The Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John tell us everything we know about Joseph, the husband of Jesus’ mother, Mary. But the importance of Joseph’s part in God’s plan is first found in the Book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Through the prophet Isaiah, God promises to send a Messiah to save all people. The Savior will come from the “house of David,” which means that he will be an ancestor of King David. Both Matthew and Luke Gospels tell us that Joseph was from the family of David.
In Matthew’s Gospel, we learn that the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph and told him the child Mary would have was from the Holy Spirit. The angel told Joseph to name the child “Jesus,” which means “God saves.”
The Gospels tell us that Joseph was a “just” man. That means that he was faithful. He was faithful to God and said yes to God’s plan for him to be Mary’s husband and Jesus’ foster father. He was faithful to Mary, caring for her while they waited for her baby to be born. He was faithful to Jesus, protecting him when he learned of King Herod’s plan to kill him and, when the danger passed, helping Mary to raise Jesus with love in the small town of Nazareth. We honor Joseph’s faithfulness to God, Mary, and Jesus on March 19 each year. We pray that we, too, can be obedient to God’s plan for us.
On May 1, we celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker. Joseph was a carpenter and he taught Jesus his trade. Celebrating the work that Joseph did to support his family helps us to remember to pray that God watches over all workers and protects them from accidents. We honor St. Joseph the Worker when we respect and appreciate all workers. We can also ask God to help unemployed people to find satisfying work.
Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- of the Universal Church, unborn children, fathers, workers, travelers, immigrants, and a happy death
Retablo Wall, Aspe