Tag: St. Joseph

How Old Was St. Joseph When Mary Gave Birth To Jesus? 

How Old Was St. Joseph When Mary Gave Birth To Jesus? 

Was he a  young man or an old widower?

Not much is heard or written of St. Joseph in the Bible. He is simply described as the “husband of Mary,” a “carpenter,” and a “just man” in the Gospel accounts. Neither his age nor his death is ever mentioned in scripture.

However, various traditions help shed some light on the question and offer possible scenarios to consider.

A very common tradition in the Orthodox Church is that Joseph was an old man when he married the Virgin Mary. Before taking Mary into his home, Joseph’s previous wife (with whom he had had several children) died. This has led some to claim that these children were the “brothers” of Jesus that are mentioned in the Gospels.

A 6th century text called The History of Joseph the Carpenter is at the heart of this tradition and states that Joseph was an old man, but youthful in vigor.

At length, by increasing years, the old man arrived at a very advanced age. He did not, however, labor under any bodily weakness, nor had his sight failed, nor had any tooth perished from his mouth. In mind also, for the whole time of his life, he never wandered; but like a boy he always in his business displayed youthful vigor, and his limbs remained unimpaired, and free from all pain. His life, then, in all, amounted to one hundred and eleven years, his old age being prolonged to the utmost limit.

On the other hand many biblical scholars and historians believe Joseph was a young man, possibly even a teenager. The International Marian Research Institute states, “we believe that Mary and Joseph were both in their teens when Jesus was born, around sixteen and eighteen respectively. This was the norm for Jewish newlyweds at that time.”

Venerable Fulton Sheen shares a similar sentiment in The World’s First Love, “Joseph was probably a young man, strong, virile, athletic, handsome, chaste, and disciplined, the kind of man one sees … working at a carpenter’s bench … He was not in the evening of life, but in its morning, bubbling over with energy, strength, and controlled passion.”

This theory takes into account the long journeys that the Holy Family took around Jesus birth. The first from Nazareth to Bethlehem and the second when they fled into Egypt. It is hard to imagine an elderly Joseph taking care of Mary and Jesus as they go into a foreign country.

Whatever the truth is, Joseph was a “just man” who did all he could to protect and provide for Mary and Jesus. He looked upon them with a tender heart and loved them both with a deep and abiding love.

St. Joseph, chaste spouse of Mary and foster father of Jesus, pray for us! 

How Did St. Joseph Die?

How Did St. Joseph Die?

​How did St. Joseph die?

St. Joseph the worker


His departure is known as the perfect example of a “happy death.”

Little is known factually concerning the life of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. He is mentioned only a few times in the Gospels, and never says a word.

However, most biblical scholars believe Joseph died prior to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is mainly due to the fact that Joseph was not present at the crucifixion and in the Gospel of John, Jesus entrusts his mother to someone outside the family (cf. John 19:27).

Keeping in mind this historical scenario, many traditions hold that Jesus died in the arms or presence of Jesus and Mary. It’s a beautiful image, one that has led the Church to proclaim Joseph the patron saint of a “happy death.”

There are numerous accounts of this moment, but one that is particularly touching is from the writings of Venerable Mother Mary of Jesus of Agreda (aka the bi-locating nun). She wrote about the episode in “Mystical City of God,” and is recorded as a private revelation.

Then this man of God, turning toward Christ, our Lord, in profoundest reverence, wished to kneel before Him. But the sweetest Jesus, coming near, received him in his arms, where, reclining his head upon them, Joseph said: “My highest Lord and God, Son of the eternal Father, Creator and Redeemer of the World, give thy blessing to thy servant and the works of thy hand; pardon, O most merciful King, the faults which I have committed in thy service and intercourse. I extol and magnify Thee and render eternal and heartfelt thanks to Thee for having, in thy ineffable condescension, chosen me to be the spouse of thy true Mother; let thy greatness and glory be my thanksgiving for all eternity.” The Redeemer of the world gave him his benediction, saying: “My father, rest in peace and in the grace of my eternal Father and mine; and to the Prophets and Saints, who await thee in limbo, bring the joyful news of the approach of their redemption.” At these words of Jesus, and reclining in his arms, the most fortunate Saint Joseph expired and the Lord himself closed his eyes.

