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If the whole Church is in the debt of the Virgin, since, through her, it was able to receive the Christ, surely after her, it also owed to Joseph special thanks and veneration... It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect, and high honour which He showed to him as to a father during His own human life, but rather completed and perfected it.
-- St Bernardine of Siena
Saint Joseph was the husband of Our Blessed Lady and the legal father of Jesus. Saint Matthew's genealogy of Jesus tells us that Saint Joseph was a descendant of King David and so through him, Jesus belongs by law to the house of David (Mt 1:1-16).
The Scripture picture Saint Joseph as a man of honour, who strived to do what was right and who wasdeeply in love with Our Blessed Lady, his betrothed. When he found out that Mary was with the child before they came to live together, he wanted to spare her the publicity and so decided to divorce her informally (Mt 1:18-20).
Saint Joseph was also a man of prayer, able to discern the will of God communicated by the angel in a dream. He had both the courage and the generosity to respond to God's call, to take Mary home and adopt Jesus as his son (Mt 1:20-25).
In the town of Nazareth, where the Holy Family settled after return from Egypt, Saint Joseph was known as a carpenter and it is very likely that he taught Jesus his trade (Mt 13:55).
Thus he took care of, provided for and protected the Holy Family and "Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and men." (Lk 2:52)
Saint Joseph appears in the Gospels for the last time when the Holy Family went to Jerusalem for a feast and our Lord stayed behind in the Temple without his parents knowing. When they found him, after four days, he was talking to the doctors of the Law who were all astounded at his intelligence and replies. Our Lord was then twelve years old (Lk 2:41-50).
Saint Joseph's death is not recorded in the Scriptures. One hint suggesting that he died before the beginning of Jesus' public ministry is that Saint Joseph does not appear at the wedding feast in Cana, although our Lady and our Lord with His disciples are there(Jn 2:1-10).
Tradition has it that Saint Joseph died a happy death, with Our Saviour and Our Lady at his side and so he is also a patron of a happy death.
Two main feasts of Saint Joseph are the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on the 19th of March and the memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker, celebrated on the 1st of May.
Beloved Saint Joseph, adopt me as thy child. Take care of my salvation and watch over me day and night, preserve me from the occasion of sin, and obtain for me purity of soul and body.
Through thy intercession with Jesus, grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, of self-denial, a great love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a tender love for Mary, my Mother.
Saint Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying, and obtain for me a favourable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Saviour.
Where to find us?
Parochial Administrator: Fr Rob Morland SMA
Address: St Joseph's Presbytery, Portland Crescent, Manchester, M13 0BU
Call or text: 0757 528 8370
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