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St. Joseph (March 19)

St. Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus was a descendant of King David, according to the genealogy presented by the Gospel. Betrothed to Mary, he decided to divorce her quietly when he found that she was with child, but an angel of the Lord told him to take Mary as his wife, since the child to be born was the "Holy One of God." From the human character of his Son we can see that Joseph was a good and responsible father. He assisted at the birth of Jesus and became His support and guide through childhood. In a dream he was told by an angel to flee from Bethlehem with the infant and His mother, lest Herod kill the Child. He accompanied them to the temple where Jesus was presented to God. And with Mary, he sought the boy Jesus when He was lost on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In his work as a carpenter he shared the many hours of his trade with his young Son. Joseph, a man of faith, a just man, was a worthy successor to the great patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He followed the call of God through the mysterious circumstances that surrounded the coming of Jesus. God entrusted this silent, humble man with the unique privilege of raising His only Son as a growing Child. Although he is not officially a patron saint of anything in particular (thought he is the patron of the Universal Church), St. Joseph is widely venerated as a patron of artisans who honorably do good work with the gifts God has given to them. He is also the patron of a happy death.

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