JESUS’ FOSTER FATHER AS
A TIMELESS ROLE MODEL
The earthy father of Jesus receives official honor twice during the liturgical year.
March 19 has been his feast day since, as they say, “time immemorial.” And in 1955 Pope Pius XII designated May 1 as the special feast of “St. Joseph the Worker,” highlighting Joseph’s worldly vocation as a carpenter or builder (tekton in Greek).
The pope’s intention was to provide a Christian alternative to May Day labor celebrations being promoted worldwide by the Soviet Union and the Communist Internationale. His idea caught on, and that feast is now celebrated by workers throughout the Catholic world.
St. Joseph plays a prominent role in my novel about the family of Jesus, MY BROTHER’S KEEPER. And on the first Father’s Day after the book’s publication Nancy Hastings of the Gatehouse Media Group did a brief feature article highlighting the unique challenges faced by St. Joseph, as I sketched them in my novel.
It’s only right St. Joseph is honored as a model of the fatherly virtues.
Those virtues are under stress these days. Much of the crime, violence, extremism and sexual perversion we see around us can be attributed to the collapse of fatherhood that’s evident throughout large portions of our society (and those of other nations as well).
Appealing to St. Joseph as an intercessor in this difficult period would be most appropriate. And if you don’t accept the Catholic notion of saints interceding on our behalf, then merely try invoking the name of Joseph in the prayers you address directly to God. Either way, I believe Joseph is a powerful helper standing by — and an example for all men with children to raise, young lives to mold.
So to mark the Feast of St. Joseph — and even though it’s not Father’s Day — here’s Nancy’s article…