MARCH 16-19 – TRIDUUM AND SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOSEPH, Co-Patron of the Congregation

Spiritual Directory, 152-162

The feast of St. Joseph invites us to focus on the one to whom God “entrusted the care of his dearest treasures.” Following the example of St. Anthony Mary Claret, we invoke the patronage of St. Joseph and reflect on his humble service and contribution to the economy of salvation.

11 San Jos Y El Nio Copia

In particular, as missionaries we recall the qualities he exemplified: The faithful husband of Mary, Joseph trusted in God and in delicate and difficult situations sought his guidance, prepared to embrace God’s will no matter the consequences.

Giving Jesus his name, Joseph proclaimed God fidelity to his promises. In spite of persecution, he protected Mary and Jesus. Finally, he was a working man, courageously exhibiting the greatness of the mystery in everyday life.

Claret wrote in the Autobiography (831): “On May 7, 1865, at half past three in the afternoon, the feast of the Patronage of Saint Joseph, Jesus told me to be very devout to St. Joseph and to approach him with confidence.” It behooves us to maintain this confidence and to allow it to affect every aspect of our mission of evangelization. We must invoke the patronage of St. Joseph, particularly in our commitment to the new evangelization and our evangelization places where Christian life once flourished but now faces persecution. Preaching the Gospel where it has never been preached and preaching it anew where it has gone to seed or been forgotten require a distinctive grace. Can the Spirit of the Lord turn a deaf ear to the intercession of St. Joseph? May the husband of Mary, the earthly father of Jesus, a modest and quiet man, whose everyday actions must have spoken volumes, inspire us to persevere enthusiastically in the fulfillment of our mission.

St. Joseph: protector and a source of confidence in the Claretian mission

Recently, the figure of Joseph is of particular interest to the Church. As missionaries in the tradition of St. Anthony Mary Claret, we cannot fail to be taken by Joseph’s, in spite of his unique role as protector of God’s dearest treasures.

– Joseph and Mary his spouse exercised the most intimate role possible in nurturing the humanity of Jesus, the Incarnate Word. The Evangelists unabashedly declare that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Mt 1: 18-25; Luke 1: 26-38). Joseph was her husband, though Mary remained a virgin (cf. Mt 1: 16, 18-20, 24; Luke 1: 27; 2: 5). We cannot imagine Joseph apart from Mary, nor Mary apart from Joseph. Addressing Joseph, the angel entrusted to him the responsibility of being the earthly father of Jesus, the son of Mary. Luke affirms that at the time of the Annunciation, Mary was betrothed to Joseph of the house of David (Lk 1: 27). Mary was puzzled by the nature of this betrothal, or engagement, and asks: “How can this be, since I do not know man?” (Lk 1: 34). The angel responded: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. He who is to be born will be holy and will be called Son of God “(Lk 1: 35).

– Like all believers, Joseph and Mary often discerned the Word of God in only the subtlest of ways, by no means always certain it was God who was speaking to them. Throughout their lives, Joseph and Mary were pilgrims in faith. Trusting the Lord, they vowed to accompany one another and carried Jesus himself in their hands.

– Obedient. As the angel commanded, Joseph took Mary as his wife, “Joseph rising up from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife” (Mt 1: 24). In spite of pain and anxiety, Joseph accepted Mary and the mystery of her motherhood, along with all of its earthly consequences. As a model for all believers, he exhibited genuine obedience in faith.

– A just man. If to be just meant only to be law abiding, Joseph might have taken advantage of the law of Deuteronomy (22: 20) and divorced Mary quietly, but that would have been contrary to the way in which God accompanies us in moments of doubt and darkness, when all we have on which to rely is our faith and trust in God’s Word.

– Name the child Jesus. The manifest will of God was that Joseph give the incarnate Word of God the name revealed by the angel at the annunciation. “You shall call him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1: 21). Thus, at the circumcision, Joseph named the child Jesus, acknowledging both his own legal paternity as well as the child’s salvific calling. God had made a covenant with Abraham and David, and through Mary and Joseph the promise was fulfilled. (Mt 1: 16). The history of salvation, in spite of all the sinfulness and misery it entailed, came to fulfillment. Joseph was the final link in that chain of human witnesses.

– Carpenter. Questioning his upbringing and profession, the people of his hometown attempted to discredit Jesus: “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” (Mt 13:55). Yet, their doubts actually shed light on who Jesus was. Like his father Joseph, Jesus made his living by the sweat of his brow. Work ennobles a person and enhances one’s humanity. It sanctifies everyday life, and Joseph exemplifies the authentic follower of Christ, for whom the virtues of everyday living are sufficient.

Our Father Founder’s divine illumination. “On May 7, 1865, at half past three in the afternoon, the feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph, Jesus told me to be very devoted to St. Joseph and to approach him with confidence”(Aut 831). Such devotion is not outdated and ought to inspire us today in our mission of evangelization, particularly in the new evangelization in places, where the Christian faith once flourished but now faces persecution. A new evangelization is impossible without an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, exemplified in Joseph, whose intercession we ought to seek, in order to remain committed to our missionary calling.


  1. BROWN, R. E., The birth of the Messiah, Madrid 1982.
  2. LEON-DUFOUR, X., The announcement to Joseph, in theological studies, Madrid 1982.
  3. Flames, E., San Jose and the Virgin Mary, in Studies Josefinos, t. 40 (1986), pp. 185-203.
  4. LLAMERA, B., Theology of San Jose, Madrid 1953.
  5. T.Y STRAMARE, DI FIORES S., The word José, in New Dictionary of Mariology, Madrid 1988, pp. 988-1011.