Saint Joseph, Our Protector on Earth and Our Intercessor in Heaven
Submitted by Thomas Stidl
How many times do we pray for more than one fix to the many problems that we encounter each day? We all have great devotions to many saints, but there is one saint who is the jack-of-all-trades and the master of all trades. His name is Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
What was the role of Joseph in the life of Jesus and Mary? He was both protector and provider. Let’s take a good look first at how he received Jesus. According to the bible, Mary was found to be with a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. Wishing to quietly divorce her, an angel quickly intervened and told Joseph that Mary’s child was the eternal Son of God. Both Mary and Jesus were then welcomed into his household.
Now in human terms before we received Jesus in the Eucharist we had to be baptized. I believe that at sometime in Joseph’s life possibly after his conception and before his birth, Joseph was granted the grace of Baptism through the merits of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. All original sin was wiped clean from his soul.
Once Mary and Jesus were invited into Joseph’s household, he became their protector and supplier of all their earthly needs. At the birth of Jesus, Joseph probably delivered baby Jesus. That takes a ton of intestinal fortitude. At the Presentation he heard the same words as Mary from Simeon. At the Finding of Jesus in the temple, Joseph was also concerned about the child’s welfare. All men should look to Joseph, as he is the perfect mirror of God the Father in heaven. All workers should look to Joseph for assistance in their workplace.
What did Joseph know about the fate of Jesus? I believe that he knew about his foster son’s crucifixion and the suffering that he would endure. Not much else is written in the bible about Joseph after finding Jesus in the temple. Church tradition relates that Joseph died before the public ministry of Jesus with Mary and Jesus at his side. This is known as the grace of a happy death. When Jesus descended to the dead after his death, the first person He met was Joseph who probably asked about the welfare of His Mother. Jesus probably told him that He gave his Mother to the whole human race through John the Apostle.
We have no record of Jesus appearing to His Mother after his resurrection, but as a good Son, I am sure that He did.
So let us all look to Saint Joseph for all our needs. He will come and size up the situation and intercede for us in heaven. I just did that for the inspiration for this article, but I know that he was not alone. He came with the Holy Spirit to assist in this endeavor.
Until next time, Laus Tibi, Christe. Deo Gratias. Gloria Tibi Domini. Praise be to God. See you in Paradise.