CARF Foundation

29 April, 24

san josé obrero

May 1, St. Joseph the Worker: Who was the father of Jesus?

To St. Joseph, God entrusted the enormous responsibility and privilege of being the husband of the Virgin Mary and custodian of the Holy Family. For this he worked tirelessly to provide for them. He is the one who is closest to Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

San José Obrero has several holidays in our calendar. In May we celebrate, on the first day of the month, the patron saint of workers. He was the one who supported and cared for Jesus and Mary with his carpentry skills. On his feast of March 19, Pope Francis invited us to pay special attention to the figure of St. Joseph. To this end, he pointed out the two unique virtues that define the father of Jesus: "Joseph is the man who knows how to accompany in silence."and it is "the man of dreams".

"Love St. Joseph very much, love him with all your soul, because he is the person who, with Jesus, has loved St. Mary the most and the one who has treated God the most: the one who has loved Him the most, after our Mother. He deserves your affection, and it is good for you to treat him, because he is a Master of interior life, and he can do much before the Lord and before the Mother of God. Forge, 554.

Biography of St. Joseph the worker of Nazareth

Both St. Matthew and St. Luke speak of St. Joseph as a man descended from an illustrious lineage: that of David and Solomon, kings of Israel. The details of this ancestry are historically somewhat confusing: we do not know which of the two genealogies, which the evangelists bring, corresponds to Mary and which to St. Joseph, who was her father according to Jewish law. We do not know if his hometown was Bethlehem, where he went to register, or Nazareth, where he lived and worked.

We know, however, that he was not a rich person: he was a worker, like millions of other men throughout the world; he exercised the laborious and humble office that God had chosen for himself, by taking our flesh and wanting to live thirty years as one more among us.

Sacred Scripture says that Joseph was a craftsman. Several Fathers add that he was a carpenter. St. Justin, speaking of Jesus' life of work, affirms that he made plows and yokes. (St. Justin, Dialogus cum Tryphone, 88, 2, 8 (PG 6, 687).Perhaps, based on these words, St. Isidore of Seville concludes that Joseph was a blacksmith. In any case, a worker who worked in the service of his fellow citizens, who had a manual skill, the fruit of years of effort and sweat.

Joseph's great human personality is evident from the Gospel narratives: at no time does he appear to us as a man who is timid or afraid of life; on the contrary, knows how to deal with problems, to get ahead in difficult situations, to assume with responsibility and initiative the tasks entrusted to him/her.

Who was St. Joseph the Worker in the Catholic Church?

The whole Church recognizes in St. Joseph her protector and patron. Throughout the centuries he has been spoken of, highlighting various aspects of his life, continually faithful to the mission entrusted to him by God.

  • In the 17th century, Pope Gregory XV instituted for the first time a liturgical feast in his name.
  • During 1870, Pope Pius IX named St. Joseph universal patron of the Church.
  • Thereafter, Leo XIII dedicated an encyclical to the saintly patriarch
  • 100 years after this document, St. John Paul II wrote the apostolic exhortation Redemptoris custos.
  • Pope Francis also published a letter on St. Joseph in 2020, under the title. Patris corde, Father's heart.

In the words of St. Josemaría, St. Joseph is really Father and Lord, who protects and accompanies on his earthly journey those who venerate him, as he protected and accompanied Jesus as he grew and became man. In dealing with him, we discover that the Holy Patriarch is also a Master of interior life: because teaches us to know Jesus, to live together with Himto know that we are part of the family of God. This Saint gives us these lessons being, as he was, an ordinary man, a father of a family, a worker who earned his living with the effort of his hands.

The virtues of Joseph of Nazareth

Joseph the worker was a craftsman from Galilee, a man like so many others. In his day he had only parenting and workevery day, always with the same effort. And, at the end of the day, a poor and small house, to regain strength and start again.

But Joseph's name means, in Hebrew, God will add. God adds, to the holy life of those who fulfill his will, unsuspected dimensions: what is important, what gives value to everything, the divine. God, to the humble and holy life of Joseph, added the life of the Virgin Mary and that of Jesus, our Lord.

Living by faith, these words are more than fulfilled in St. Joseph. Its fulfillment of God's will is spontaneous and profound..

For the story of the Holy Patriarch was a simple life, but not an easy life. After anguishing moments, he knows that the Son of Mary has been conceived by the Holy Spirit. And that Child, Son of God, descendant of David according to the flesh, is born in a cave. Angels celebrate his birth and personalities from distant lands come to adore him, but the King of Judea desires his death and it becomes necessary to flee. The son of God is, in appearance, a helpless child, who will live in Egypt.

In his Gospel, St. Matthew constantly emphasizes Joseph's faithfulness, who fulfills God's commands without hesitation, even though at times the meaning of these mandates might seem obscure or their connection to the rest of the divine plans might be hidden from him.

Faith, love and hope

On many occasions the Fathers of the Church emphasize the firmness of St. Joseph's faith. Joseph's faith does not waver, his obedience is always strict and prompt.

In order to better understand this lesson given to us here by the Holy Patriarch, it is good to consider that their faith is active. Because the Christian faith is the opposite of conformism, or lack of inner activity and energy.

In the various circumstances of his life, the Patriarch does not give up thinking, nor does he abandon his responsibility. On the contrary, it places all its human experience at the service of faith..

