Christmas – 2019 : Josephus Sanctus – Grandfather of the Noel | Sunday Observer

Christmas – 2019 : Josephus Sanctus – Grandfather of the Noel

15 December, 2019

Every year on Christmas day the Christian world celebrates the memory of St. Joseph (Josephus Sanctus) as the spouse of Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ our saviour. The Noel (Christmas) is not complete without Jesus Christ and his father St. Joseph and Mother Mary. Joseph belonged to the house of David. St. Joseph and his genealogy has been researched up to the opening chapter of Mathews Gospel. Lukes Gospel (1:6) also mentions that Joseph was a descendant of David. Mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour Mary became espoused to Joseph. According to an ancient legend Mary and the other virgins of the temple were ordered to return to their dwellings and marry.

When the Virgin Mary refused to comply the orders prayed for guidance from the Lord and a voice from the sanctuary instructed those assembled to call together the unwed males of the house of David. In accordance with the voice Zacharius the high priest instructed the gathered males to leave their staffs on the altar of the temple overnight. Nothing happened. So Zahcarius next included those of others and Joseph. When Joseph’s rod was found the next morning it had flowered and he was told to take the Blessed Virgin Mary and keep her for the word.

Thus Mary was espoused to Joseph but before they came together Mary was found to be pregnant with the child Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband being a just man not willing to expose Mary publicly was minded to put her away privately. While he was pondering on these things behold, angel Gabriel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep and said; ‘Joseph son of David fear not to take Mary as your wife; for which is conceived in her of the Holy Spirit. She shall give you a son and you shall call him so and name him Jesus. For Jesus shall save his people from their sins. Then Joseph rising from sleep did as angel Gabriel had commanded him and took unto him Mary as his wife (Mt.1:1-24)

When Christmas comes naturally thoughts reach out to the holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Christmas has continuously developed a firm faith in this kindly saint foster father of Jesus that has lasted through time. St. Joseph is also a model to the worker. St. Joseph worked hard to keep the Holy family without need. St Joseph the Josephus Sanctus who descended from the royal house of David was chosen to be God’s incarnated word, his son. Mighty and miraculous and always fused with mystery and remarkable inexplicable choices of God. Undoubtedly Josephus Sanctus is the grand pater of the Noel the father of Jesus born on Christmas day the grand Noel (Christmas). St. Joseph travelled to Bethlehem with pregnant Mary to entole for the census decreed by Caesar Augustus. Reaching Bethlehem as there was no room for them at the inn they took shelter for the night in a nearby cowshed where Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. Beside the manger where Baby Jesus was kept St. Joseph stood vigil as a faithful father would. Every Christmas the Christians world over celebrate St. Joseph as the grand pater of the Christmas (Noel).

As there was a threat to the life of Jesus because of King Herod an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and asked Joseph to take Mary and the child Jesus and escape to Egypt. His prompt action in obedience to the word of God saved the life of the Christ child when he left for Egypt with Mary and Jesus. Today visitors to Egypt can see the crypt of St. Sargius in the church in Cairo, the oldest Christian church in that country, where the Holy family lived for some time during their stay in Egypt. St. Joseph is generally pictured as an elderly man holding a flowering rod with the Christ child in his arms or led by his hand.

The apocryphal story of St. Joseph the carpenter says he reached the age of 111 years by the time he died on July 20 AD 18 or 19. St. Ephianius says that St. Joseph was 90 years at the time of his death and Bede claims that St. Joseph was buried in the valley of Joseph. In fact it is thought that he died before AD 30 and was buried in Nazareth. Pope Gregory XV made his feast a day of obligation but this is not widely observed today. Pope Leo XIII declared Joseph as a model for fathers of families and confirmed that his sancting was second only to that of the Blessed Virgin.

St. Joseph was the unsung Hero of the Christmas and the Testament. He had a profound influence on Jesus and was a tower of strength to Mary. He was a model husband and foster father. Mary gave Jesus the son of God life and Joseph saved and nurtured that life with his earthly wisdom. Veneration to St. Joseph also at Christmas began in the East where the history of Joseph the carpenter enjoyed great popularity in the 5th to 7th centuries. St. Joseph was venerated by all those desiring a happy death because tradition tells that Joseph was afraid of death and was filled with self reproach but was comforted by the words of Mary and Jesus, who promised protection and life to all who do good in the name of Joseph. Once again the celebration of the Noel has reached those who devoutly adhere to the message it brings. Once again Josephus Sanctus is brought forward in celebration to the birth of Christ. Let every Christmas venerate St. Joseph as the grand pater of the Noel.