St Joseph is known as Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Luke 2:5) the foster father of Jesus, Prince and Patron of the Universal Church, Guardian of the Holy Family.
Everything we know about Joseph comes from Scripture.
Joseph wasn’t a rich man. He was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55), a working man. Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a descendant of the house of King David.
Joseph was a compassionate, caring man. When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, he knew the child was not his but was yet unaware that she was carrying the Son of God, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
He knew women accused of adultery could be stoned to death, so he resolved to send her away quietly to not expose her to shame or cruelty. However, when an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him that the child was the Son of God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit, obeying the Archangel Gabriel, Joseph took Mary as his wife.
After Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem in Judaea, where the Holy Family received the Magi, an angel warned Joseph about the impending violence against the child by King Herod of Judaea, whereupon they fled to Egypt. They stayed in Egypt for many years until the angel again appeared to Joseph, informing him of Herod’s death and instructing him to return to Israel.
We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but upon his return they settled in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph along with Mary searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son for over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Luke 4:22)
Joseph respected God. He followed God’s commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus’ birth.
We celebrate two feast days for Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker.
Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did