Ancient legend and folklore states that Joseph may have died on March 19th. Various traditions and devotions recalling the life of St. Joseph go back to as early as the 4th century. It wasn’t until 1480 in which Pope Sixtus IV elevated March 19 to an official liturgical feast in the church (https://www.vaticannews.va/en/liturgical-holidays/solemnity-of-saint-joseph–the-spouse-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary.html).
My sister Emily will be professing her vows of matrimony when she is betrothed to her soul mate Cody on the feast day of St. Joseph. Through the intercession of Saint Joseph, pray for them and all married couples. They are now expecting their first child, thanks be to God.
As a Christian husband and father, I am reminded that Joseph was a humble man that didn’t have much written about him per the gospel writers. Joseph was a man of action that didn’t question his dream and took action despite life’s obstacles. The importance of the angelic messenger coming to Joseph in a dream shows us that Joseph must have been a man of faith to actually carry out his part of God’s mission for His plan of salvation history. Undoubtedly, Joseph’s many nicknames as “terror of demons,” is quite appropriate given his role as a stalwart of the holy family. After all, this is a man who fled with Mary and Jesus from the throes of danger from Herod’s slaughter of the holy innocents to Egypt. Joseph continuously did the Lord’s will without complaint as a pious and devout servant that he was. Most men today would have questioned such things and not have been a humble servant as was Joseph.
For myself, Joseph holds a special fondness and place in my heart as not only a saintly role model, but one in which my father’s side of the family had a history with as well. My great grandparents helped to build a church named after the saint in Rhineland, TX. My wife and I were also married at St. Joseph in another city in a Texas town. I also had the opportunity to play this saintly man in a living nativity one year surrounded by actual livestock (luckily it was a silent part and true to the man who didn’t have much to say in holy scripture).
As we prepare to recall this saintly man of humble and pure heart this coming March 19, let us pray the Litany of St. Joseph and ask for his intercession to always be a dreamer and a person that takes action with our faith no matter how difficult the task.
Saint Joseph, pray for us!
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.