After spending more than a millennium in relative obscurity, Saint Joseph has become the second-most mentioned saint in the papal magisterium after the Virgin Mary. To understand the life and importance of Saint Joseph, a good place to start is with the first papal title ever granted him: “Patron of the Universal Church.”
What is it that Saint Joseph has to offer the Church — and each one of us — today? That’s the question that A Man Named Joseph: Guardian for Our Times seeks to answer. To get there, author, podcaster, and blogger Joe Heschmeyer cuts through a lot of our misconceptions to see what the Bible and the earliest Christians really say about Joseph as a model husband, father, and saint. Questions at the end of each chapter help guide personal reflection and group discussion.
Whatever we may be facing in life, we can go to Joseph for his example, his protection, and his prayers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joe Heschmeyer is a staff apologist with Catholic Answers, a lay apostolate that defends and explains the Catholic faith. He’s also the author of Who Am I, Lord? Finding Your Identity in Christ and Pope Peter: Defending the Church’s Most Distinctive Doctrine in a Time of Crisis. He blogs at ShamelessPopery.com. Previously, he was a litigator in Washington, D.C., and a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Kansas City. He lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and two children.
Saint Joseph alone was called to be a father to the Son of God, and his fidelity and courage show each of us how to respond to our vocation as a disciple of Jesus and friend of God. In his wisdom, the Lord empowers Joseph to open his fatherly care to all Christians, to show us how to hear the word of God and act on it, and to shine in every age as a model of faith.
The question "Who am I?" is on the minds and hearts of people of all ages. And for good reason: The answer is important! Who we are - or who we think we are - drives our actions and shapes our relationships. Only when we understand who Christ really is can he show us who we are. Our identity in Christ opens us to the promises he has made us and leads us to the freedom to be who we were created to be.
Pope Francis writes that the purpose of his apostolic letter Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), "is to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal.” As protector, advocate, and guardian of the Holy Family, Saint Joseph has always been venerated as a father to all Christians.