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March 20th is celebrated each year as the Feast Day of St Joseph, but what do we really know about him?
When we think of St Joseph, we often think of a grey-bearded old man as depicted in many medieval paintings and statues that adorn our churches today. The Gospels say very little about St Joseph, only that he was a “just man.” St Joseph himself never speaks in any of the Gospel stories and so our knowledge of St Joseph is somewhat shrouded in silence. Yet it is this very silence that gives the greatest witness to the type of man that St Joseph really was. He was not a rich, influential man, but a humble carpenter who didn’t draw attention to himself and fulfilled his daily
duties to the best of his ability in order to put food on the table. He had tremendous faith and a love of God and this faith would soon be tested, as he was required to believe that his wife would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit and yet he would still welcome her into his home and care for her son.
He was declared Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in 1870 and St Joseph has a universal importance that no other saint, with the exception of Our Lady, has ever attained. He is the Patron Saint of families, of the dying, of the sick, of workers and of marriage. God had chosen St Joseph to be a special intercessor for these most fundamental of human needs.
As Jesus gave us his mother, to be our mother, so also has he given us St Joseph to be our guardian, helper and protector in all that we do in this life.
There are many things in this life that we cannot understand. But we must trust God’s judgement and be guided by His hand, and all who have life’s blessing, can rest safely in His care. For He promises us safe passage, on the wings of faith and prayer.
Man...Is always an individual, a unique entity, different from everybody else.
He differs by his particular blending of character, temperament, talents and disposition, just as he differs by his fingerprints. We become ourselves only through self-expression and the fruits of our creativity, which are symbols of who we really are.
Published Tue 5th May 2015 22:06:10
Last Modified on Tue 5th May 2015 22:06:10