Saint Joseph

St. Joseph

Feast Day: March 19


Though not accepted by the Church as scripture, the apocryphal gospel of James (written around the 2nd century) tells a charming story of how Joseph was chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus. Summoned by the high priest, Joseph and the other widowers of Israel traveled to the temple where Mary was raised. Once they had arrived, the high priest gathered their walking staves and prayed over them, as an angel of the Lord had instructed. As the high priest returned each staff to its rightful owner, the priest was dismayed that there was no heavenly sign of guidance as promised. Then Joseph took his own staff back. Suddenly, a dove appeared from his staff and rested upon his head. With joy and relief the high priest said, “Joseph! Joseph! You have been chosen by lot to take the virgin into your own keeping,” for Mary was too old to remain in the temple any longer, and this manner was how the angel had said her husband would be chosen. However, Joseph protested that he was old and had sons, while she was so young. The high priest reminded him of God’s wrath against those who did not follow His will, and Joseph relented saying, “Mary, I took you from the temple of the Lord and now I bring you into my house.”


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