Today’s feast invites us to meditate about St. Joseph, Our Lord Jesus’ legal and foster father.
Because of that function which he performed in regard to Christ during his childhood and youth, he has been declared Patron, or Protector of the Church, which continues Christ’s image and mission in time and reflects them in history.
At first sight, there seems to be no material for meditation on Joseph. For what do we know of him, apart from his name and a few events that occurred in Our Lord’s childhood? The Gospel does not record a single word from him. His language is silence.
It was his attention to the angelic voices which spoke in his sleep. It was that prompt and generous obedience which was demanded from him. It was manual labor in the most modest and fatiguing of forms, which earned Jesus the reputation of being the son of the carpenter.
There is nothing else known of him. And it might well be said that he lived an unknown life. The life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness.
The Gospel describes St. Joseph as a just man. No greater praise of virtue and no higher tribute to merit could be applied to a man of humble social condition, who was apparently far from being equipped to perform great deeds.
A poor, honest, hardworking, perhaps even timorous man, but one with unfathomable interior life, from which very singular directions and consolations came, bringing him also the logic and strength that belong to simple and clear souls, and giving him the power of making great decisions.
So St. Joseph is an example for us, and let us try to imitate him. And we shall call upon him as our protector.