The Patron of the Universal Church, unborn children, fathers, workers, immigrants, and happy deaths. Saint Joseph is typically illustrated as an older man, with grey hair and beard, often balding, sometimes appearing next to Mary and Jesus. Moreover, Joseph was portrayed with attributes of a carpenter’s square or tools, the infant Jesus, his blossomed lily, two turtle doves, or a spikenard. Catholics knew him as a carpenter that wasn’t rich but in fact, he came from a royal lineage, descended from David, the greatest king of Israel.
Saint Joseph, the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus that has seemed to be mentioned less in the Scripture, was actually a compassionate and caring man. His Apocryphal Birth Date was 90 BC in Betlehem, while the date of his death was never clearly mentioned. At the moment of his death, it was told that Joseph was scared of dying and saddened that he hadn’t accomplished more in his life. But somehow, he died peacefully in the arms of Mary and Jesus who comforted him before and promised protection and blessings to everyone who did good in the name of Joseph. Therefore, Joseph was said to be able to die in peace and contentment – a happy death. At the 17th century, devotion to St. Joseph for those desiring a happy death was developed.
The feast day of Saint Joseph are celebrated twice. First, the most commonly celebrated feast day is on 19th March for Joseph the Husband of Mary. While another feast day was established by Pope Pius XII that celebrated Joseph the Worker on 1st May, the same day as May Day (International Workers’ Day) and it was believed to reflect Joseph’s status as the patron of workers. Joseph of Nazaret is an outstanding example of obedience to God and trust in Divine Providence. He is also believed to be the protector of families through the difficulties of life as Catholics saw him as the Guardian of Jesus and of the Holy Family.
Upon to the establishment of Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX, many churches all over the world are named after him and our church is one of them. It was written that our very first Apostolic Vicar, Mgr. Pacificus Johannes Bos, OFMCap that handed in all of his plans to build a church, schools, dormitories and missionary houses to his Patron, Saint Joseph and hence, the Cathedral Church of Pontianak adopted Saint Joseph as its Patron.
Saint Joseph, patron of the universal Church, watch over the Church as carefully as you watched over Jesus, help protect it and guide it as you did with your adopted son. Amen.
The History of Joseph the Carpenter