about Joseph  
A companion and example for Jesus

Jesus, the Son of God, was known throughout his earthly life as "the carpenter's son," the son of Joseph. Growing up as children do, he naturally would acquire some of Joseph's traits, perhaps his walk or some expressions of speech.

From Joseph, Jesus first learned about the people of the village, their sorrows and their joys. Nor could Joseph's love for Mary and his love for people be mistaken by the young child.

illustration of Joseph and Jesus working together

From Joseph, Jesus learned how to use a carpenter's tools and after awhile he worked at his side. The rabbis said: A father who does not teach his son a trade teaches him to steal. Jesus learned to work hard and steadily at the carpenter's trade.

The two were constant companions at the synagogue in Nazareth. Together they celebrated regularly the great Jewish feasts, listened to the Scriptures, and journeyed as pilgrims to Jerusalem.

More than anything else, Jesus saw in Joseph a simple, holy man who trusted God with all his heart. Someone like Joseph, so unassuming, so steady, so quietly attentive to God, was like a treasure hidden in a field. He could easily go unrecognized.

But it would not be so.

Later, when Jesus began to teach, can we not hear in his parables and lessons memories of Nazareth and the simple wisdom of Joseph the carpenter?

An old tradition says that Joseph died when Jesus was 19. Most likely his family was with him when he made that dark journey. Tradition rightly says he died a happy death.

And how could it be otherwise?

For he served God without question, doing God's work till the end, and Jesus and Mary were at his side.

what does tradition say about Joseph?

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