St. Joseph is the foster father of Jesus. He was engaged to Mary when, by the Holy Spirit, she became pregnant with Jesus – see the Gospel of Matthew 1:18-25. Not much is known about St. Joseph beyond the fact that he remained committed to raising Jesus alongside Mary and that he is named as a carpenter. Scriptures relay that several times he received dreams that helped him to know how to help Mary care for Jesus. From these few bits of information, St. Joseph has become the patron of many groups, including carpenters, fathers, travelers, as well as patron of many countries and peoples. Interestingly he is also known as the patron of a good death. Joseph comes about this by way of not being referenced later in the Gospels. So it is believed that he died earlier in life, with Jesus and Mary at his side—a pretty good way to go.
St. Joseph is also the patron of the Holy Cross Brothers. Blessed Basil Moreau took on a group of teaching brothers, the Brothers of St. Joseph, founded by Fr. Jacques Dujarié, joining them with an already gathered group of priests to found the Congregation of Holy Cross. The brothers continued to look to St. Joseph as their patron and have ever since sought to emulate his devotion to Jesus and his commitment to service to God’s family.
Did You Know? is a mostly weekly feature in upbeat that pokes around among the many interesting features of UP as a Catholic and Holy Cross university. If you have a question or topic of interest that you would like covered in this feature, please send it to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C., Campus Ministry, or Karen Eifler, Garaventa Center.