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Carpenter, Father, Saint


By trade he was a carpenter. Though he himself was never rich, he came from royal lineage, most notably David, the greatest king of Israel. He was a compassionate and caring man who saw marriage to his pregnant fiancée as more important than allowing the laws of the day to prevail, and thus he kept Mary from being stoned to death. He was a man of faith with great respect for God, and thus he changed his plans to quietly divorce Mary after the wedding when he heard God’s message, “Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
 
He loved his family and died surrounded by their loving presence. His feast day is today, March 19. He is considered the patron of the universal Catholic Church, fathers, social justice, and a happy death.
 
The man is St. Joseph, a man whose life’s story is relatively unknown, even in Scripture. Still, he plays a large role in the history of the Catholic Church and in the lives of the people who honor him. Considering the decision he was faced with, Joseph’s faith was most profound, and he is an example of faith for all of us.
 
We learn from those who came before us. Joseph teaches us that a deep faith allows us to be open to God’s Word, to make the difficult decisions to follow God’s Word, and to know that God will be with us when we act on those decisions. That is what faith is all about.
 
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.
 
Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
 
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
 
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls – Pray for me.”
 
Sister Pat is a member of the RENEW staff, a Dominican Sister, and loves working with Young Adults as the program manager of Theology on Tap.

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