St.Joseph may not be your favorite saint but begin a relationship with him from today. His strength lay in the following areas.:

1. He had creative courage, not physical strength.
2. He was a silent knight and a silent warrior.
3. St.Joseph fatherhood beyond biological fatherhood.Demands more responsibility and courage.
4. He protected Mary from all harm. Respecting the good reputation of friends or foes.His love beyond justice.
5. He was a faithful husband, courageous Father.
6. His faith was strong and he was a religious minded man.
7. He feared nothing but God.
8. He exercised fortitude.
9. He was courageous and stout-hearted.
10. His courage was seen at Bethany flight to Egypt. Romans 8,31. If God is for us, who can be against us?
11. Jesus' courage comes from his earthly father. Joseph showed courage in Bethlehem, Egypt, Nazareth,Jerusalem.
12. Jesus asked his disciples to exercise courage in the face of adversities. John 16:33. Take courage, I have conquered the world.

Josephology through Popes Over the past 150 years a lot of understanding of Joseph. Almost all the Popes contributed to the advancement of theology and devotion to St.Joseph.

1870 Pius IX First to proclaim St.Joseph as the patron of the universal church.

1889 Leo XII He wrote the encyclical of St.Joseph, Quanquam Pluries on 15,August 1889.

1909 Pius X Approved the litany of St.Joseph.

1920 Benedict XV Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the patronage of Joseph.

1932 Pius XI His teachings include references to Joseph in his encyclical

Divine Redemptoris(1937)

1.Primary of Holiness and even dignity over St.Peter and St.John the Baptist. He was the first among all the saints.

1955 Pius XII He instituted the feast of St.Joseph the worker (1955) and set it for may first as a response to the Communist celebration of May Day.

1962 John XIII He said that one could piously accept the possible bodily assumption into heaven of St.Joseph.

Pope John XXIII Decreed that the insertion of the name of Joseph in the canon of the mass immediately after the name of Mary and before all other saints(1962).

1989 John Paul II Released the only apostolic exhortation of St.Joseph namely Redemptorus Cristos on 15, August 1989.

2005 Bendedict XVI His patron saint is St.Joseph. On the day of his election as pope he presented himself with conviction as a humble worker in the Lord’s vineyard recalling St.Joseph as the worker.

2013 Pope Francis He has a special relationship with St.Joseph and has a statue of St.Joseph sleeping in his bedroom. In 2020 to 2021 declares Joseph as the 150 Jubilee Year of Joseph.

St.Joseph inside the Bible

Matthew mentions Joseph, Luke mentions Blessed Virgin Mary, Mark and Paul never mention. John mentions it only once.
1)Husband of Mary(MT 1:15-16) Joseph mentioned as husband of Mary but not as father of Jesus.
2)In all sense he is the legal father of Jesus and not biological father(Matthew 1:21) (Luke 2:48)
3) He was poor. His profession was carpenter and his son also followed the same. (Mark 6:3). He was a just man. (Righteous) (Matthew 1:19)
4) Practices religious laws.(Luke 2:22,27,39) Mentioned 5 times.
5) Obedient to God through 4 dreams. Witnessed the birth of Jesus, Adoration of shepherds and Magis. Found searching for adolescent Jesus.

Joseph outside the Bible

From tradition and apocrypha. Joseph was a carpenter-Tecton(Artisan) He died before Jesus died and entrusting his mother to a disciple. The Gospel of James says Joseph had sons from earlier marriage. St.Jerome said Joseph was not married. He died at the age of 111 when Jesus was 19. Joseph married at the age of 90. Most loveable saint who lived a silent life. Popularity not in words but in deeds. Do your daily duties and God will do the rest. Joseph is the saint next door. Ordinary man, Doing ordinary things with utmost commitment. Favorite of God, poor, humble. Will of God, obedient, committed, gentle.

