Saint Joseph

19th March

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)

Ask the children what they admire about this man, Joseph. Lead them to discover some qualities of this ‘silent hero.’

God chose him to protect and care for Jesus. Although he was good and patient, he was a man of action, acting with great courage. He listened and believed in the messages that God gave him even though perhaps he did not fully understand. But he trusted in God.

Sometimes we too feel confused when things go wrong. We get discouraged, we do not understand why things happen to us. Let us follow St. Joseph’s example and put our trust in Jesus by praying, “ Jesus I trust in You.”

Let us bring St. Joseph to life for our children!

St. Joseph together with Our Lady shared the first years of Jesus as a baby, as a young boy, as a young man, taking an important role in the development of the human nature of Our Lord. Like every other father, together with Mary, he must have cradled Him to sleep, helped to feed Him, taught Him His first words, held His hand with His first steps, teaching Him the Jewish Faith and how to pray, taking Him to the synagogue, taking Him to his workshop and teaching Him his trade.

For Family Prayer Time you might consider setting up a shrine in honour of St. Joseph!

Pray chaplets from the Joyful Mysteries, especially the 3rd, 4th and 5th 

Lead the children in personal prayers addressed to St. Joseph:

  • for protection of our family as he protected the Holy Family.
  • for those who are seriously ill, as it is believed that probably St. Joseph was accompanied by Jesus and Our Lady on his deathbed. 

The year 2021 was proclaimed by Pope Francis as the year dedicated for St. Joseph. We don’t know a lot of information about St. Joseph despite the fact that, he was a simple carpenter and that was married to Mary. However, St. Joseph teaches us two amazing virtues. The virtue of silence and that we need to be present and walk along with Jesus.  

Activity: Silence and Lilies! 

For today’s activity we will be creating a lovely craft in silence! All you need is some A4 white paper, scissors, tape and some green and yellow pipe cleaners.

  • With a pencil trace the palm of your hands on the A4 paper and cut them with a scissor. 
  • Roll the cut-out hands to create the flower. To create the stem, insert the green pipe cleaner and inside the flower put the yellow pipe cleaner in the form of a ball. 
  • It shall turn like this.
  • You can create more than 1 lily.

Don’t forget that you shall remain silent and don’t forget to pray for your family while doing this activity. 

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.