Solemnity of St Joseph

Solemnity of St Joseph



On the Solemnity of St Joseph, 18 March 2024.


One of the most beautiful intimacies we can have with Jesus, is to receive the Eucharist at Holy Mass. As Catholics we believe that the Blessed Sacrament is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. On the Solemnity of St Joseph, we are reminded of his earthly paternity of Jesus that was authoritative, affectionate and faithful.


Saint Joseph was given the role of protecting Jesus, our sacred bread of life. One of his well known titles is Guardian of the Redeemer


You are probably familiar with the story in the Book of Genesis about the sons of Israel selling one of their brothers into slavery. The brother sold into slavery was named Joseph. Joseph ended up being taken by his owners to Egypt, far away from all of his family. What the men did to their brother was horrible and shameful, but God had a wonderful plan.


Incredibly, Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, adopted Joseph into his own family so that Joseph was regarded as a son of Pharaoh. Joseph was given great authority. Pharaoh placed him in charge of all the granaries in Egypt. At that time, Egypt was considered the bread basket of the world, and Joseph did an incredible job of storing up grain.



Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure (Gen 41:49)


After Joseph had stored up an immeasurable quantity of grain, a severe famine broke out in Egypt and the surrounding territories. As a result of the shortage of food, Pharaoh instructed everyone in Egypt: "Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you!" (Gen 41:55). The famine became so extreme that Joseph's own brothers, the ones who had sold him into slavery, journeyed to Egypt in search of food. When the brothers met the man in charge of the granaries in Egypt, so much time had passed that they did not realise that they were standing in the presence of their own brother, whom they had sold into slavery years ago. Like everyone else, they, too, considered Joseph to be Egyptian royalty, and they addressed him as their lord. Joseph, however, recognised them.


To make a long story short, Joseph hid his identity, but was filled with kindness and mercy toward his brothers. He provided grain for them, filling their sacks so they could take back plenty to their father, Israel. Eventually, Joseph revealed his identity to them and extended forgiveness to his brothers. Thanks to Joseph and his role as the keeper of the grain, countless lives were saved from famine and death.


The story related in the Old Testament is true and believed to be a prefiguration of a much greater Joseph who would bring his son, the Bread from Heaven, to safety in Egypt. Saint Joseph safeguarded a food capable of saving the entire world! (John 6) St Joseph is much greater than the Joseph of the Old Testament. He was the guardian of the Bread from Heaven!


The former Joseph (of the Old Testament) was holy, righteous, pious, chaste; but St Joseph so far surpasses him in holiness and perfection as the sun outshines the moon. — St. Lawrence of Brindisi


God sent St Joseph to Egypt so that, out of Egypt, St Joseph could bring the Bread of Life to the nations. St Joseph saved our Bread from Herod; he protected and preserved him in Egypt; and he now desires that we receive the Bread of Life at Holy Mass. Unlike the Joseph of the Old Testament, St Joseph's Heavenly Bread is more numerous than the sands of the sea. This Heavenly Bread is able to feed all the multitudes and satisfy every soul.


Pharaoh, the mighty king of Egypt, exalted Joseph and made him the highest prince in his kingdom, because he stored up the grain and bread and saved the people of his entire kingdom. So St Joseph saved and protected Christ, who is the living bread and gives eternal life to the world. — St. Lawrence of Brindisi


He [St. Joseph] most diligently reared him whom the faithful were to receive as the bread that came down from heaven whereby they might obtain eternal life. — Blessed Pope Pius IX


If you want to form an idea of St. Joseph's greatness, consider that by a divine privilege he merited to bear the title "Father of Jesus." Reflect too that his own name "Joseph" means - an increase. Keeping in mind the great patriarch Joseph, sold by his brothers in Egypt, understand that our saint has inherited not only his name, but even more, his power, his innocence, and his sanctity. As the patriarch Joseph stored the wheat not for himself, but for the people in their time of need, so Joseph has received a heavenly commission to watch over the living Bread not for himself alone, but for the entire world. — St. Bernard of Clairvaux


St Joseph lovingly preserved the Bread in Egypt and made it possible, by the grace of God, for all of us to receive the Bread of Everlasting Life.


St Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, pray for us. 


Adapted by Vanessa Comninos from the book ‘Consecration to St Joseph. The Wonders of our Spiritual Father.’ Author: Donald H. Calloway, MIC.  




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