All that we know of Joseph we learn from the first two chapters of Matthew and of Luke. Otherwise he is mentioned only in passing in Luke 3:23; John 1:45; John 6:42 as the supposed father of Jesus. (Mark does not mention him at all.)
In the face of circumstances where a man of lesser character might have reacted very differently, Joseph graciously assumed the role of Jesus' father. He is well remembered in Christian tradition for the love he showed to the boy Jesus, and for his tender affection and care for Mary, during the twelve years and more that he was their protector.
Propers for St. Joseph - Guardian of Our Lord
O GOD, who didst call blessed Joseph to be the faithful guardian of thine only-begotten Son, and the spouse of his virgin Mother: Give us grace to follow his example in constant worship of thee and obedience to thy commands, that our homes may be sanctified by thy presence, and our children nurtured in thy fear and love; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Isaiah 63:7-9, 16.
I WILL mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, 0 LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.
The Gospel - St. Matthew 1:18-25.
NOW the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
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