Saint Joseph - Feast Day: March 19
The Gospels tell us little about Saint Joseph, although we know he was a descendant of the House of David. He was a caring man who loved his family and a man who was faithful to God, doing what God wanted him to do, even when he didn’t completely understand what was going on.
When he discovered Mary was pregnant after they had been betrothed, Joseph did not want to publicly denounce her, which could have resulted in her being stoned to death. Instead, he planned to send her away quietly. When the angel appeared to him in a dream, telling him, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit," he did as the angel told him. Joseph again followed the angel's instructions, fleeing to Egypt when told his family was in danger. He remained there until the angel told him it was safe to go back.
The last time we read about Saint Joseph is when he and Mary are frantically searching for their son, only to find him in the Temple. We assume, however, that Joseph died before Jesus fulfilled his mission on earth, because Jesus entrusts Mary to one of his disciples at his crucifixion. For generations, Catholics have painted a picture of Joseph breathing his last with Mary and Jesus by his side.
We know that Saint Joseph was a working man because Jesus was referred to as the carpenter's son. For that reason, he is the patron saint of craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general. He is also patron saint of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, and home sellers and buyers,
Prayer to St. Joseph (believed to be over 1900 years old):
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O 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. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press him 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 us. Amen.