Joseph: husband, protector, provider, dreamer

Joseph was engaged to Mary when he discovered she was pregnant. He knew he was not the child’s father, yet he didn’t panic. An angel appeared to him and told him what to do and he did it. In many ways this is an oversimplification of the events. Although Joseph completely loved Mary, he still had a huge mountain of mystery to overcome. His family may not have been so helpful either.

After Jesus was born Joseph was warned in another dream that Herod planned to kill the child. Once again Joseph was under a huge test of faith and fear. It is not every day you receive a vision. He brought Jesus and Mary to Egypt to protect them from harm. Later another dream and they returned to Nazareth. Here Joseph the carpenter provided for Jesus and taught him his trade. After that no more dreams or visions are spoken. Just sheer loving care and hard daily work until death %u2013 not unlike many of us today.

People still pray to St Joseph for protection, remembering the life he lived, the doubts he must have had and despite this the fatherly care he showed to the young Jesus. Because he took a father’s role without actually being a father, Joseph is the patron saint of stepfathers.
Adapted from Bernard Cotter
Scandalous Saints and Spirited Sinners

March 20th
John Buralli, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in the year 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five, he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to study and, after he had been ordained, to teach and preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. He preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons, even very important persons flocked to hear him.

He carried out many reforms in the Francisan order but later in life he felt that he was not capable of carrying out the reforms that he felt was necessary. So he resigned his office and nominated St. Bonaventure as his successor. John retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St. Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement. He died on March 19, 1289 and many miracles were soon reported at his tomb. His feast day is March 20th.