Solemnity of St. Joseph
Husband of Mary, Step-father of Jesus
March 19

St Joseph in his Workshop by Gerrit Van Honthorst, 1620Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph, husband of Mary, and step-father of Jesus. Joseph is not a major part of the New Testament and is not mentioned after Jesus’ infancy except for the story of finding Jesus in the Temple.  We know only that he was a carpenter in Nazareth, that he had a quiet life with Jesus and Mary, and we assume that he died before Jesus left home for his public ministry.

It seems comforting to think of St. Joseph living this ordinary and humble life with Mary and Jesus, doing things families do, with no fanfare or special attention.  His role on earth was to love and nurture Mary and Jesus and the assumption that a loving Jesus and Mary were both with him as he died led to devotion of Joseph as the Patron Saint of a Happy Death.

The Collect for this day’s Eucharist makes clear that Jesus was placed in the very human and very loving care of St. Joseph.  “Grant that by Saint Joseph’s intercession, your Church may constantly watch over the unfolding mysteries of human salvation, whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.”

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