Feast Date: March 19
The husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the legal father of Jesus according to Jewish law, Joseph is a model of humility and obedience to God's will. He followed God's instructions, given by angels in dreams, and took the pregnant Mary into his home as his wife, protected her and Jesus from the child's birth in Bethlehem through the family's sojourn in Egypt, and provided for them as a carpenter in Nazareth. This feast, which was celebrated locally as early as the ninth century, became a universal feast in the 16th century. Pope Pius IX named Joseph patron of the universal church in 1870; he is also the patron saint of carpenters, the dying and workers.