The Intercession of St. Joseph | Husband, Craftsman and Foster Father

Not much is known of St. Joseph from the Gospel accounts. What we do know is that he was a carpenter, he took care of Mother Mary when she was pregnant and that he was a just and honourable man.

Veneration to St. Joseph started during the Middle Ages and it wasn’t until the late 1800s that Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church. He is honoured as both a husband and a foster father.

The relationship that Jesus had with St. Joseph is one that is inferred based on context and not one that is elaborated upon and narrated. We assume, based on the narrative of Jesus’ birth, that Joseph was there for both Mary and Jesus during what must have been a very vulnerable time.

During Jesus’ adult ministry, the townspeople refer to Jesus as ‘the carpenter’s son’ and even as ‘Mary’s son’ for that was how they knew him: as the child of his parents.

The description of Joseph in Greek as a tekton is usually translated to mean carpenter. But the word in Greek covers makers of objects in a variety of materials. It could even have been iron or stone. The association with woodworking, however, has been a constant theme in Christian tradition.

Due to Joseph’s occupation, he has also been awarded the status of patron of workers.

The Holy Family by Giulio Romano

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