at prayer

St. Joseph
St Joseph

Feast Day 19 March: Alquería Blanca, Porto Petro

Joseph was the husband of the Virgin Mary. The barest details of their relationship can be found in the New Testament. Religious sects have embroidered these to suit their beliefs.

He is a nebulous figure in the canonical Gospels where Matthew and Luke give differing accounts of his parentage. Apocryphal sources are equally vague. A skilled worker in wood, he is described as a carpenter in English. Regarded as unimportant until well into the Middle Ages, he was even portrayed as a somewhat comical figure.

He is mentioned for the last time making a Passover visit to the Temple in Jerusalem when Jesus is approximately twelve years old. Although the date of his death is unknown, Roman Catholic traditions relates that he died in the arms of Mary and Jesus and is, therefore, the patron saint of happy deaths.

He was also declared to be the patron saint and protector of the universal Catholic Church in 1870. In addition, in 1955, he became the patron saint of workers, with his feast day on 1 May, in an effort by the pope to add a religious tone to the traditional labour day holiday.