Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary
by Pope John Paul II
John Paul II, in his Angelus Message on March 17, 2002, stressed that
Saint Joseph is a model of fatherhood in the following excerpts:
Dear Brothers and
The day after tomorrow,
we will celebrate the solemnity
of Saint Joseph,
spouse of the Virgin Mary and
patron of the universal Church.
The extreme discretion with which Joseph
carried out the role entrusted to him
even more, which consisted in always listening to the
seeking to understand His will
and to obey it
This is why the Gospel describes him
as a "just"
(Matthew 1:19). In fact, the just man
is the person who prays, lives
and seeks to do good in every
concrete circumstance of life.
Saint Joseph and
nourished by prayer: this is
the most precious treasure that Saint Joseph
transmits to us. Generations of fathers have followed in
footsteps who, with the example of a simple and laborious life,
imprinted on their children's souls
the inestimable value of faith,
without which every other good runs the risk of being in vain. So even
now, I am happy to assure all fathers of a
on the day dedicated to them: I ask
that they be men of a robust interior life, in order to
fulfill their mission in the family and society in an exemplary way.
What we know about
the life of Saint Joseph
is contained in the gospels of Saint Matthew and Saint Luke.
become known as the "Just man".
name foster-father of
Our Lord appears
in local martyrologies of the ninth
and tenth centuries.
The first church dedicated in his
honor was in 1129
in Bologna. Pope Sixtus IV(1471-84)
added the feast of Saint Joseph
to the Roman Calendar. Pope Pius IX placed the whole
under the Patronage of Saint Joseph
Pope John Paul II reflected deeply on the life and witness of
of the Redeemer".
saints known to have had particular devotions to
are Saint Bernard, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Saint Gertrude,
Saint Bridget of Sweden, Saint Alphonsus and
Teresa of Avila.
As the Bible tells us,
Joseph was descended from the royal
house of David. A village carpenter of Nazareth,
he was chosen
among all men to be the husband
of the Virgin Mother
of Jesus Christ.
was entrusted the childhood and youth of the
the world. He
reveals to us the perfect model of Christianity through
Poor in worldly possessions,
was rich in grace.
to Saint Joseph,
was fervent in the East from the early ages, and has spread and
increased. Today, Catholics of all nations honor
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
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.
to ancient tradition, Saint Joseph
watches over and protects the Church.
considered the model of perfect
Christian life and the patron of a
patronage extends over the Mystical Body
of Christ, over the
family and schools, carpenters, fathers, laborers, and all individuals
who appeal to his charity
especially in the hour of death.
received the loving ministry
the Blessed Virgin Mary,
so it is believed that his
may well obtain the mercy of God
and the grace
of a peaceful
feast is celebrated on
and a special memorial to Saint Joseph the Worker is observed on