5 Surprising Things About St. Joseph

St. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

Joseph the Saint.

Joseph was made the patron of the universal church in 1870 by Pope Pius IX but was already generally recognized as a Saint.

1/. Veneration of St. Joseph goes all the way back to the 9th Century.

In the 9th Century Joseph was already known as the ‘saviour of the Lord’ referring to his fleeing to Egypt with the young Jesus and Mary. His role in protecting Jesus in his early life was a central and extremely important moment in the Biblical story.

2/. St Joseph has 2 annual Feast Days!

St. Joseph is fairly unique in that he has been attributed two feast days in the yearly calendar. The Solemnity of St. Joseph is on March 19th. If this falls on a weekday then this is when you are allowed to break the traditional Lent fast.

The feast of St. Joseph the Worker is on May 1st at the start of the busy farming season.

3/. There is a sub-category of Christian study known as ‘Josephology’.

As strange as it might sound, there is a specific sub-category of study in Christian theology called ‘Josephology’. This is primarily the study of devotional records that date back as far as 800 AD.

4/. St. Joseph may have had a wife before Mary.

In some traditions it is believed that St. Joseph had been married before he was married to Mary. There is certainly dispute on this issue, but some claim that before he met Mary he had been married and had children already. However his previous wife died for reasons unknown and it was only then that he remarried.

Mary had made a vow of chastity and so the older widower, St. Joseph, swore to be her protector.

St. Joseph is known to have died when Jesus was only 26 years old, so this account does have some merit. If he had been married and had a family before he would have been significantly older than his wife, Mary.

5/. St. Joseph is not recorded as saying any words in the Bible.

Despite playing an enormously important role in Jesus’ upbringing and being the husband of the Virgin Mary Joseph does not say anything in the scripture. This remains something of a mystery, even to this day.

Furthermore Joseph is not even given a mention in the Gospel of St. Mark.

One conclusion that you can draw from this is that St. Joseph was humble and caring but did not speak a lot. He was there for Mary and Jesus when they needed him but he was content to play the role of protector and helper in this epic story – learn more about the legend of st joseph.