March 19

The gospel of Matthew shows us the character of the man who helped raise Jesus, his earthly father, Joseph. Confronted with Mary's unexpected pregnancy, Joseph chooses to honor the betrothal rather than shame Mary by divorcing her. Only after the carpenter has made this difficult decision does an angel of God comes to him to explain how God is working in Mary's pregnancy.


Joseph stands by Mary and travels with her to Bethlehem for the required census. After Jesus is born, another angelic visit convinces Joseph to escape into Egypt with his family. Later, Joseph takes his family back to Nazareth and presumably takes up his hometown carpenter's business. After the family journeys to Jerusalem (when Jesus is twelve), Joseph disappears from the story.


Did Joseph die before Jesus began his adult ministry? We'll never know, but we can look to who Jesus was as an adult to know the influence his father had on him. They would have attended temple together, worked in the carpenter's shop, spent father-son time together. Just as Jesus was like God, he would also have exhibited attributes like his earthly father.


Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and workers.


If Joseph had taken the Spiritual Types Test, he probably would have been a Lover. Joseph is remembered on March 19.


Image is of St. Joseph icon, compliments of St. Isaac of Syria Skete,

Today's Reflection