Let's stop a moment and really consider his role in redemption. One can hardly focus on St. Joseph without first looking at our Blessed Mother. Here we find a young girl not barely 'sweet sixteen' who is told something quite unbelievable to the average person, namely that she would conceive the Son of God in a miraculous way and remain a virgin. We all know this, but I think often many take it for granted that the times in which she lived were precarious at best. An unmarried woman that found herself pregnant would soon feel the biting sting of stones tearing and bruising her flesh and breaking her bones. Still, she trusted and accepted according to the Perfect Will of God without hesitation!
Then we have to look towards Joseph. An older man .. a widower who was to marry this young girl, yet what to do when he learns that she is with child? He knew full well what would be her fate if he publicly declared this. His kind and protective nature decided to just divorce her quietly and not cause her undue pain and scandal. We all know that God sent the angel to him in a dream to explain the situation and Joseph, trusting God as Mary did, believed and took her for his wife.
I would imagine they were both a little nervous about it all ... wondering how this could be .. what would happen next ... how would it all turn out?? I can only imagine the prayerful lives of faith that they led allowing them to trust to that extent and rely on God for the very next step all along the way. We all know the stories from our childhood, but have we ever stopped to really think what it all must have been like? Fleeing into Egypt .. fleeing from Herod ... losing Jesus as a young Boy and finding Him in the Temple amidst the elders, questioning and being questioned. St. Joseph taught the God-Man his carpentry trade. He and Mary played with Him, watched Him grow, comforted Him when He fell and taught Him how to pray!
Neither Joseph or Mary together, have very many words recorded. But are there any more significant people in Scripture than the Mother and Foster-Father of the Christ Child? They don't say much, but they sure lead by example! St. Joseph was a faithful servant while on earth, chosen by the Holy Trinity to be a wonderful Foster-Father to Jesus and a faithful and protective virginal husband to Mary. As the head of the Holy Family, he is also the Patron of the Catholic Church. He is also the Patron Saint of families and workers as well. We need to call on him for his protection, employment, guidance and support in all things.
One of St. Joseph's most famous titles is Patron of a Happy Death. Why? How could death not be happy if one was to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary? We must never forget his suffering either. He truly is our Friend in Sufferings with all the fear, anxiety and panic he must have gone through in his diligent care of his beloved Family! Let us always turn to our foster father St. Joseph, asking him to present our petitions to our dear Lord and our Blessed Mother with the same tenderness and concern in which he protected them while on earth. Let our prayer be always to strive to embrace the perfect Divine Will of God in all things with a joyful and trusting heart as St. Joseph shows us by his shining example.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph .. please pray for us!
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.