Today, the Church celebrates one of the most celebrated saints in all of tradition: St. Joseph. Not much is known about St. Joseph outside of what we hear in the gospels of St. Luke and St. Matthew. We know he was a humble man who was of the house of David. He was betrothed to the Blessed Virgin Mary who miraculously became pregnant before they lived in the same house.
Because he was a just man and didn’t want to put Mary to shame, he decided to divorce her quietly. Many theologians have debated where St. Joseph’s mind was in the midst of the situation. Most believe that he was stupefied by the situation—he knew that Mary was faithful but couldn’t understand how she was pregnant. Others say that he knew that the child in Mary’s womb was the Messiah, so out of humility, he wanted to bow out.
The incredible mystery surrounding St. Joseph, is that he was explicitly chosen by God to be the Father of himself. He was trusted to be the protector and leader of the Holy Family. The Lord allowed himself to be subject to Joseph’s care and protection. St. Joseph rose up to the challenge—he loved and protected the Christ Child devoutly.
Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph have a perfect marriage that we are called to imitate and find hope in. Mary loved St. Joseph and was fiercely loyal and trusting in him. Venerable Fulton Sheen said of the couple, “No husband and wife ever loved one another so much as Joseph and Mary.”
St. Joseph was obedient to the will of God. Each time an angel appeared to him in a dream—whether it be to take Mary into his home, flee to Egypt, or return to Nazareth—he acted without a question and without fear. He obeys immediately imitating Mary’s obedience in the gospel of St. Luke following the Annunciation. They are together a couple who conformed wholly to the will of God both as a couple and individuals.
And so today, we ought to set aside time to thank God for the gift of St. Joseph. May we allow St. Joseph to become our father, friend, and spiritual guide, just like he was for Christ, whom we can rely on and imitate.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Hannah Crites is a native to Denver Colorado and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She has written for numerous publications and blogs including the Chastity Project, Washington Times, Faith & Culture: The Journal of the Augustine Institute, and Franciscan Magazine. She is currently working in content and digital marketing for a small web development and digital marketing agency. Connect with her through Twitter (@hannah_crites) and Facebook. Check out more of what she has written at https://hannhcrites.com/.