During this Year of St. Joseph I thought it would be fun to do some fact finding on Saint Joseph. Incidentally, I came up with these interesting facts on St. Joseph.
Our Holy Father St. Joseph is quite an untapped resource. Reading on His prayerful interventions has led me to read many testimonies to his great power in intercession with Jesus. Because Saint Joseph was given the task to watch over both Mary and Jesus, and fulfilled his duties in quiet, peaceful obedience to the divine plan. Jesus has bestowed on him great rewards and honor.
Not a word was spoken by Saint Joseph
For a figure as prominent as Joseph to not even have a recorded word anywhere in scripture? What does this say? Did he never speak? In an era when men were the focal point and women took more of the backseat to things you would expect something, wouldn’t we? I don’t know, but I find it a bit perplexing that there is nothing. Maybe there is an inner lesson to this? Perhaps there is a reason, the Holy Spirit inspired the writer of the Gospel’s to not record his words.
Three feast days
St. Joseph holds three different feast days. Two, he is honored alone as a Solemnity. One, he shares with Mary and Jesus. First, is the Feast of the Holy Family. Second is March 19th the Feast of St. Joseph the Husband of Mary. Third, is May 1st and is St. Joseph the Worker.
An early participant
As the Church grows in knowledge and wisdom so does her treasury. As a result, the early Church began to challenge and define a more definitive doctrine Joseph was part of those defining questions. For example, the Church does not define something by rule, until it is challenged as such. Consequently, when questions are raised about a particular situation, it is defined, it then becomes Dogma.
Joseph relationship in the universal church, was one of those items that needed to be defined. Subsequently, His Veneration dates back to 9th Century! That’s a LONG time ago. As a result of that, It gives us a good idea not long after the start of the Church, questions arose about Josephs importance in and with the Church.
His Paternal care
Incidentally, Saint Joseph was found to be a vital part of the Church. Through the years he has garnered support as Patron of multiple things, places and situations. Here are just a few:
|Against Hesitation||Exiles||Against Communism|
|Cabinet Makers||Grave Diggers||Unborn Children|
|Carpenters||Happy Death||Catholic Church|
|Cemetery workers||Holy Death||Workers|
|Children||House Hunters||Vatican City|
|Confectioners||Interior Souls||Canadian Armed Forces|
|Dying people||Laborers||Vatican II|
|Educators||Married People||AND MANY MORE!|
Saint Joseph Traditions
Just as the Irish a few days prior have their Patron Saint and traditions of Parades, Feasts, and wearing the traditional Green to honor St. Patrick. The Italians have Saint Joseph. Who is credited in the middle ages for his intersession to save Sicily from a bad drought. Just like on the 17th the 19th is full of customs and traditional foods, celebrations and even its own color. In the same vein as Patrick, Joseph’s day Tradition is to wear Red. To take part in the Altar or table of St. Joseph which is a three tier table in honor of the Trinity. Each shelve holds specific items. Top would be a statue
and candles possibly some decorations defiantly some lilies, the other shelves will hold the food for the day, cookies in the shape of items associated with Joseph, such as, Shepherds Staff, Bread, Chalices, fishes, Etc. Sometimes family will placed bread and wine as well as pictures of their beloved dead. Finally, they will place a basket for specific prayer petitions. After that is all set up the priest will come and bless the table and items to be used. Then the feast can begin.
Terror of Demons
St. Joseph Is known as the Terror of Demons. But Why? It is as simple as humility. Humility is the battle cry of the Christian. If Pride is the sin at the root of everything evil, then Humility is the Virtue at the root of all goodness. Joseph was humble in his handling of all the situations he was faced with. Remember above I mentioned about the silence of Joseph in the scriptures? It is here that his silence is understood. We see that in his humility he accepts everything that comes to him without complaint, with quiet acceptance, and without question. His faithfulness is beyond compare. Because of this it gives him immense respect and love and heavenly power. For instance, look at the beatitudes and tell me they do not sum up Joseph!
A parting thought
I read some things over the past few weeks pertaining to the Chasity of St. Joseph. Catholic sites mentioning the possibility of his being an older individual and possibly with other children, having been married before. This is not true under any circumstance. The Church teaches St. Joseph was a chase man, maintaining his virginity. Further, the argument about his age is also an interesting one. Consequently, some argue that he was very old possibly in his 80’s and that is why he died early in the story, and for his chase situation with Mary. This would not be the case. Joseph was older, but he would have been in his early 20’s. Joseph cause of death is not mentioned, but if he died right before Jesus’ public ministry that would put him at about 50 years old. Subsequently, a man of advanced years would not have been physically able to travel the distances that they did to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Egypt and back to Nazareth.
In short there are all sorts of interesting facts about this Holy Man. He is a true example for Fathers, Sons, Catholics in general. Inviting him in and making him part of your daily prayer life can help you to find your way during dark times. What a great faith to be a part of that has so many people to help us on our journey!