📷 PAP/psd

Saint Joseph a craftsman

Characteristic features of Saint Joseph include entrusting to God, humility, and servitude. The name Joseph means “God has added”. Bethlehem was the city of his origin. He lived in Nazareth in Galilee. He was a carpenter.

On the first of May, the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of Saint Joseph, a craftsman.  It was included into the liturgical calendar in the year 1955 and it was a response to the signs of the times that are issues of working people. The main celebration of Saint Joseph, the Spouse of Mary, the adoptive father of Jesus, the patron saint of fathers and families, the Catholic Church celebrates on March 19. St. Joseph was the husband of Mary and the adopted father of Jesus.

St. Joseph came from the family of King David. The Gospel calls him “righteous man,” that is, truthful, honest, diligent, and wise. Characteristic features of Saint Joseph is entrusting to God, humility and servitude. The name joseph means “God has added”. Bethlehem was the city of its origin. He lived in Nazareth in Galilee. He was a carpenter. In those days, this term also meant a craftsman producing home appliances. In Nazareth, he met and married Mary. Before their common settlement, Mary became pregnant and therefore Joseph, in accordance with Jewish law, was going to leave her in secret. Then an angel appeared in his dream, explaining the wonderful nature of the conception of Jesus.

Due to the census ordered by the Roman Emperor Augustus, Joseph and pregnant Mary went to Bethlehem and there Mary gave birth to her Son.  Joseph gave him the name Jesus, according to the angel’s command.  At the advice of the angel, Joseph went with the Child and His Mother to Egypt.  After the death of Herod, the family returned to Nazareth.

Tradition says that Joseph, the Guardian of the Holy Family, was teaching Jesus the carpentry.  When Jesus was 12, the family went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This event is the last place in the Gospels mentioning Joseph.  Perhaps he died shortly thereafter.  It is also possible that perhaps, due to his modesty, he remained in the background.  The evangelists did not give us any words about Saint Joseph.

St. Joseph is also the patron of the Church, a special patron, as he is a model of full fatherhood: he was loving, caring, affectionate, wise, always present, he provided security and served his family, removing himself in the shade.  This way he became a clear and legible image of God’s father’s love.  Probably some of Jesus’ qualities are a reflection of the personality of Saint Joseph.  Although he was not the natural father of Jesus, according to Jewish law, as a husband of Mary, he was his father and guardian.

Saint Jerome (+420) was the first one who wrote about Saint Joseph.  His worship was especially promoted by Saint Teresa of Jesus.  She repeatedly confessed that whatever she asked God through the intercession of Saint Joseph, she always received it.

Pope Leo XIII wrote an Encyclical Letter about Saint Joseph. Pius X approved the litany to Saint Joseph. While John XXIII, who had Saint Joseph as a baptismal patron, introduced this name to the Roman canon.  John Paul II issued a pastoral letter “Redemptoris custos”, in which he depicts Saint Joseph as a man’s model for our times.

His intercession provides help for those who have not yet founded a family – it is him, who she/he can ask for help in finding a good husband or wife.

The largest sanctuary of St. Joseph is located in Kalisz.  In 2010, Metropolitan of Katowice, Archbishop Damian Zimoń, announced the church in Ruda Śląska, the sanctuary of Saint Joseph a craftsman.  In the Archdiocese of Katowice, May 1, it is celebrated not as a liturgical memory but as a feast.

From 2013, Saint Joseph is mentioned in the Eucharistic prayer.  The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments added the words “with Saint Joseph, Her Spouse,” which are preceded by the recollection of Mary and placed in three different versions of the Eucharistic prayer. The change was approved by Pope Francis.  It was the result of work carried out under the patronage of Benedict XVI before his retirement and reflects the growing interest of the Church in the “paternal care” of Saint Joseph.  From all over the world, requests for special commemoration of Saint Joseph was coming to the Vatican, which Benedict XVI took into account.