St. Joseph, carpenter, “foster father” of Jesus, and husband of Mary, Mother of God, first makes his appearance in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Each contains a genealogy of Jesus, showing His ancestry from King David. Matthew works his way forward in a legal descent from Abraham to Jacob, while Luke traces His physical descent through Mary all the way back to Heli, son of Abraham, “son of God”.
Joseph is the original “quiet man” in the Gospels. At no time does he ever speak, but he is always there for Mary and her Child. The Gospels never refer to his age, but he has traditionally been seen as an old man, perhaps to portray him as Jesus’ guardian and protector, more than husband of Mary. He is one of the three members of the Holy Family and he appears only in the birth narratives of the two Gospels. According to tradition, he died “in the arms of Jesus and Mary”.
His feast day is celebrated on the 19th March, and Pope Pius XI declared him Patron of the Universal Church in 1870. His other feast day, St. Joseph the Worker, was instituted in 1955 to counteract the communist Labour Day, 1st May, but this feast has since been downgraded.