1. The betrothal of Joseph to Mary
Joseph was the most privileged of men. He was not called, but was one of the few who are chosen. He was chosen by God to be the spouse of the purest of creatures, who was to be the mother of the Son of God.
2. Joseph accepts that Mary is to be the mother of God.
Joseph, the humble carpenter, son of David, was chosen by God to fulfill the words of the prophet. Like Mary he did not refuse to do as the angel of God told him. Joseph was to have authority over Jesus and be his protector. Note: that it is Joseph who is commanded to name his son Jesus.
3. Joseph takes Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee … to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem … in order to be registered with Mary his betrothed wife … while they were there, the time came for her to have her child … and she gave the birth to a son, her first born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger. (Luke 2:4-7).
4. The flight into Egypt
For the second time, as Holy Scripture records, Joseph has the honour and privilege of being visited by an angel, sent by God. He, a poor carpenter, is commanded to use all his human ability and his meager material resources to protect the very life of the Son of God. He obediently rose and took Mary and the infant Jesus by donkey, south to Hebron, the burial place of Abraham, then to Beersheba and into Egypt. It was a long journey in the depth of winter.
5. Jesus submits to the authority and fatherly care of Joseph.
Mary and Joseph searched for three days and found Jesus in the Temple. Imagine the anxiety of Joseph. He had been entrusted by an angel from God with the responsibility of protecting Jesus.
Prayer to St Joseph
O great and good St Joseph, chaste spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and guardian of the Word Incarnate, we place ourselves under your protection and beg you to teach us to practise the virtues of the Child Jesus. We thank God for the singular favours He was pleased to bestow on you, and we earnestly desire to become pure, humble, patient and courageous like you. Pray then for us, St Joseph through that love which you have for Jesus and Mary and which they have for you, obtain for us the invaluable blessing of living and dying in the love of Jesus and Mary. Holy St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church and of a happy death. Pray for us.