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5 Lessons to Learn from St. Joseph

Each year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19, honoring his example of righteous living. As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph provided for his family, protected them, and strove to honor God’s will for His life. In today’s post, we invite you to read about five ways St. Joseph demonstrated faithfulness and how we can learn from his example. 

1. Joseph lived in righteousness.

Joseph Crypt Church mosaic
St. Joseph portrayed in the Crypt Church of the Basilica

Scripture tells us this in Matthew 1:19. When he learned that Mary was pregnant, Joseph did not want to shame her by calling attention to her situation. Instead, he was going to break off their engagement quietly.

2. Joseph obeyed God without hesitation.

After the angel appeared to Joseph, he did not hesitate to follow God’s command to keep Mary as his betrothed and lead his family. Matthew 1:20-21, 24 says:

“The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’… When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”

3. Joseph served as a strong earthly father and protected His family.

As Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph played an important part in Jesus’ early life. We see his care and protection demonstrated in the account of the flight into Egypt from Matthew 2:13-14:

“When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.’ Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.”

St. Joseph
St. Joseph portrayed in the East Apse of the Basilica

4. Joseph served as a provider for his family.

When they returned from Egypt, Joseph worked as a carpenter to ensure his family could live well. Pope Benedict XVI encouraged us to imitate St. Joseph:

“It is necessary to live a spirituality that helps believers to sanctify themselves through their work, imitating St Joseph, who had to provide with his own hands for the daily needs of the Holy Family and whom, consequently, the Church holds up as Patron of workers. His witness shows that man is the subject and protagonist of work.”

5. Joseph demonstrated the value of human labor as instituted by God.

It is in Genesis 2:15 that we first see God institute human labor when He charges Adam with caring for the garden – “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.” Like Adam, Joseph also demonstrated the God-ordained value of human labor in his profession as a carpenter.

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