Saint Joseph: Man of Dreams; Man of Action.

Joseph with Jesus and the Flowering Rod

When Joseph awoke he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him...

Joseph had dreams. God spoke to him in his dreams and he followed his dreams.

Saint Joseph is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus. He was a jewish carpenter lived in Nazareth. Before he and Mary lived together, after their engagement, he found out that she was pregnant and instead of shaming her or causing scandal, he decided to divorce her quietly. The Gospel tells us that he did this because he was an upright man, a man of principle. But an angel told him that the child was the Son of God and was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Obeying the angel, Joseph took Mary as his wife. After Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem in Judaea, an angel warned Joseph and Mary about the impending violence against the child by King Herod the Great of Judaea, whereupon they fled to Egypt. There the angel again appeared to Joseph, informing him of Herod’s death and instructing him to return to the Holy Land.

Joseph was was a righteous man. He followed the law: He observed religious law – he went to Jerusalem for the Jewish festivals. He also followed civil law: He went to Bethlehem for the census.

Nowhere in the Gospels we hear anything Joseph says. He never says anything. But he’s a man of action: he does what the angel tells him; he takes Mary as his wife; he goes to Bethlehem; he finds a place to stay for the night; he takes his family to Egypt... He’s a man of action – not a man of words.

The circumstances of Joseph’s death are unknown, except that he probably died before Jesus’ public ministry began and was certainly dead before the Crucifixion (John 19:26–27).

Saint Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers and in 1955 Pope Pius XII established the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.

Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph, Dates to year 50 AD.

Saint Joseph with the Flowering Rod, by Jusepe de Ribera, early 1630s. Conveys the unexpected wonder of the moment with the lighting from above.

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 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. Amen.

The Promise associated with this Prayer:

This old postscript is commonly included with this prayer:

"This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or be burned in any fire or be overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you desire. It has never been known to fail."

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