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saint joseph, spouse of the virgin mary's dream

Feast Day: March 19

Patron Saint of The Universal Church, Father, Belgium, Vietnam, Canada, Travellers, Carpenters, Social Justice, China, Russia, Peru and Happy Death

Joseph was of royal blood because he is a descendant of King David. Although of noble birth and ancestry, he was circumstantially poor and a carpenter by profession.

Appointed by God as the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the protector of her honour, Joseph respected her vow of virginity as evidenced in the Virgin’s response to Archangel Gabriel when he announced that she was to bear a son, “How shall this be done, because I know not man?” (Luke 1:34)

Though the Gospels reveal little about Joseph but paid him the highest compliment “a just man,” (Matt. 1:19) a quality meaning lot more than faithfulness in paying debts.

This “just man” who perceived his wife was pregnant, knowing he was not responsible for it but, trusting in her holiness against the evidence of his eyes, refused to denounce her. God rewarded his heroic faith: an angel appeared to Joseph in the night and revealed to him that his holy spouse had conceived “the expectation of nations” (Gen. 49:10) by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This “just man,” protected both the mother and the divine Son in Bethlehem, looking for a suitable place for the birth of the Word-made-flesh, and being systematically denied one. We also read that he offered two turtle doves (an evidence of his poverty) as a ransom for the presentation of the Child at the Temple. Then, again, an angel appears in his dream and warned him of the envy of King Herod. Immediately taking to the dusty road, this “just man” braves the frightful desert on foot, leading a donkey bearing the Creator of the Universe and His mother to safety in Egypt.

Though there is no scriptural record of Saint Joseph’s death, we know he was absent at Jesus’ crucifixion, which points to his having died before.

Blessed Pope Pius IX, saying It is only fitting that he who protected the mother and the Son, also protect the bride, declared Saint Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church.

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