March 19-St. Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary

2Sam 7:4-5, 12-14, 16; Rom 14:13, 16-18, 22; Matt 1:16, 18-21, 24 ( Luke 2:41-51)

A girl had prayed daily for ten years to St. Joseph for a good husband, with no sign that her request would ever be granted. She began to lose confidence. One Sunday morning she returned from Mass and knelt before her statue of St. Joseph imploring him to grant her request. But after ten minutes, in a fit of irritation and despair, she pulled the statue from the table and threw it through the window. A young man passing by the house was struck on the head with it, getting a severe cut. He knocked at the door of the house for help and perhaps an explanation. The client of St. Joseph apologized, offering to attend the injury. They became good friends. Six months later they were married and lived happily ever after.

Today we are celebrating the Solemnity of St. Joseph, the Husband of Mary. He was a carpenter by profession and was living in Nazareth at the time he was betrothed to Mary. Not much is said about St. Joseph in the Bible, compared with other Biblical saints. Like for example today’s gospel, we read today gives us a little information about St, Joseph the earthly Guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus. The gospel just tells us the he was a just man (Matt 1:19). This verse summarizes what kind of person St. Joseph was.

In the Jewish world, women were second class citizens and had no legal rights. They are properties of a man, objects and things and therefore they were not considered persons. A male Jew when he prayed would thank God for not making him a gentile, a slave and a woman. St Joseph was really a just and good man because he did not put the Virgin to shame publicly when he planned to divorce her quietly when he found her to have a child not his own. But the angel of God appeared to him a in a dream on what to do with the child. The angel said to him:  “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your spouse… for it is through the Holy Spirit that this Child has been conceived in her,” (Matt 2:20-21). He silently and faithfully went about doing his duties as well as the will of God. He did what the angel of the Lord commanded and entered into a marriage with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The veneration of St. Joseph was introduced rather late in the Catholic Church. His principal feast day is March 19. It is because tradition says that he died on March 19, some time before the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He is considered the model of a pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death. He is also known as the Protector of Virginity, for respecting Mary’s divine motherhood all his life. He was proclaimed the patron of Universal Church by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1870.

Since today is the feast of good husband by the name of St. Joseph, I would like to give a suggestion especially for young ladies who long to have a good husband in life. Try to look the qualities of St. Joseph in this guy that you want to be your husband for the rest of your life like: silent, strong, loving and obedient to God’s will; ready to defend the woman he loves; a paradigm of duty and bravery as the head of a family.

And for husbands also, if you admire St. Joseph for his qualities, somebody said that he is especially to be imitated in his love for Jesus and Mary. St. Joseph’s love for them can not be measured by his physical presence and by words but by his action. He put his love for them into practice.

As we celebrate his feast let us ask for his guidance to teach us the hardest lessons we have to learn in life and that, to love unconditionally and to be good and faithful servants of the Lord.

See Today’s Readings: Solemnity of St. Joseph

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