Catholic Catechism

Saint Joseph

Monastery The following are some references to St. Joseph given in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
  • In paragraph 437, Saint Joseph is mentioned as the "pure spouse of Mary" and the "legal father of Jesus".
  • In paragraph 532, reference is made to Saint Joseph as the one who helped Jesus grow.
  • In paragraph 535, it is emphasized that Saint Joseph is the prototype and the father in the faith.
  • In paragraph 619, Saint Joseph is mentioned as present in the genealogy of Jesus.
  • In paragraph 966, reference is made to Mary as "Mother of the Church" and to Saint Joseph as "father in the order of grace".

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Joseph in the Catechism of the Church

- Part I, section II, chapter II, article II, paragraphe II

497 The Gospel (1) accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work that surpasses all human understanding and possibility: (2) "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.(Matthew 1,20). The Church sees here the fulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son." (Isaiah 7,14).

1. Matthew 1,18-25; Luke 1,26-38
2. Luke 1,34.

- Part III, section I, charter I, article VIII, paragraphe I

1846 The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners. The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1,21) The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26,28).

Task and vocation of Joseph

- Part I, chapter II, article II, paragraphe II

437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised to Israel: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2,11). From the beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world" (John 10,36), conceived as "holy" in Mary's virginal womb. (3) God called Joseph to "take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1,20), so that Jesus, "who is called Christ" (Matthew 1,16), should be born of Joseph's spouse into the messianic lineage of David (4).

3. Luke 1,35
4. Rm 1,3; 2 Tm 2,8; Ap 22,16.

Feast of Saint Joseph

- Part II, section II, chapter I, article II, paragraphe II

2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church." (5)

"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints." (6)

5. 6 CIC canon 1246
6. 6 CIC canon 1246

Obedience of Jesus to Joseph

- Part I, section II, chapter II, article II, paragraphe II.

532 Jesus' obedience to his mother and legal father fulfils the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. the everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will. . ." (Luke 22,42). The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed. (7)

7. Rm 5,19

St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.

- Part I, section II, chapter III, article XI, paragraphe II

1014 The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: "From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord"; to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us "at the hour of our death" in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.

Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience .... Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from death? If you aren't fit to face death today, it's very unlikely you will be tomorrow ....

Praised are you, my Lord,
for our sister bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe on those who will die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will,
for the second death will not harm them.