Traveling back in time two thousand or so years, to the Holy Land, we come upon a small, unassuming Galilean village called Nazareth, “Village of the Shoot,” its name evoking the hope for a Messiah prophesied by Isaiah: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse (Is 11:1)” (Mike Aquilina, St. Joseph and His World).
On December 8, 2020, Catholics around the world celebrated the beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. Each year on that date, we commemorate the singular grace bestowed upon the Mother of God, her preservation from any stain of sin from the first moment of her conception.
Joseph of Nazareth has been a trusted confidant, beloved father figure, and favorite saint to me over a span of many years. Researching his life, I am reassured; I have chosen my mentor well. The same sterling characteristics – faithful, compassionate, humble, hard-working, obedient, strong, protective – reveal themselves over and over again in his story. Those, and countless other positive adjectives, make up the portrait of a righteous man whose life was centered on God and family.