Whatever did happen, Joseph must have died a “happy death” surrounded by the most loving wife and son in the whole universe.

Here is a short prayer to St. Joseph, asking him to intercede for us that our death may be “happy” as well.


O BLESSED JOSEPH, who yielded up thy last breath in the arms
of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me this grace, O holy Joseph,
that I may breathe forth my soul in praise, saying in spirit,
if I am unable to do so in words:

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give Thee my heart and my soul.”


This article was written by Philip Kosloski for Aleteia.

How St. Joseph And The Blessed Virgin Mary Saved Family Home From California Wild Fire Through The Rosary

How St. Joseph And The Blessed Virgin Mary Saved Family Home From California Wild Fire Through The Rosary

Rosary Brings ‘Miraculous’ Help for Family in Napa Wildfire.

The charred Marian Statue around the Omlin’s home after the California wildfire


How prayer saw one domestic church through the inferno.

NAPA, Calif. — As the wildfires devoured acreage in Northern California and were greedily heading for the Omlin family’s home in Napa, the family came through unharmed in what they consider to be miraculous fashion.

Escaping with their lives with only minutes to spare, Drs. Kenny and Ninveh Omlin, their two children and Kenny’s parents and brother all survived. And they credit the Blessed Mother, the Rosary and St. Joseph for their safety.

Ninveh gave the Register a vivid timeline of harrowing events. About 10pm Oct. 8, as 2-week-old Jonah and 20-month-old Noah were sleeping peacefully and everyone else in the household was settling in for the night, the phone rang.

“No one calls around 10-ish unless something is wrong,” Ninveh said. Her nanny phoned to alert them that as she was driving back to her home, also in Napa, she saw a fire not far from the Omlins’ house. Looking outside, the couple could see no evidence of Atlas, as this wildfire was called, so they didn’t think much of it.

Then came a second call. Still, all the Omlins could see from their bedroom window was an orange glow in the sky.

Fleeing the Flames

Hours later, Ninveh recalled, “Looking out the window, Kenny turns to me and says, ‘We’ve got to go.’”

Immediately, Ninveh added, “He got his wedding ring, and I got mine.” She concentrated on getting the children in her car while Kenny ran to the in-law unit, where his parents, Karl and Kathy, and his brother, also named Karl, live. He aided his elderly parents and his brother, who has Down syndrome, out of the residence. It was 3am.

With the children safely in their car seats, Ninveh ran back into the house.

“I grabbed my pink rosary, which I had for years since medical school,” she said, “and some water and diapers for the kids.” She also scooped up their cat.

“I did not know about the situation with the Rosary and his mom,” Ninveh said, referring to how, during their evacuation to Kenny’s car and in the car, Kathy was praying.

Once everyone was in the cars, they drove to the property’s gates — and beheld the inferno. “It really was scary to see a fire rage that way,” Ninveh said. “It was out of this world — shocking.”

As Kathy continued praying the Rosary, Ninveh called her mother, Shimeran: “Mom, please pray.” Shimeran started praying, and people began messaging that they, too, were praying. “What a support system it was to have that,” Ninveh said.

But the electronic gate wouldn’t open — the electricity had gone out.

Providentially, a month before, a repairman showed Kenny how to manually unlock and crank the gates open.

“Everybody was praying the Rosary,” Kenny said, as he opened the gates.

The next stop was to get to the house of the family’s nanny, who had first alerted them. It was 4am. “Kenny’s mom was sitting there and still had the rosary beads in her hands,” Ninveh said. “Her lips were moving, praying.” Kathy never stopped praying.

Prayer has always been a must-have for Kathy, especially the Rosary.

