Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
MT 1:16, 18-21, 24A

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. 

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 

Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.
Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


St. Joseph is patron saint of the brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross, the order that founded and continues to animate the University. Today’s reflection comes from Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC.

At the foot of Mount Royal in Montreal, there is a statue of St. Joseph that greets the millions of pilgrims who come to St. Joseph's Oratory every year to pay homage to this saint. On the statue's pedestal, we read the words: Ite Ad Joseph—Go to Joseph.

But why should we go to Joseph? What is so special about St. Joseph that we should go to him with our aching souls, our hearts' desires, and our longings for holiness? 

The answer is simple. In all of his ordinariness, St. Joseph embodies the religious spirit for which all Christians long—integrity, fortitude, fidelity, and sanctity. In living out his foreboding vocation of being the husband of Mary and the foster father of the Messiah, St. Joseph remained unwavering in his loyalty, faithful to his mission, and unselfishly open to the will of God. St. Joseph did this not out of blind obedience or ignorance; he did it simply out of love.

St. Joseph remains a model of how to live out our Baptismal call to holiness and how to do it well. A vocation to marriage, single life, priesthood, or religious life requires more than just duty, more than just putting in our time and fulfilling our obligations. It requires love—a love for the One who calls us and a love for those we are called to serve. After all, a vocation not rooted in love is a vocation not rooted in God.

That is why we need to go to Joseph, and not just with our prayers of intercession and petition. We need to go to him so that we can learn how to live our own vocations well. By deepening our devotion to St. Joseph and learning how to love as he loved, we will be able to embrace more fully the holiness that is integral to our own vocations.

We cannot wait. We must go to Joseph.

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Brother Ed Luther, CSC 

St. Joseph, you were entrusted to be the foster father of the Son of God. May we place our trust in your example, and may Mary, your spouse, increase our gift of gratitude for the divine life that was given to us by Jesus Christ. Amen.


St. Joseph, faithful father and patron saint of the Holy Cross brothers, pray for us!