Faith, love, hope: these are the axes of the Saint's life and those of every Christian life.. Joseph of Nazareth's dedication appears woven from this interweaving of faithful love, loving faith and confident hope.

This is what St. Joseph's life teaches us: simple, normal and ordinary, made up of years of work, always the same, of humanly monotonous days that follow one after the other.

St. Joseph the father of Jesus

"Treat Joseph and you will find Jesus." St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

 Through the angel, God himself confides to Joseph what his plans are and how he is counting on him to carry them out. Joseph is called to be the father of Jesus; that will be his vocation, his mission.

Joseph has been, in the human aspect, Jesus' teacher; he has treated Him daily, with delicate affection, and has cared for Him with joyful abnegation.

With St. Joseph, we learn what it is to belong to God and to be fully among men, sanctifying the world. Treat Joseph and you will find Jesus. Treat Joseph and you will find Mary, who always filled the kindly workshop of Nazareth with peace.

Joseph of Nazareth took care of the Son of God and, as a man, introduced him to the hope of the people of Israel. And that is what he does with us: with his powerful intercession he brings us to Jesus. St. Josemaría, whose devotion to St. Joseph grew throughout his life, said that he is truly Father and Lord, who protects and accompanies those who venerate him on their earthly journey, just as he protected and accompanied Jesus as he grew and became man.

God continually demands more, and His ways are not our human ways. St. Joseph, like no man before or after him, learned from Jesus to be attentive to recognize the wonders of God, to have an open heart and soul.

YouTube video
The Pope explains his letter on St. Joseph in 2020.

The Feast of St. Joseph

On March 19, the Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Patriarch, patron of the Church and of the Work, a date on which we in Opus Dei renew the commitment of love that unites us to our Lord. But throughout the world we also celebrate the feast of labor on May 1, and St. Joseph the Worker is the patron saint of all workers.

The feast of St. Joseph He places before our eyes the beauty of a faithful life. Joseph trusted God: that is why he was able to be his trusted man on earth to take care of Mary and Jesus, and from heaven he is a good father who takes care of Christian fidelity.

The seven Sundays of St. Joseph

They are a custom of the Church to prepare for the feast of March 19. Dedicating to the Holy Patriarch the seven Sundays prior to that feast in memory of the main joys and sorrows of his life.

The meditation of the Sorrows and joys of St. Joseph helps to get to know the holy Patriarch better and to remember that he too faced joys and difficulties.

It was Pope Gregory XVI who encouraged the devotion of the seven Sundays of St. Joseph, granting him many indulgences; but Pius IX gave them perennial topicality with his desire that the saint should be called upon to alleviate the then afflictive situation of the universal Church.

One day, someone asked St. Josemaría how to get closer to Jesus: "Think of that wonderful man, chosen by God to be his father on earth; think of his sorrows and his joys. Do you do the seven Sundays? If not, I advise you to do them.

How great is the silent and hidden figure of St. Joseph," said St. John XXIII, "because of the spirit with which he fulfilled the mission entrusted to him by God. For the true dignity of man is not measured by the tinsel of showy results, but by the interior dispositions of order and good will."

Curiosities of St. Joseph the Worker

Devotion of Pope Francis

"I would also like to tell you something very personal. I love St. Joseph very much. Because he is a strong and silent man. And I have a picture of St. Joseph sleeping on my desk. And while he sleeps he takes care of the Church. Yes, he can do it. We can't. And when I have a problem, a difficulty. And when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a little piece of paper and I put it under the figure of the Saint so that he will dream it. This means to pray for that problem".

Devotion of St. Josemaría

St. Joseph is the patron of this family that is the Work. In the early years, St. Josemaría had special recourse to him so that Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament could be present in the first center of Opus Dei. Through his intercession, in March 1935 it was possible to have our Lord reserved in the oratory of the DYA Academy-Residence on Ferraz Street in Madrid.

Since then, the founder of the Work wanted the key of the tabernacles of the centers of Opus Dei to have a small medal of St. Joseph with the inscription Ite ad IosephThe reason is to remember that, in a similar way as the Joseph of the Old Testament does with his people, the holy patriarch had provided us with the most precious food: the Eucharist.

St. Joseph the Worker, the saint of silence, the protector

We do not know words expressed by him, we only know his works, his acts of faith, love and protection. He protected the Immaculate Mother of God and was the father of Jesus on earth. However, there is no mention of him in the Gospels. Rather, he was a quiet and humble servant of God who played his role to the full. Working hard to support the Holy Family.

One of the first titles they used to honor him was Nutritor DominiThe "Lord's feeder" dates back to at least the ninth century.

Celebrations in his honor

The Solemnity of St. Joseph is on March 19 and the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (International Labor Day) is on May 1. It is also included in the Feast of the Holy Family (December 30) and is certainly part of the Christmas story.

St. Joseph has multiple patronages

He is the patron of the Universal Church, the good death, families, parents, pregnant women, travelers, immigrants, artisans, engineers and workers. He is also the patron of the Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, Philippines and Vietnam.

Let us ask St. Joseph the Worker to continue helping us to draw closer to Jesus in the Sacrament, who is the nourishment that nourishes the Church. This is what he did with Mary in Nazareth, and this is what he will do with her in our homes.



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