St. Joseph – Husband of Mary
The 19th of March is the memorial of St. Joseph, husband of Mary. The patron and protector of the catholic church; patron of fathers, workers and unborn children. St Joseph is like a silent and courageous protector, vigilant and mysterious he appears and is gone from the story without a trace.
Several extra-biblical accounts and traditions try to give us some more detail about Joseph, but not without some controversy. What the general thought seems to be is that Joseph was an old man, who had children from a previous marriage when he was betrothed to Mary. This helps explain some of the controversy about Mary being ever-virgin and Jesus having brothers, and provides a possible reason for Joseph’s disappearance from the gospel narrative; that being his death. Some claims have Joseph dying during Jesus teenage years. Which seems like it could be true because the last we hear of him is the gospel account of Joseph and Mary losing Jesus in Jerusalem at the age of twelve. One account tells of Joseph being 93 years of age at the birth of Christ, and passing at the ripe old age of 111 years, placing his death around Jesus’ 18th year.
The fact is that there is no solid evidence, apart from the scriptures which are obscure, about this mysterious husband of Mary. What we do know is that Joseph was chosen as a guardian and protector for the event for which all creation waited; the Incarnation. The title nutritor Domini which means guardian of the Lord was given to him in the 9th century and this title should inspire all to consider what it really means to be a husband and a father.