Saint Brigid Religious Education
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Holy Days

Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary  ~ March 19

Saint Joseph, the foster-father of our Lord and the husband of the Queen of our world 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. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant enter into the joy of your Lord”.

He brought the noble line of patriarchs and prophets to its promised fulfillment in the Old Testament.  What the divine goodness had offered as a promise to them, he held in his arms.

Old works of art, retained the belief that St. Joseph was an older man at the time of marriage with the Mother of God. But soon was the faith of Joseph tried, because Mary was with child. However painful the discovery must have been for him, unaware as he was of the mystery of the Incarnation, his delicate feelings would not let him defame Mary.  He thought on these things, and behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And Joseph, rising from his sleep, did as the angel of he Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.

A few months later, the time came for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem, to be enrolled, according to the decree issued by Caesar Augustus. This was a new source of anxiety for Joseph, for "her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered", and "there was no room for them in the inn (Luke, ii, 1-7).  What must have been the thoughts of the holy man at the birth of the Savior, the coming of the shepherds and of the wise men, and at the events which occurred at the time of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we can merely guess. 

New trials were soon to follow. The news that a king of the Jews was born could not but kindle in the wicked heart of the old and bloody tyrant, Herod, the fire of jealousy. Again "an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee" (Matt., ii, 13). The summons to go back to Palestine came only after a few years, and the Holy Family settled again at Nazareth.

St. Joseph's was henceforth the simple and uneventful life of an humble Jew, supporting himself and his family by his work, and faithful to the religious practices commanded by the Law or observed by pious Israelites.

The only noteworthy incident recorded by the Gospel is the loss of, and anxious quest for, Jesus, then twelve years of old, when He had strayed during the yearly pilgrimage to the Holy City.

This is the last we hear of St. Joseph in the Gospels, and we may well suppose that Jesus’ foster-father died before the beginning of Savior's public life.

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