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Church-approved Apparitions of Saint Joseph

What do we know about Saint Joseph?

Well, the answer is…not much.  We do know some things about him…..and other things we can assume.

Saint Joseph is the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sacred Scripture tells us that Saint Joseph worked as a carpenter. as we know from Matthew 13:55, when the Nazarenes ask about Jesus, “Is this not the carpenter’s son?“.  Although Joseph was a descendant of the House of David, he was not a rich man.  We can assume that not only from his occupation but also from the fact that when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised, he and the Blessed Virgin Mary offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons….something that was only allowed for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24).

We know that he was an honorable man, because he could have easily avoided marrying the Blessed Virgin Mary when he found out that she was pregnant:

Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.  Such was his intention when, behold, the 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, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.  He did as the angel told him and took Mary as his wife. (Matthew 1:19-25)

Scripture does not tell us much more about Saint Joseph.  We know he fled to Egypt with Mary until it was safe to return. Saint Joseph is last mentioned when Scripture describes Mary and Joseph not being able to find Jesus for three days before discovering Him in the Temple (Luke 3:41-52).

Sacred Scripture does not record Saint Joseph’s presence during Jesus’ public life, death, or resurrection. Therefore, many historians believe that Saint Joseph likely died before Jesus entered public ministry, although that is just supposition.

Saint Joseph as Patron Saint:

Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus’ public life as mentioned above, it is likely that he died with Jesus and Mary close to him.  Saint Joseph is also patron saint of the Universal Church, families, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and all working people.

We celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph on March 19.  In many of the churches named in his honor, there is a Saint Joseph’s Table displayed on his feast day.

Apparitions of Saint Joseph:

Although not as numerous as the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph has appeared to others over the course of history.  Among these approved apparitions are the following:

1519-1660:  Cotignac, France

1879:  Knock, Ireland 

1917:  Fatima Portugal

1994-1998:  Itapiranga, Brazil


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