St. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first is March 19—Joseph, the Husband of Mary. However, this year the feast day was transferred to March 20 since it fell on a Sunday. The second celebration is May 1—Joseph, the Worker.
“St. Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God,” Pope St. John Paul II said.
There is very little about the life of Joseph in Scripture, but we know that he was the chaste husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter, and a man who was not wealthy. We also know that he came from the royal lineage of King David.
We can see from his actions in scripture that Joseph was a compassionate man, and obedient to the will of God. He also loved Mary and Jesus and wanted to protect and provide for them.
Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus’ public life, at his death or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph had probably died before Jesus entered public ministry.
Joseph is the patron of many things, including the universal Church, fathers, the dying, and social justice.
Some of the symbols associated with St. Joseph include the Bible, a branch, carpenter’s square, carpenter’s tools, a chalice, rod, cross, hand tools, ladder, lamb, lily, monstrance, a man holding a lily and a carpenter’s tool such as a square, and a man holding the infant Jesus.
By Catholic News Agency
Image from Wikimedia, anonymous, mid 19th century, El Paso Museum of Art