Catholic Art and Symbols

St. Joseph: the earthly father of Jesus

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of all fathers as the father of Jesus: the life and history of the saint that is celebrated on March 19th.

St. Joseph is the protector of fathers, carpenters and the dying people, as well as all workers. Father of Jesus and husband of Mary, he’s defined, for his immense faith in God, a “right man”: he had not doubt, not even for a second, of Mary and of the holy origin of Jesus’s conception.

The biblical texts on the saint are very poor.
Matthew and Luke say that Joseph was a descendant of King David and a native of Bethlehem. His father’s name was Jacob and he was the third of six brothers.
Joseph lived in Nazareth where he practiced as a carpenter. At the age of 30 he was convoked by the Priests of the Temple – with other bachelors of the Tribe of David – to take a wife. He chose Maria and, at the age of 14, she was given in marriage to Giuseppe.

We all believe that Joseph was a joiner but that’s not exactly the truth. In fact, in the verse of Matthew 13, 55, Jesus is defined as “the son of the carpenter”: so actually he was a craftsman who worked wood and stone.

More information on St. Joseph can be found in the Apocryphal Gospels.
Before marrying Maria, St. Joseph married with a woman who gave him six children. Four males – Giuda, Joseto, Giacomo and Simeone – and two females – Lisia and Lidia.
At least one of them, James, seems to have grown up with Jesus: this would explain why the apostle James The Younger is defined as ‘brother’ of Jesus.

St. Joseph is celebrated in conjunction with Father’s Day, a celebration of all those fathers who sacrifice themselves and deeply love their children every day, just like St. Joseph did with Jesus, the Son of God.

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