Did Joseph Pray

1)He worked. Work is prayer.
2)He believed. Put trust in God. That is prayer.
3)He followed the will of God. Not his will,Thy will be done.
4) He was religious. He followed the law and the religion.
5) He taught his son to pray. The son taught his disciples and others to pray. Jesus grew in wisdom.
6) He searched for an answer. To do his will. Search itself is a prayer.
7) None of us can see the face of God. We will find the suffering poor.

Joseph Towards Mary

Why did Joseph want to do away with Mary? Betrothal more than engagement. Almost like marriage.
1) Suspicion theory: Suspecting Mary of adultery.Joseph wanted to divorce her secretly to avoid the law. The law was Capital punishment.(Deuteronomy 23-24) Common theory among many Catholics. But it has its weaknesses. Joseph was a true follower of the law. Another example is Saul of Tarsus. If Saul were Joseph Mary would be stoned to death according to law.
2) The Perplexity Theory: He thought Mary was incapable of infidelity. Divorce was the only option. Joseph wanted to divorce her directly.
3) The Reverence theory: Joseph understands Mary’s situation as divine intervention. He considers himself unworthy to be part of God’s plan. Something like the feeling of Peter or the Centurion. Joseph decided to keep Mary away as a reverent measure. To keep a secret mystery within her. This resonates with Joseph as a just man.
Seven Father images of St.Joseph from Patris code (Apostolic letter of Pope Francis, 8, December 2020

1.Beloved father.

Beloved to the holy family, saints and many institutes. Popular expression”Go to Joseph”.

2. A tender and loving father

In Joseph Jesus saw the tender love of God the Father-Abba(Daddy) When Jesus addressed or thought of his Heavenly Father, he probably relied on the thought of his foster father Joseph.

3.An Obedient Father.

Obedience Through Dream. 4 of them similar to O.T Joseph. He took them seriously. He declared his fiat in every situation. Obedience of Jesus to his Father. Learned in a way from St, Joseph’s school at an early stage. Jesus immortal of obedience.

4. An accepting Father

Unconditional acceptance of Mary and angel. Accepting the situation with charity( Not intending to hurt Mary and without shortcuts in life. St. Joseph was the inspiration for Jesus for the Parable of Prodigal son with the image of a merciful and unconditional father. God is purely spirit.

5.A creatively courageous Father

In the face of difficulties: Option to reject or put up somehow. Joseph did not accept passively. Joseph becomes the miracle at Christmas symbol of creative courage. Joseph turned the problem into possibility(Stable to bed midnight flight to Egypt). God trusted Joseph in guarding the child and mother.

6.A working Father

Joseph provided the family through his work, giving dignity to work. Pandemic cost unemployment. Time to intercede through St.Joseph.

7.A father in the shadows

Joseph was an earthly shadow of heavenly Father for Jesus.Fathers are not born but made. Not by bringing a child but being responsible to the child. Most chaste man, chastity is freedom from possessiveness from every sphere of one’s life. St.Joseph teaches us it is possible to love without possessing( Benedict XVI)

10 tips from St.Joseph for today’s men and women

1.Listen to everything and everyone.
I listen to God’s voice even in my dreams.
2.Be kind even if the other is wrong
I did not want to hurt my wife.
3. Believe in God.Though it is difficult to believe in impossible things. Angel has to ensure me that nothing is impossible with God.
4.Practice before you preach. My deeds spoke louder than words.
5.Be proactive ,not reactive.I turn problems into possibilities like stable into a manger.
6. Love without possessing. None is our own. My son and my wife are not my own. But I love them without commitment.
7.Work and respect all kinds of workers. Work is sacred and noble. I was a simple carpenter. My son too.
8. Don’t take an early retirement.Age is only a number. Young or old I took care of my family. Mind Matters. God’s call has no expiry date.
9.Do your family duties well.Do your best. God will do the rest.Then we will be the saint next door. I was one.
10.Inspire before you expire. You have a lasting imprint on your children. I taught my son to pray, work, learn, love and live.

-Dorairaj Subramaniam