Marian Helper Spring 2024

It was one of those homilies that has stayed with me throughout the years — a message that I carry within my heart. The priest who spoke the comforting words was a caring, compassionate soul who had accompanied me during a difficult time in my life. He spoke with eloquence of the role that St. Joseph had played in salvation history, and that all mothers should have a St. Joseph beside them to weather the trials of pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. In our modern society, St. Joseph (feast day: March 19) is often overlooked — relegated to the shadows of the Nativity story. He is the ultimate supporting player, a man of few words. Yet he was a man of action, courage, and stamina, who led his family with a quiet dignity. He was a role model for Jesus, teaching the Christ Child not only the craft of carpentry, but showing his foster Son what a man should be: hard-working, dedicated, and loving. In Joseph, boys can find an example of faithfulness — to God, to family, and to duty. In an era in which the importance of fatherhood is frequently downplayed, St. Joseph stands as a testament to the critical role fathers need to play, not only in our families, but in our communities and our country as a whole. Exemplary character In Matthew 1:18-25 we catch a glimpse of the exemplary character of Joseph: Follow Joseph! Metropolitan Museum of Art/Open Access “The Holy Family with Saints Anne and Catherine of Alexandria” by Lo Spagnoletto, 1648. By Maria V. Gallagher 18 Marian Helper • Spring 2024 •