On March 19, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. According to Richard E. Vatz, a professor at Towson University, fatherlessness is a root cause that contributes to issues like violence, poverty, and dissatisfaction in life. In this context, Saint Joseph's virtues of patience, humility, and his role as a protector rooted in obedience and love for God the Father make him an exemplar for manhood.
In today's world, there is a pressing need for strong men to be role models for their families and communities
Saint Joseph embodies the ideal of a kind and loving father and man. By observing his example of silence, humility, and patience, men can acquire the necessary tools to foster meaningful and lasting relationships.
Silence, often overlooked in our noisy world, plays a significant role in Saint Joseph's life. Surprisingly, not a single word of his is recorded in the Gospels. However, his actions speak volumes. Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his book 'The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise,' emphasizes the importance of choosing silence over noise and God over worldly distractions. Saint Joseph's choice to listen and obey the Angel's message to protect Jesus from King Herod demonstrates his complete trust and dependence on God. By looking to this silent saint as a role model, we are reminded of the significance of seeking the Lord's guidance amidst the clamor of life.
Saint Joseph's humility is another virtue that sets him apart. In society, the role of a foster or stepparent is sometimes overlooked or undervalued. However, true fatherhood is rooted in love, not biological relations. Humility, as described by Peter Kreeft, is not having an exaggeratedly low opinion of oneself but rather self-forgetfulness. Despite not being Jesus' biological father, Saint Joseph willingly accepted the responsibility of raising him as his own. St. Pope Paul VI referred to him as humble six times in his homily for the Feast of St. Joseph in 1969. Saint Joseph's simple, humble, and hidden life serves as a model for fathers and men, emphasizing that avoiding the drama of sin is both possible and worthwhile.
Saint Joseph's profession as a carpenter highlights the value of work and patience
Men often associate their identities with their occupations, and Saint Joseph exemplifies the virtue of patience through his trade. His dedication to his craft, despite its challenges, sets an example for men in their work lives. St. Pope John Paul II recognized the significance of work in the Gospel and highlighted the redemption and sanctification of human work. By working alongside Jesus, Saint Joseph brought human labor closer to the mystery of the Redemption.
In conclusion, Saint Joseph, chosen by Divine Love to be the legal and foster father of Jesus Christ, holds a special place in the Church as its Patron and Protector. His virtues of patience, humility, and obedience to God make him an exemplar for manhood. As men reflect upon the silent, humble, and diligent example of Saint Joseph, they can seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to become holier versions of themselves, benefitting their families, communities, and society at large.
Special thanks to @TheSimpleCatholic for writing this blog.
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