Wednesday, July 30, 2014
 
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Joseph was a descendant of David, the ancient king of Israel. He was a carpenter in the town of Nazareth, in Galilee, a part of Palestine. Joseph is a shortened form of the Hebrew name JEHOSEPH, which means “may Yahweh give an increase.

“Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.”(Mt 1: 18-24)

It is a tradition of the Church that Joseph was present at the birth of Jesus. He took Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt to save them from the King Herods order that all Jewish boys under two years of age in Bethlehem and the surrounding country should be killed. God told Joseph in a vision when it was safe for his family to return to Palestine. 

Joseph died sometime before Jesus began His public ministry. At the end of the 15th century, his feast was kept on March 19th, and Gregory XV extended it to the whole Church in 1621. In 1870, Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church. In 1955, Pius XII announced that the feast of St. Joseph the Worker would be celebrated on May 1st. St. Joseph, by his industry and piety, is a model to heads of families. He is also the special patron of artisans and the dying.

 

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