Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Joseph (first century)

Saint Joseph (first century)

Patron saint of fathers, workers, people who are dying, and the Church

Feast days: March 19 for Joseph, the Husband of Mary, and May 1 for Joseph, the Worker

Saint Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Joseph was a just and compassionate man and protected Mary from shame when he discovered that she was pregnant, even though he did not understand that her unborn child was the Son of God.

We see evidence of Joseph’s deep faith when he changed his plans in response to messages from God. Although God is Jesus’ true Father, Joseph fulfilled that role in daily life. He loved Jesus and treated him as his own son (Luke 4:22). He provided for the safety of his family (Matthew 2:13–14) and taught Jesus his trade (Mark 6:3).

There are no more references to Joseph in the New Testament after the family’s pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Luke 2:41–52), so he may have died before Jesus began his public ministry. (From The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Third Edition [Saint Mary’s Press])

(Image © Vicki Shuck/Saint Mary’s Press)