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St. Joseph

Saint Joseph

Confessor & Spouse of Our Lady

Joseph was born in Bethlehem, of the royal line of King David; yet true to his lifelong humility he earned a living as a carpenter, and most likely moved to Nazareth to find work. The traditional accounts of Joseph and Mary’s betrothal mention that Joseph’s staff brought forth blossoms, like the flower from the root of Jesse, as a sign that he, out of all other suitors, was divinely chosen to be the pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin. St. Jerome and others declare that St. Joseph was himself perfectly chaste and virginal his entire life. Scripture emphasizes that Jesus was perfectly obedient to Joseph, for despite his comparative inferiority to Our Lady and certainly to Our Lord, Joseph nonetheless possessed earthly authority over both as husband and foster-father. His great humility in holding this glorious office is shown by the fact that he speaks not a single word in Scripture. Joseph died in the blessed company of Jesus and Mary sometime before the Wedding at Cana, and is a great patron of holy deaths and departing souls. For the Church’s first millennium or so St. Joseph was not celebrated with a universal feast, though he was certainly highly regarded. As particular devotion to Joseph slowly grew, eventually he was added to the general calendar, his feast gradually increased in rank, and he was finally named Patron of the Universal Church in the 19th century.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for March 19th

IN Judea, the birthday of St. Joseph, spouse of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Pius IX, yielding to the desires and prayers of the whole Catholic world, declared him Patron of the Universal Church.

At Sorrento, the holy martyrs Quinctus, Quinctilla, Quartilla, and Mark, with nine others.

At Nicomedia, St. Pancharius, a Roman, who was beheaded under Diocletian, and thus received the crown of martyrdom.

The same day, the holy bishops Apollonius and Leontius.

At Ghent the Saints Landoaldus, a Roman priest, and the deacon Amantius, who were sent to preach the Gospel by pope St. Martin, and after their death became illustrious by many miracles.

At Civita-di-Penna, the birthday of blessed John, a man of great holiness, who came from Syria into Italy, where he constructed a monastery, and, after having been the spiritual guide of many servants of God for forty-four years, rested in peace, renowned for great virtue.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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