Childhood of Christ, Gerrit van Honthorst, c. 1620
This past week, the Church celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker (May 1). Scripture says that Joseph was a “just man” (Mt 1:19). Although Scripture records no words of Joseph, from his actions we can discern that he was a compassionate, caring man. We know Joseph loved Jesus and Mary. When the angel came to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything and fled to a strange country with his young wife and baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Mt 2:13-15).
Upon returning from Egypt, Joseph settled his family in the obscure town of Nazareth out of fear for his life. When Jesus stayed in the Temple, we are told Joseph and Mary searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Lk 2:48). We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son because over and over the people of Nazareth say of Jesus, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” (Lk 4:22).