Did you know that the Catholic Church dedicates every Wednesday to St Joseph? The special weekly Wednesday Word Family Time is also dedicated to St Joseph, the Patron Saint of Families.
Joseph was descended from the great King David and is described in St Matthew’s gospel as “a righteous man”. He was a carpenter and a man of faith, who did what God asked of him. When an angel told Joseph in a dream about the baby Mary was to have, although he was surprised, Joseph took Mary as his wife. Soon they had to travel to Bethlehem to be counted for a census. There the baby was born in a stable and Joseph took care of Mary and Baby Jesus. Then, in another dream, an angel told Joseph of danger for the baby, so he left everything, to take Mary and Baby Jesus away to safety in Egypt. When it was safe to return, Joseph brought his family back to live in Nazareth, where Jesus grew up. Joseph also took his family to Jerusalem every year at Passover time, as God asked. Once, when his parents had lost the boy Jesus, Joseph searched for three days before finding Jesus, safe in the Temple at Jerusalem.
Joseph knew the wonder and the struggles of family life. He was a working man who worked hard as a carpenter, to support his family. He was a faithful husband and guardian to Mary, Jesus’ mother and a fatherly example (foster father) to Jesus, teaching God’s laws and the scriptures: helping his family to know and love God. The Wednesday Word can help us to do this too, as we regularly spend time sharing the Gospel together and growing in love, learning and understanding as a family – drawing closer to God.
Both Blessed Pope John XVIII and Pope Francis have included St Joseph in the central prayers of the Mass. The Church also celebrates two annual feast days for St Joseph: on March 19th (Patron Saint of Families) and on May 1st (Patron Saint of Workers). We thank God that St Joseph remained God’s servant and is now a saint in Heaven ready for us to call upon in prayer. We can tell all our family needs to him, knowing he will bring them before God on our behalf. As patron of The Wednesday Word, we can regularly ask St Joseph to pray for all our families in our special, weekly Family Time together.