Very little is known about the figure of Joseph, the step-father of Jesus Christ and the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and what we do know about him comes from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. He has become known as the "just man" and is sometimes referred to as "Joseph the worker".
As the Bible tells us, Saint Joseph was descended from the royal house of David. A village carpenter of Nazareth, he was chosen among all men to be the husband and protector of the Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ. To his loving care was entrusted the childhood and youth of the Redeemer of the world. He reveals to us the perfect model of Christianity through his purity of heart, patience, and fortitude.
Poor in worldly possessions, he was rich in grace. Devotion to Saint Joseph, was fervent in the East from the early ages, and has spread and increased. Today, Catholics of all nations honor him.
There are many stories about the miraculous intervention of Saint Joseph. One is a medieval account of how a famine in Sicily was ended after a Novena to Saint Joseph. A more recent story is of the mysterious "itinerant carpenter" who volunteered to build an architecturally unique spiral staircase in a convent chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is as sound today as when it was first built, and has never needed repair.
According to ancient tradition, Saint Joseph watches over and protects the Church. He is considered the model of perfect Christian life and the patron of a happy death. His patronage extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, over the Christian family and schools, carpenters, fathers, laborers, and all individuals who appeal to his charity and intercession, especially in the hour of death. Joseph, when dying, received the loving ministry of his foster Son, Jesus, and his spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary, so it is believed that his intercession may well obtain the mercy of God and the grace of a peaceful and holy death.
His feast is celebrated on March 19, and a special memorial to Saint Joseph the Worker is observed on May 1. A hymn often dedicated to St Joseph when St. Joseph's Primary School celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph went like this:
St. Joseph was a carpenter and he worked hard and well With saw and plane and wood and nails, he made good things to sell. And you'd hear him singing And his hammer ringing For St. Joseph was a happy man!
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