missam / Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas After Mass

[…] May it unite me more closely to Thee, the one true God and lead me safely through death to everlasting happiness with Thee. And I pray that Thou willest lead me, a sinner to the banquet where Thou with Thy Son and Holy Spirit, art true and perfect light, total fulfillment, everlasting joy, gladness without end, and perfect happiness to Thy saints. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen. (My emphasis)

Thirty Days Prayer to St. Joseph

The Carpenter by Frances Hook
The Carpenter by Frances Hook

Thirty Days Prayer to St. Joseph

For Any Special Intention

IN HONOR OF THE 30 YEARS HE SPENT WITH JESUS AND MARY

(May be said during any 30 days of the year)

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.

[…]

O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petitions or think of them)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of

JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.

“A blameless life, 

St. Joseph,

may we lead,

by your kind patronage

from danger freed.”