Saint Joseph, a man of few words; no – make that no words –had a huge impact on salvation history. He is portrayed in the Bible, without ever having spoken one word. All mention of him is in the third person. Yet, silent Saint Joseph was one of the most important instruments of Christ’s salvific action.
Had Joseph refused to take Mary as his wife, Mary would have been placed in a tenuous situation, and so would the safety of her child, Jesus. You see, in Mary’s day, if a woman was caught having relations with a man out of wedlock, she could have been stoned to death. Because Mary was pregnant with Jesus, everyone else would have assumed that Mary was having relations with a man (see edifying comment below in comments section for more clarification). Therefore, no one would have understood that Mary’s pregnancy was a result of the Holy Spirit’s overshadowing of Mary. Saint Joseph’s silent “yes,” – his own “fiat,” to taking Mary as his wife – paved the way for fulfilling God’s plan for salvation. Thus, Jesus could be given a safe and secure means to grow to manhood.
Saint Joseph: Protector, Teacher and Patron Saint of the Catholic Church
Saint Joseph is referred to in the New Testament as Jesus’ protector. Joseph took every precaution to keep Jesus safe by fleeing to Egypt, after Jesus’ birth, to protect Jesus from the wrath of Herod’s jealousy. Joseph was Jesus’ teacher as well; teaching Jesus carpentry skills. But most importantly, Saint Joseph was a loving foster father to Jesus. He provided for Jesus, meeting all of His earthly needs, as any good father would do for his children. He did it all in the background; leaving the limelight to Jesus. Saint Joseph was a man of humble service; service to God’s will. For this, he is honored, by the faithful, as the Patron Saint of the Catholic Church. Therefore, today we honor Saint Joseph, and thank him for his “fiat” – his yes to his part in salvation history.
Happy Feast Day Saint Joseph! Please pray for us, and help us on our journey home to Jesus. – Amen.