Solemnity of Saint Joseph
Malvern Minute


Solemnity of Saint Joseph

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

March 19, 2020


Second Book of Samuel 7:4-4a, 12-14a, 16

Psalm 89

Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a


When you first drive onto the grounds of the Malvern Retreat House you are met with a sign that reads “Welcome to Saint Joseph’s in the Hills.”  As you drive further down the beautiful tree lined road you will see a statue of Saint Joseph the Worker teaching his son Jesus the art of carpentry.  The building where the statue is located is, of course, Saint Joseph’s Hall which was built in 1922.  Today is the Solemnity of our Good Saint Joseph and it is my honor to present this reflection on his feast day.

Within our tradition, Saint Joseph has been given a much lower “profile” than his wife, Mary.  One reason for this is that, we give the title “Mother of Jesus” to Mary and we reserve the title “Father of Jesus” to our Heavenly Father.  We do this to recognize the divinity of Jesus.  But Joseph was indeed a husband and father in a real if not in a biological sense.  

So who exactly was Joseph?

  • We know him to be a just man. The kind of man that all Christian men are called to become.
  • He was a man of prayer and in deep communion with God.
  • He was a man of obedience to God’s Holy Word.
  • He was an excellent provider and protector for his family.
  • He was a man who had deep respect for his wife.
  • He was a man who led his family by his example and work ethic.

Saint Joseph was indeed an ideal husband.  Today God’s Holy Family is the Church.  No wonder Saint Joseph is invoked as patron of the Universal Church.

Saint Bernadine of Siena (1380-1444)  wrote, “He was chosen by the eternal Father as a trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasure, His divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife.  He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God calling him saying, ‘Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”’

As an aside I must mention that the “J” in my middle name is Joseph and the home parish I grew up in New York was Saint Mary, Mother of Jesus.  Perfect!  We hope you consider visiting us at the Malvern Retreat House, Saint Joseph’s in the Hills.

Question of the Day:  In your time of need, will you invoke the name of Saint Joseph to assist you in making decisions concerning your family and employment concerns?

Prayer:  Lord God, may all men who are called to be husbands and fathers exercise their responsibilities to their wives, children and extended family as our beloved Saint Joseph did.  Amen



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