Joseph, A Saint for the Perplexed

The man closest to Jesus lived with mystery.

Joseph, A Saint for the Perplexed

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This year as you unpack your Nativity set, take an extra moment to look at the figure of St. Joseph.

If your set is typical, you’ll see him as a serene man holding a lantern or a staff. You could hardly find a better visual image of the “faithful and prudent servant” that Jesus commends for watching so carefully over his master’s household (Matthew 24:45).

This is just the way Joseph is described in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke. He is faithful, just, instantly obedient—the ideal earthly father for the Son of God. But if you read these chapters closely, you can glimpse another side: not the finished saint in all his virtue but a good person growing in holiness through testing.

Life didn’t run smoothly for Joseph. Though uniquely blessed in his vocation, he ran into some twists and turns that must have left him deeply mystified. It’s not too hard to picture…

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