Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110
Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of the
Blessed Virgin Mary ~ March 19
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.
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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