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Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary, Principal protector of the Order (Solemnity)

Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary
March 19th

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



As Carmelites We live our life of allegiance to Jesus Christ and to serve Him faithfully with a pure heart and a clear conscience through a commitment to seek the face of the living God (the contemplative dimension of life), through prayer, through fraternity, and through service (diakonia). These three fundamental elements of the charism are not distinct and unrelated values, but closely interwoven. 

All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister."