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The Solemnity of Saint Joseph

Patron Saint of the Universal Church

JOSEPH

Public Domain

(First Century)

His life

+ Joseph was a poor tradesman (tektōn, cf. Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3) in the village of Nazareth.

+ Following the announcement by an angel that Mary was to be the mother of Jesus, Joseph willingly accepted the responsibility of caring for the young mother and her child despite the social stigma this would cause. Joseph is a model for accepting in faith what God asks of us.

+ Joseph became the first teacher of Jesus, helping the young man learn not only his trade but also about the ways of faith and life in the world.

+ Sacred Scripture is silent about the end of Joseph’s life, but tradition holds that Joseph died before Jesus began his public ministry.

+ A feast in honor of Saint Joseph was first celebrated by Coptic Christians in the fifth century. The first liturgical celebration of Saint Joseph in the Western Church first appears on a French calendar around the year 800. The Feast of Saint Joseph was added to the universal calendar of the Church sometime after 1505.

Spiritual bonus

Blessed Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph to be the patron and protector of the Universal Church and Pope Benedict XVI decreed that Joseph name should be included in the Eucharistic Prayers of the Mass.

For reflection

In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!—Pope Francis

Vocations

Women’s Communities:

– The Sisters of St. Joseph serving in the United States and throughout the world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisters_of_St._Joseph

– The Benedictine Sisters of St. Joseph Monastery (Tulsa, OK): www.stjosephmonastery.org

– The Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of St. Joseph (Piedmont, OK): www.okcarmel.org

– The Carmelite Nuns of Monastery of St. Joseph and St. Teresa (Covington, LA): www.covingtoncarmel.org

– The Carmelite Nuns of the Carmel of St. Joseph (St. Louis County, MO): www.stlouiscarmel.com

– The Carmelite Nuns of the Monastery of St. Joseph (Shoreline, WA): www.seattlecarmel.org

– The Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery (Whitesville, KY): www.passionistnuns.org

Men’s Communities:

– The Benedictine Monks of St. Joseph’s Abbey (St. Benedict, LA): www.saintjosephabbey.com

– The Capuchin Franciscan Friars of St. Joseph Province: www.capuchinfranciscans.org

– The Discalced Carmelite Friars of St. Joseph Province: www.discalcedcarmelitefriars.com

– The Josephite Priests and Brothers: www.josephites.org

– Oblates of St. Joseph (Priests and Brothers): www.osjusa.org

– The Trappist Monks of St. Joseph Abbey (Spencer, MA): www.spencerabbey.org

Prayer

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph’s intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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