> Feast of St. Joseph
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Annually on March 19
Feast of St. Joseph,
Husband of the
Virgin Mary and
Guardian of Jesus
Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni, c. 1635
O God, who from the family of thy servant David didst raise up Joseph to be the guardian of thy incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to thy commands; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, who didst call thy servant Joseph to be the faithful Guardian of thine incarnate Son, and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to follow his example in constant worship of thee and obedience to thy commands, that our homes may be sanctified by thy presence, and our children nurtured in thy fear and love, through the same thy son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In the face of circumstances that distressed even a man of such tenderness and obedience to God as Joseph, he accepted the vocation of protecting Mary and being a father to Jesus. He is honored in Christian tradition for the nurturing care and protection he provided for the infant Jesus and his mother in taking them to Egypt to escape Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and in rearing him as a faithful Jew at Nazareth. The Gospel according to Matthew pictures Joseph as a man of deep devotion, open to mystical experiences, and as a man of compassion, who accepted his God-given responsibility with gentleness and humility.
Joseph was a pious Jew, a descendant of David, and a carpenter by trade. As Joseph the Carpenter, he is considered the patron saint of the working man, one who not only worked with his hands, but taught his trade to Jesus. The little that is told of him is a testimony to the trust in God which values simple everyday duties, and gives an example of a loving husband and father.
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