Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Joseph's Legacy

Joseph is not mentioned often in the Bible. We read about him before the birth of Jesus when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and asked him to take Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:18).

Imagine his dilemma. He was engaged to Mary when she found out she was due to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. At first he considered doing what many men with a pregnant girl friend whose baby is not theirs would have done - run a mile in the opposite direction.

Being an honourable man he decided to break the engagement privately so as not to disgrace her.

Then the angel appeared to him in a dream; and based on that dream alone he decided to marry Mary and raise her son as if He were his own.

Joseph was an ordinary good Jew, obedient to the Jewish Law. But God intervened and shattered his life-expectations. He is called to a new level of obedience. That of God.

Joseph was there when Jesus was born in Bethlehem and we read about him when he took Jesus and Mary to Egypt to escape from Herod (Matthew 2:13) and then when they returned to Nazareth (Matthew 2:19).

He is also mentioned when the boy Jesus was twelve years old and found in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41).

So as Jesus' foster father he was there during His early years protecting Him from Herod and providing a loving family for the Son of God.

What a wonderful man he must have been. Working quietly in the background, without much recognition, doing God's will in raising His Son on earth.

So, what is his legacy to us?

Obedience and trust.

Despite what his common sense told him to do, he did not walk away from Mary. He trusted and obeyed God and decided to stay with Mary. He decided to provide for her and a child who was not his. He taught the child carpentry and raised Him up as his own.

May his obedience and trust be an example to us all. Especially when we are called by God to obey what He commands.

This prayer to St Joseph is said to be over 1900 years old. It was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1500's it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. It is a novena to be prayed for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.

“O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O 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. O 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 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 us. Amen.”


  1. Beautiful, Victor. I've not seen the St. Joseph Novena before.

    1. I received the Novena from someone some years ago.

      God bless you, Terri.

  2. What an interesting point of view; I hadn't considered that before.

    1. That's right, Mevely. Joseph just accepted his role obediently and got on with it.

      God bless you always.

  3. My first book, "A Trip, a Tryst and a Terror," is dedicated to ". . . loving stepfathers everywhere, but especially to Danny, John and Joseph." Yes! The very same Joseph you've written about so masterfully here, Victor. Where would Jesus have been had Joseph not trusted in God and was obedient? Perish the thought!
    Oh, and that prayer is beautiful! Blessings!

    1. What a wonderful story, Martha, and how good of you to dedicate your book to St Joseph. He really is an under-rated Saint. Not often mentioned but working quietly and obediently in the background.

      I don't know much about the prayer. I got it some time ago and just copied it on this post.

      God bless you and yours, Martha.

  4. I never knew that St. Joseph was the Patron of departing souls and I went to a Catholic school. I also never knew about the novena. Thanks for sharing the info, Victor.

    1. I did not know either point as well, Bill. Only found out when someone sent me the Novena in print. I copied what was there here on my post. And I went to a Catholic school too.

      God bless you, Bill.

  5. What a great post, Victor. I have not thought much of Joseph, but to think he was a good man. Why else would he have married Mary--except as you pointed out to be obedient. That is a wonderful legacy!

    1. Obedience can be such a difficult thing, Lulu. Joseph is to be admired for his trust in God and his obedience.

      God bless you always my friend.

  6. Joseph is often overlooked but he was quite a man!!

  7. I wonder how he learned that obedience and trust?



God bless you.