Feast of St. Joseph of Nazareth (March 19)   7 comments

Above: St. Joseph with the Infant Jesus, by Guido Reni, circa 1635

Image in the Public Domain

What Makes a Man a Father?


The Assigned Lections for this Feast:

2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16

Psalm 89:1-29 or Psalm 89:1-4, 26-29

Romans 4:13-18

Luke 2:41-52

The Collect:

O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


St. Joseph, a carpenter, was of the house and lineage of King David.  When St. Mary, his betrothed, was in danger of being stoned to death because of the scandalous nature of her pregnancy, St. Joseph obeyed God, spared her life, married her, and raised Jesus.  In every way that matters St. Joseph was the father of Jesus.  He was the man who raised Jesus and functioned as a male role model.  St. Joseph provided for his family, loved his wife, and encouraged healthy faith.  What more could one request of him?

The Biblical narrative of Jesus is sketchy in places, beginning with his conception and running through his birth, resuming about two years later with the visit of the Magi at Nazareth, picking up a story about a visit to the Temple at Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve, then skipping eighteen years until the age of 30.  St. Joseph was present when Jesus was twelve yet absent when the narrative resumed.  Presumably the saint died during the interval.

I propose that the human being named Jesus of Nazareth bore the imprints of Sts. Mary and Joseph in his character.  We mortals are partially products of our upbringing and experiences.  And if Jesus was fully human (in addition to fully divine), this fact must have been true of him, also.  So, in examining the character of Jesus we see the fine character of the man who raised him.  This speaks well of St. Joseph.


JUNE 12. 2010



Revised on December 24, 2016


Posted June 12, 2010 by neatnik2009 in March 19

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