“Any time there is anything I’m not able to grasp or figure out or I get stressed about, I start praying the Rosary,” Kathy explained. “The Rosary has always been my comfort, working through any challenge that came up.”

Amazing Events Continue

Cal Fire (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection) reported that more than 51,000 acres in the area burned, as scores of homes were destroyed. Days later, when the Omlins returned home to assess the damage, they found their home virtually untouched. The in-law unit was untouched, too.

In one large area, the fire raced up to their wire deer fencing, and then, for no explicable reason, the flames just stopped. Ninveh attributed the outcome to “Kenny’s mom praying and my mom praying.”

Kenny believes his house was saved by the Rosary, too.

Enter St. Joseph. Ninveh recalled that, before leaving the property, “I prayed to St. Joseph, imagining him stopping the fire and drawing a line in the sand that said: ‘Do not cross.’”

“On one side of the fence, everything was black,” Ninveh said with amazement. “And on the other side, nothing.”

She recounted her family’s devotion to St. Joseph as well as “always being close to the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The devotion had close connections to her own birth and those of her two siblings.

Her mother sought intensely the intercession of St. Joseph and Our Lady to be able to have children.

Ninveh recounted that in her mother’s “dreams she saw the Virgin Mary speaking to her but couldn’t understand her. Shortly after that, she conceived me.”

Ninveh and Kenny grew up in faith-filled homes and have made theirs faith-filled, too — the Omlins express their faith on their property by having a large statue of the Blessed Mother on the grounds near their house.

“The statue stands at the fire line,” Kenny said. “She is charred. All the structures are unscathed.”

“Our Virgin Mary statue looked like the Black Madonna,” Ninveh added. “In front of her, it’s still green. There was a tree next to her that was on fire and fell on the roof of the in-law unit, but nothing burned. To see the statue of the Virgin Mary standing there with the ash on her like the Black Madonna gives me goosebumps. It’s the power of prayer.”

This article was originally written by Joseph Pronechen for National Catholic Register (NCR).



Do You Know What St. Joseph Actually Did As A Carpenter?

Do You Know What St. Joseph Actually Did As A Carpenter?

​What did St. Joseph actually do as a carpenter?

Art tells one story, history says another.

Often certain biblical phrases don’t get translated very well. Take for example the common translation of Matthew 13:55. The people of Nazareth question Jesus’ divine power by asking, “Is he not the carpenter’s son?”

This is, of course, in reference to Joseph, who is traditionally known as a “carpenter.” The translation has led to countless depictions of Joseph in Christian art as a man who labors in his wood shop, making chairs and tables all day.

However, the word used in this passage is not always as clear-cut and specific. The original Greek passage describes Joseph as a “tekton,” which had various meanings in the ancient world.

According to one scholar, “Etymologically, the Greek term tektōn can be traced back to the Indo-European root tek- or teks- meaning to cut or fashion with an axe, but it also refers to weaving, building, fabricating and joining.”

Additionally, “passages from the Iliad and the Odyssey have shown that tektones work with all kinds of materials and tools.”

These men were highly skilled laborers who were adept at doing all kids of work. Another commentator explains how a “tekton, could be a simple carpenter, but it could also mean master craftsman, working in either wood or masonry. A tekton was the person each village depended on to set their foundations right, or to build a properly functioning door. In other words, Joseph and his son, Jesus, were the go-to guys when you wanted to build a house for a growing family.”

One way to describe Joseph is that he may have been the “handyman” of the neighborhood who helped everyone with their projects, big or small. Another word to describe him would be “craftsman.”

This interpretation sheds more light on the work of St. Joseph and his foster-son Jesus. It pictures the two going around the village and getting asked by everyone to come over and fix their house. This also may explain why everyone in Nazareth knew Jesus as the “carpenter’s son.” Joseph and Jesus would be a frequent sight throughout the town, helping everyone with their projects.

In the end, while it may be true that Joseph was a carpenter as we normally think, it is also very likely that he could have been the “handyman” who was as skilled with wood as he was with stone or any other material.

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