Skip to main content


All About Joseph

By Kayla Harris, Librarian/Archivist

Of the holy family, Saint Joseph is the member that many people are less familiar with. However, the Marian Library and the International Marian Research Institute have many items in our collections and resources to learn more about the head of the holy family. Within All About Mary, there are several articles discussing Saint Joseph, including one by Brother John Samaha, S.M., titled “Holy Family and Saint Joseph: Are We Overlooking the Head of the Holy Family?”  Samaha describes some of the important contributions that Saint Joseph made to the holy family, including his role to lead the spiritual direction of his household. Although Mary is often seen holding an infant Jesus when the three are pictures together, there are depictions in Marian Library collections illustrating the father and son bond between Joseph and Jesus.

Saint Joseph has two days dedicated to him in the liturgical calendar, including March 19, the Feast of Saint Joseph, and May 1, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. In the article, “What about Saint Joseph?” by Father Johann Roten, S.M., he explains that, “the feast of St. Joseph is mentioned as far as we know for the first time in a Coptic liturgical calendar of the fifth century, and appears in a French calendar on March 19 (for the first time) around 800.” Roten also explains that Saint Joseph is one of the most popular saint of modern times, and serves as the patron saint of several countries including Austria, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.

Some may be familiar with Saint Joseph’s role as the patron saint of workers. Commissioned by John Stokes as part of his Mary’s Gardens movement, the statue of “Saint Joseph, Workman” by Ade Bethune features Joseph kneeling with a flowering staff in one hand and a cultivating tool in the other. The cultivating tool represents the parallel between cultivating plant life and cultivating spiritual life. The flowering staff of lilies symbolizes an ancient legend that says when he was chosen to be the spouse of Mary from among a group of men, his staff blossomed into a lily. Therefore, there are many varieties of lilies referred to as “St. Joseph’s Lily” and other flowers known as “St. Joseph’s Staff.”

You may choose to say a special prayer to Saint Joseph on March 19. Below is one chosen from All About Mary.

O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin
obtain for me a pure, humble, and charitable mind
and perfect resignation to the Divine Will.

Be my guide, father, and model through life
that I may merit to die as you did
in the arms of Jesus and Mary.


Previous Post

Mary in the News: March 11, 2019

Read recent items about Mary in both Catholic and secular news. Also, see International Marian Research Institute as well as Marian Library news and updates.

Read More
Next Post

Weekly Marian Features: March 18, 2019

Continuing to focus on Lent, we also honor Saint Joseph and his role in the Holy Family.
Read More