Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

This biblical phrase encourages devotion to St. Joseph

JOSEPH

Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 03/19/19

Found in the Old Testament, these words are applied by many saints to the foster-father of Jesus.

Even though there are only a few verses that refer to St. Joseph in the entire Bible, many saints over the centuries have found striking parallels between the foster-father of Jesus and the first Joseph mentioned in the book of Genesis.

In Genesis we find Joseph, one of the 12 sons of Israel, who was abandoned and sold by his own brothers. Yet, God had mercy on Joseph and through God’s divine providence, Joseph became vital to the survival of the Jewish people in Egypt. He ascended the ranks of Pharaoh’s household and was appointed the head minister, in charge of managing the grain supply.

This proved to be a providential move, as Joseph used his foresight to prepare Egypt for an extreme famine, which eventually forced his own family to turn to him in their time of need.

Several saints have found inspiration in the following verse in Genesis that summarizes this desperate situation and what Pharaoh told the people of Egypt, “When all the land of Egypt became hungry and the people cried to Pharaoh for food, Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians: ‘Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.‘” (Genesis 41:55).

In Latin the words of Pharaoh are rendered “Ite ad Joseph,”a phrase frequently found inscribed on the bottom of statues of St. Joseph.

Dominican Br. Bartholomew Calvano explains the similarities between the two Josephs: “Just as through Joseph, the son of Israel, God provided food for the starving people of Egypt and his family, so through Joseph, the husband of Mary, did God the Father provide for the needs of Jesus.”

Furthermore, “In the Gospels, Jesus Christ is born as an infant who needs to be fed, and just as the people of Egypt sought food from Joseph, the head minister of Pharaoh’s household, so Jesus goes to Joseph, whom God has set over his own household, to receive the necessities of earthly life.”

St. Teresa of Avila is among the many saints who encouraged devotion to St. Joseph. She wrote, “I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him.”

The Hebrew people had their own Joseph to turn to in time of great necessity, and so Christians similarly have turned to St. Joseph as a powerful intercessor before the throne of God.

If you are ever in need of something, “Go to Joseph” with heartfelt devotion and entrust yourself to the mercy of God.


ST. JOSEPH

Read more:
This ancient prayer to St. Joseph has “never been known to fail”




Read more:
The Powerful 30 Day Prayer to St. Joseph

Tags:
BibleSaints
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
6
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
7
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.