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The Year of St. Joseph

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This year marks the 150-year anniversary of the Proclamation of Saint Joseph. Let’s take a closer look at the life of Saint Joseph, his Sainthood, and the church supplies you can purchase to honor Saint Joseph for this special occasion.

The History of Joseph

Joseph was a descendant of King David, another famous figure from the Bible and King of ancient Israel. He was married to Mary, the mother of Jesus. When Joseph discovered that Mary was with child, he planned to divorce her, as the child was not his, but wanted to do so in secret so as not to disgrace her.

When an angel appeared to Joseph and told him that Mary was carrying the Son of God, Joseph decided to stay with Mary and act as Jesus’ earthly father. Joseph cared for Mary and Jesus in Nazareth after Jesus’ birth and worked as a carpenter.

Joseph in the Bible

While Joseph does not appear frequently in the New Testament, he is included in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke for the retelling of Jesus’ birth and upbringing. The last mention of Joseph is in Luke 2:41–49 when Mary and Joseph go looking for a young, lost Jesus.

It is unknown when exactly Joseph died, but it is assumed that it’s before Jesus begins his public ministry.

Joseph in Other Historical Texts

Joseph is mentioned in the 2nd-century “Protoevangelium of James,” as well as the 4th-century “History of Joseph the Carpenter.” However, these accounts distort the image of Joseph and are not credible sources of truth in the eyes of the Church. In fact, these publications delayed his commemoration as Saint.

Feast Days

Joseph’s feast day is March 19, the observed day of his death. It is tradition to serve fig dishes, including fig cookies, to commemorate his life. Other treats called Zeppole or Sfinge — dough fritters covered in sugar — are also served.

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker is on May 1. This day is to commemorate the hard work of Joseph. He was the earthly father of Jesus, a carpenter, and an example of holiness and human labor.

Saint Joseph’s Sainthood

Joseph is said to have died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. This is viewed as a moment of grace because he was a pious believer. When Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church, it means that he is the patron of a happy death.

Commemorate St. Joseph This Year

With the 150-year anniversary of Joseph being proclaimed a saint, you and your congregation can celebrate him with more than just the annual feasts in his honor. Shop our church supplies for Saint Joseph apparel, like these chasubles, dalmatics, deacon stole, priest overlay stole, and lectern cover. Other church supplies include pendants and medals, literature, candles, statues, and more. Shop the entire Year of St. Joseph Collection from St. Jude Shop to find all of the church supplies you need to commemorate him this year and during his Feast Days. 

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