The Holy Bible tells us everything we know about Mary’s husband and Jesus’ foster father. Matthew 13:55 tells us that St. Joseph was a carpenter through the skeptical Nazarenes who ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?”
St. Joseph came from a royal lineage, despite his humble work and nature. Both St. Luke and St. Matthew illustrate his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel. The angel sent from God to tell St. Joseph about Jesus also greeted him with the title, “son of David.”
The Scared Scripture describes St. Joseph as a just man. He is well-known for being compassionate and exceptionally caring. When he discovered that Mary was pregnant after their betrothal, he resolved to send her away quietly without exposing her. However, the angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream and told him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:19-25). St. Joseph did as the angel told him and took Mary as his wife.
When the king of Judea, King Herod, was looking to kill the child Jesus, the Lord’s angel came to St. Joseph to tell him that his family was in danger. In complete obedience and without hesitation he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with Mother Mary and baby Jesus, just as the angel had instructed. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him that it was safe to go back.
St. Joseph truly loved Jesus and his main concern was for the safety of this child entrusted to him. Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus, but once he returned, he settled in the small town of Nazareth. St. Joseph was very obedient to God. He followed God’s commands in handling the situation with Mary and fleeing to Egypt.
Joseph is the patron saint of a happy death because, he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. He is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death, which in other words means a happy death. Joseph is also the patron of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general.
St. Joseph’s feast day is celebrated on March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and on May 1st for Joseph the Worker. March 19 has been the most commonly celebrated feast day for St. Joseph, and it wasn’t until 1955 that Pope Pius XII established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker” which is now celebrated on May 1st. This is also International Workers’ Day which is believed to reflect St. Joseph’s status as the patron of workers.
Many places and churches all over the world are named after St. Joseph. He is considered to be the patron saint of many countries, regions, cities, and dioceses all around the world.