St. Joseph certainly does not need to be introduced to our children! He is etched in their mind as the silent character in the Nativity narrative, perhaps even tending to be similar to a fictional character in children’s stories.
With the celebration of the feast of St. Joseph, let us take the opportunity to give to our children the reality of the personality of this Saint and his pivotal role in the Plan of Salvation.
Explore with the children what they might already know about St. Joseph and ‘fill in the blanks’ as you go along, using a Children’s Bible to illustrate his life.
Throughout the four gospels we do not find any words uttered by Joseph. He is referred to as a “righteous man,” known as a man who obeyed God’s Law.
He is often represented as a carpenter. In fact, probably he was more than that. He is described as a ‘tekton,’ a craftsman who could work in stone as well as wood and any other material.
He was chosen to be the foster father of Jesus. An angel spoke to him in a dream, telling him that the Baby that Mary was having was coming from the Holy Spirit and that He was to be the One “to save his people from their sins.”
He was with Mary, Our Lady, when they travelled to Bethlehem. When Jesus was born, when the shepherds and later the Three Wise Men came to adore the Infant Jesus.
As head of the family, he named Our Lord, Jesus, at his circumcision according to Jewish Law. And together with Our Lady, he went to the Temple to present Baby Jesus after forty days of His birth.
He was the one who protected Our Lady and Baby Jesus from Herod, when they fled to Egypt after being given a message by an angel in a dream. He brought back his family to Nazareth when the angel told him that Herod was dead and he could return home safely.
Together with Mary, he was concerned when Jesus, at twelve years old, went missing during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem and then found in the Temple.
(The Gospels of Matthew Chapter 1 and of Luke Chapters 1 and 2 give us an account of these events)