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The Catholic Defender: St. Joseph Foster Father of Jesus


Joseph is the patron saint of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers and working people, among others.


Joseph as the Protector of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, is when the Infant Jesus was threatened by King Herod.


Joseph followed the direction of the angel and took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to be safe from the threat of Herod. The life of the infant Jesus was then saved by the actions of St. Joseph.


Because of his special role as foster-father of the Child Jesus, St. Joseph has merited singular privileges in heaven unmatched by any saint excepting the Blessed Virgin Mary. Certain saints have received special insight into his holiness and the wonderful power of his heavenly intercession.


Joseph was a descendant of the house of King David. After marrying Mary, he found her already pregnant and, “being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace” (Matthew 1:19), decided to divorce her quietly, but an angel told him that the child was the Son of God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit.


In the Gospel of Matthew, St. Joseph is listed as the son of “Jacob” (Matthew 1:16). However, in the Gospel of Luke, his father is listed as “Heli” (Luke 3:23).




Joseph's trust indicates his strong faith and his deep intimacy with the Lord. Joseph knew it was the Lord speaking to him. He was familiar with God's voice in his life, which means he must have had a deep, consistent prayer life. It's not enough to just rest, either spiritually or physically.


Joseph turned to the Lord for the gift of understanding in order to do what the Mosaic law required with the most mercy. St. Joseph had the gift of Fear of the Lord and was willing to obey God's law rather than offend Him.


The Bible pays Joseph the highest compliment: he was a “just” man. The quality meant a lot more than faithfulness in paying debts.


When the Bible speaks of God “justifying” someone, it means that God, the all-holy or “righteous” one, so transforms a person that the individual shares somehow in God’s own holiness, and hence it is really “right” for God to love him or her. In other words, God is not playing games, acting as if we were lovable when we are not.

By saying Joseph was “just,” the Bible means that he was one who was completely open to all that God wanted to do for him. He became holy by opening himself totally to God.


The rest we can easily surmise. Think of the kind of love with which he wooed and won Mary, and the depth of the love they shared during their marriage.


It is no contradiction of Joseph’s manly holiness that he decided to divorce Mary when she was found to be with child. The important words of the Bible are that he planned to do this “quietly” because he was “a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame” (Matthew 1:19).


The just man was simply, joyfully, wholeheartedly obedient to God—in marrying Mary, in naming Jesus, in shepherding the precious pair to Egypt, in bringing them to Nazareth, in the undetermined number of years of quiet faith and courage.

His doubts, wonder, and awe regarding Mary’s pregnancy

His pain at the lowly poverty of Jesus’ birthplace

Watching the circumcision and witnessing Jesus’

first Blood spilled for usListening to the painful,

Prophetic message from Simeon Having to take the Holy Family into exile in Egypt

The hard trip back from Egypt to Nazareth

The loss of the Child Jesus for three days


Joseph that we see feature him alone, holding a staff abloom in lilies, symbolizing his purity. We see him holding the Child Jesus in some images, with Mary and Jesus in others. Some artists have portrayed St.


The lilies symbolize integrity and indicate that Saint Joseph was the earthly spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose purity is represented by the chaste white lily. Three flowers are used to represent the Blessed Trinity.


Brown & Green Fabric: Saint Joseph is typically shown wearing brown and green robes. In Biblical times, brown was the color worn by most of the poor working men. The color green symbolizes Joseph's faithfulness to God's call.

The Seven Joys of St. Joseph

  1. The Angel’s message of joy regarding the Sacred Incarnation

  2. The Wise Men and Angels adore the Infant Jesus

  3. Having the honor of naming Jesus

  4. Knowing the effects of Jesus’ redemptive work

  5. The idols of Egypt falling at Jesus’ feet (Cf., Isaiah 19:1; Tobit 14:6-7)

  6. Holy Family life with Jesus and Mary

  7. Finding Jesus in the Temple after three days of His being lost

  • Joseph was a carpenter.

  • He worked hard to provide for his family.

  • Although Joseph is referred to in the Bible, he doesn't actually speak any words.

  • He's also known as Saint Joseph of Nazareth.



Even though he never spoke a word in the Bible, St. Joseph led a remarkable life, and his legacy lives on to this day.


Most biblical scholars believe Joseph died prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is mainly due to the fact that Joseph was not present at the crucifixion and in the Gospel of John, Jesus entrusts his mother to someone outside the family (cf. John 19:27).


Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870. Having died in the "arms of Jesus and Mary" according to Catholic tradition, he is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death, in other words, the patron of a happy death.


Priest attributes to St Joseph miracle of plane that broke in half with no one killed. Fr. Gonzalo Mazarrasa, a Spanish priest, credits Saint Joseph for the survival of all passengers of a plane his brother Jaime was piloting in 1992 that split in two upon landing in Granada.

Tradition claims the mystery of the identity of the carpenter has never been satisfactorily solved, and there is not even a delivery report that might help decipher where the wood came from.


During those three months, no one saw anyone entering or leaving the chapel.


As the carpenter left before the Mother Superior could pay him, the Sisters of Loretto offered a reward to anyone who could his make identity known, but no one ever showed up. So, yes: since then, the crafting of the staircase has been attributed to St. Joseph himself!


On an extremely hot summer day, the humble shepherd Gaspard Ricard was parched with thirst. His flask of water was dry and he was no where near a stream or body of water. Ricard sat down on the grass in agony.

At that point an older man suddenly appeared to him and said, “I am Joseph. Lift it and you will drink.”


St. Joseph played a pivotal role in the life of Bl. Bartolo Longo, a former Satanic priest. and very devoted to St. Joseph, prayed to him every day, and was particularly fond of his title ‘Terror of Demons.’ Bartolo had such a great love for St. Joseph that he told everyone to go to Joseph in their fight against temptations of any kind.”

Longo is reported to have said, “It is a great blessing for souls to be under the protection of the saint whose name makes demons tremble and flee.”

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