Saint Joseph

Loving Earthly Father of Jesus

In honor of Father's Day, I have prepared this Tribute to St. Joseph.


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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index


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This Holy Man could be used by every Father, today, as a role model for Fatherhood.  A gentle, peace loving Man, Joseph loved God and followed the precepts of his faith.   He was respected by his neighbors; was honest in all his business affairs and worked as a carpenter.

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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index




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Georges de La Tour. Appearance of Angel to St. Joseph,
also called The Song of St. Joseph. c. 1640. Oil on canvas. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France.


Joseph was betrothed to a maiden named Mary, the daughter of Joachim and Anne.  After the betrothal but before the couple had been married, Joseph learned that Mary was with child.   It would have been customary for him to divorce the woman in a public forum that would have caused scandal to Mary and her whole family.  Joseph was a kind, compassionate man who decided to divorce Mary quietly, so as to avoid her humiliation.   Before Joseph could proceed with this plan, He was visited by an Angel of the Lord and given assurances by the Angel that his betrothed had conceived her child by the intervention of the Holy Spirit.  His Faith and Trust in His Lord allowed him to believe the Angel.



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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index


And so their marriage was finalized in the typical Jewish ceremony of the times.

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In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be counted...and all went to be enrolled, each in his own city.  Joseph went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. (Luke 2:1, 3-6 Mary and Joseph were far from home and because of the great influx of people coming to answer the census, they were unable to find lodging in the Inn. 



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Finally, the Innkeeper took pity on them and found room for them in the Stable, where the animals were bedded.   And so it came to pass that the Son of Man was born and placed in a manger bed filled with straw.






Shepherds were the first visitors.  All the while, Joseph kept a watchful presence to guard the Precious Baby Jesus and to make Mary, his wife, comfortable.

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At a later time, Joseph was told in a dream that he should take the Child and His Mother to Egypt to keep Jesus safe from the King's wrath.  They left the very next day, leaving in darkness to avoid being seen by enemies.  In Egypt, they remained safe and hidden until the death of King Herod.   Then Joseph had another dream which told him it was safe to return to their home in Nazareth.


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Joseph was a loving and kind earthly father to Jesus.


His faith and devotion to God was so strong and sure, that he accepted this great challenge to raise the Son of God.


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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index
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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.
Joseph with Infant Christ.
1665-1666. Oil on canvas. Museum of Fine Arts, Sevilla, Spain



Each time, during Jesus' early years, that danger threatened this precious boy, Joseph found a way, with help and guidance of the Lord, to keep Him protected and to keep the Family safe from harm.




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He taught Jesus all the skills at his disposal including his trade as a carpenter.



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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index


When Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem during Jesus' 12th year, Jesus was drawn to the Temple. After the family left for home, it was discovered that Jesus had been left behind.  Joseph and Mary hurried back to the city and after searching for three days, they discovered Jesus in the Temple, sharing knowledge with the Elders.  The relieved parents scolded Jesus for frightening them and did not understand when Jesus told them that they should not have feared since He was only doing His Father's business.   Jesus then went with them and obeyed them as a good son should.



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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index
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Holy Card from Patron Saint's Index


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From "Kneeling in Bethlehem" by Ann Weems


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Who put Joseph in the back of the stable? Who dressed him in brown, put a staff in his hand, and told him to stand in the back of the creche, background for the magnificent light of the Madonna?

God-chosen, this man Joseph was faithful in spite of the gossip in Nazareth, in spite of the danger from Herod. This man, Joseph, listened to angels and it was he who named the Child Emmanuel. Is this a man to be stuck for centuries in the back of the stable?

Actually, Joseph probably stood in the doorway guarding the mother and child or greeting shepherds and kings. When he wasn't in the doorway, he was probably urging Mary to get some rest, gently covering her with his cloak, assuring her that he would watch the Child. Actually, he probably picked the Child up in his arms and walked him in the night, patting him lovingly until he closed his eyes.

This Christmas, let us give thanks to God for this man of incredible faith into whose care God placed the Christ Child. As a gesture of gratitude, let's put Joseph in the front of the stable where he can guard and greet and cast an occasional glance at this Child who brought us life."




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Some of the images for this page were found on the following pages:  Olga's Gallary


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