March 19th marks the solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As Catholic singles, this feast can be significant to us for a lot more reasons than just being a nice celebratory day in the middle of Lent.
We don’t have a wealth of information about this holy man. Scripture simply tells us that he was a carpenter who became the husband of Mary.
Catholics often intercede to Joseph as the patron saint of workers. It’s not hard to see why men who are husbands and fathers turn to him as well for intercession.
But he might not be the first saint to come to mind for single Catholics in need of an intercessor, considering that he was a husband and father.
Here are three reasons that Joseph is actually an excellent saint for single Catholics to look to for both a holy example and intercession.
1. Joseph strove for chastity
Some people speculate that Joseph was an old widowed man when he married the Blessed Virgin. However, there’s nothing in Scripture to point to this.
Whether it is the case or not, we do know that Joseph was married to Mary, who remained a virgin her entire life, even after her marriage.
Not only did Joseph practice chastity before marriage (as we’re all called to do!), he also abstained from marital relations with his wife.
The very vast majority of people aren’t called to practice abstinence in their marriages. But God invites all of us to lives of abstinence during our single years. Let’s be honest, it’s not always easy.
When we find ourselves struggling to faithfully practice the virtue of chastity, we can certainly turn to the intercession and example of Joseph.
2. Joseph didn’t obsess over others’ opinions
Joseph was in a very precarious position. You’ve probably heard homilies on it before. Joseph knew Mary was pregnant before the two of them had began living together.
Joseph knew of Christ’s miraculous conception and Mary’s holiness, but thought himself unworthy to be Mary’s spouse. The outside observer may have faulted Joseph for marrying the Blessed Mother.
But Joseph didn’t let the knowledge that people would judge them stop him from carrying out God’s will.
During our single years, we can face a lot of temptation in this area.
It’s easy to get bogged down with worry over what people think about our singleness. Do your family members make snide comments about your ongoing singleness? Do others think you’re being too picky, or not searching the right way?
Sometimes we might face an issue with past mistakes in our own lives or in the lives of someone we’d like to date, and it can be easy to worry about what others will think.
Much more important than what people will gossip about, though, is doing the will of God. When the devil tempts us to dwell on worries over others’ unfounded opinions on our lives or actions, we can certainly turn to Joseph for help.
3. Joseph is a fantastic example of trust
Even if Joseph knew what was going on with Mary before the angel appeared to him in a dream, there is no way he could have known everything that was in store for him and his family.
A trip to Bethlehem, no room at an inn for them, the birth of Christ in a stable – and then Herod’s henchmen seeking to kill the Child mere days after his birth!
In each tumultuous event, Joseph trusted God and did as God instructed.
Joseph wasn’t divine or all-knowing. He had no idea what was going to happen. We can experience this when we wonder what is going on in our own lives. This can also happen when we start moving forward in a relationship with no way of knowing what direction the path will take.
So turn to Joseph when you’re struggling to trust God’s plan for your lives. Ask him to intercede for the ability to trust God.
Joseph may not have been single, but we can certainly turn to this husband and father for intercession and inspiration as we strive to make our way to our own holy family life.