Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary, Principal protector of the Order (Solemnity)
This celebration has profound Biblical roots; Joseph is the last Patriarch who receives the communications of the Lord through the humble way of dreams (cf. Gn 28, 12-14; Mt 1, 20-24). Like the ancient Joseph, he is an upright and faithful man (Mt 1, 19) whom God had placed as guardian of his household. He connects Jesus, the Messianic King, to the descent of David (Mt 1, 1-16; Lk 3, 23-38). Joseph, Spouse of Mary and foster father, guide of the Holy Family in their flight to and return from Egypt, retracing the way of the Exodus (Gn 37; 50, 22-26; Mt 2, 13-21).
The liturgical feast of the Saint Patriarch already appeared in the Carmelite Order in the second half of the XV century. In 1680 the General Chapter unanimously elected Saint Joseph as the principal protector of the Order.
In 1847 Pius IX declared him as Patron of the Universal Church and John XXIII inserted his name in the Roman Canon.
a short Reflection of the feast of St. Joseph
Little is known about Joseph except that he was of the line of David which was essential in order for Jesus to be legally of the house and line of David in fulfilment of the Scriptures. What is more important for us is the example which Joseph left us. He was a man of faith who played his role in God’s salvific plan for us; he was obedient to the will of God; he had a love for the Law and its fulfilment; he showed piety and fortitude in times of trial; he had a chaste love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and he exercised his paternal authority with due care. He is therefore a true example of Christian living and is the Protector of the Church. Joseph is also the patron of carpenters and manual workers.
© P. Breen, O.Carm. 2011