Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary
March 19th, is the solemnity of St. Joseph, father in the Holy Family, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and earthly father to Our Lord Jesus Christ. According to scripture, Joseph, son of David, was working as a tekton, general mechanic and/or carpenter, in Nazareth at the time of the Annunciation. Joseph’s decisions were integral in God’s plan and this holy man chose well. He trusted his angelic vision, accepted Mary as his wife, dutifully traveled for the census, organized the Nativity and participated in the Presentation. Later, he led his family safely into Egypt and when called, faithfully returned to Nazareth. Also, Joseph shared in Mary’s worry during the Finding in the Temple. In other words, Joseph played a critical role through his ability to guide and protect Our Lord as he grew from a baby into the fully-realized Savior.
Devotion to Saint Joseph sky-rocketed in the 19th century, as Christian laborers sought a saint applicable to their current working conditions. During this time, he was elevated to Patron and Protector of the Universal Church, by Pope Pius IX. More recently, Blessed John Paul II honored Joseph in an exhortation entitled, Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer).**
In it, he discusses Joseph’s role in the plan of redemption and states, “’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.’ This statement, which touches the very essence of faith, is perfectly applicable to Joseph of Nazareth.”