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Prayer & Spirituality

Because I decided that 2014 would be The Year of the Saints, I wanted to choose a specific saint each month to focus on. Instead of asking for intercession or making prayer requests, though, I wanted to see what I could learn from each saint’s life—how they lived, loved, and coped with adversity. I especially wanted to note what these saints did during their lifetime in regards to relationships.

March is a great month for a great saint: Joseph, the husband of Mary and father of Jesus.

Well, maybe calling him the father of Jesus is a misnomer. Because Mary was carrying the Son of God, through the Holy Spirit, we could call St. Joseph the guardian of Jesus. In modern day terms, he would be the foster father of the Son of God. It takes a lot of selflessness and faith to do such a thing.

When he learned that his family was in jeopardy, he acted immediately. Imagine leaving the only life you’ve known to bring your brand-new family to safety. He had no job, friends, family or connections in this new place, but he went anyway to protect his wife and unborn child. This is quite a sacrifice, and he did so faithfully and willingly.

He worked hard to provide for his family;  so much so that he became the patron saint of carpenters. He never wavered in his love for Jesus, he never shirked these responsibilities, and remained a faithful husband and strong father figure.

This is a life that many of our Catholic men can learn from. The reality of our times is that there’s  a chance that a marriage-minded Catholic man may get involved with a woman who has children already. Entering into this type of relatioship requires quite a bit of contemplation, prayer and practical considerations that men must make. The big questions have to be asked: am I ready for the responsibilities of an entire family? Am I prepared to love these children as my own? Am I willing to work tirelessly to provide for them? Will I place my faith and trust in this woman as their mother? Will I follow God’s will for me in accepting this family as my path in life?

These are huge considerations to make. It’s enough of a life-changer to go from single to married. It’s a whole other level of change to move from the single life into a life of marriage and parenthood all at once. These considerations are not to be taken lightly. Fortunately, a marriage-minded man has the strength and support of the Catholic Church to lean on. And he has a powerful role model in St. Joseph.

There’s another lesson in the life of St. Joseph: he is the patron saint of dying. Theologians have concluded that because there is little mention of Joseph during Jesus’ adult life in the public eye, he may have passed away at some point prior to that. They have also speculated that at the time of his death, because this was a time before Jesus took on public life, he passed with his son and wife at his side.

Perhaps we could learn about Joseph through his death if we look at it symbolically. Because the Catholic Church calls husbands to be the Bride of Christ, they must be willing to sacrifice their lives in marriage. This is certainly evident in Joseph’s life, who took on his responsibilities—sacrificing his former way of life—without question. In a sense, a Catholic man who chooses to become a husband experiences a type of death. In sacrificing the supposed benefits of single life, a part of man’s life that is marked by bachelorhood passes away. Of course, a joyful new life awaits, but a man must have faith in order to enter this sacrament willingly.

During the month of March, our single men could perhaps contemplate the life of St. Joseph with the intention of learning from him—his character, his strength, his resolve and most of all, his faith. Perhaps you could consider babysitting, volunteering, coaching or tutoring young children during this time. Getting a feel for caretaking a child who isn’t your own is a powerful exercise in learning the ways of  St. Joseph.

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18 Comments

  1. Yuanyuan-1051885 March 18, 2014

    Great post. thank you :)

  2. Anna-990129 March 18, 2014

    I think St. Joseph is a great role model. However, there seems to be some trend, as mentioned in the article, for people to have to settle for previously-married people with children. It would appear people over the age of 25 are supposed to be stuck with this fate. There are women that old who have not already been married and have kids, like myself. We’re out here. So let’s have a first-run marriage for the both of us, not instant family.

  3. Regina-911983 March 18, 2014

    St. Joseph’s rocks!!!!!!! A great role model. Nice article.

  4. Michael-414867 March 18, 2014

    Funny you should write this article about Saint Joseph. Just last night I was at my church, attending a talk by a former seminarian for our church. Now he is a priest, has been for less of a year. While talking about prayer he mentioned finding a saint that you strongly relate to, to pray to and ask for that saint’s intercession.

    He said a good saint to look at may be the one whose name you used for confirmation. He said the saint you choose actually chooses you. My confiirmation saint’s name was Joseph. I don’t remember why I chose that name, as I was only in the fifth grade.

    Now I do understand that he chose me and I will pray for his intercession.

  5. Claudia-635473 March 18, 2014

    Our relationship was on the test but I never give up praying novena to Saint Joseph and talking to him everyday is a great intervention of those negative thoughts and doubts. He is my everything!

  6. Lianna-1046399 March 18, 2014

    Great article! St. Joseph is amazing, and he is a great role model for all men!

  7. Dominic-981542 March 19, 2014

    I wonder when you ladys comment on how “St Joseph is amazing and a perfect or great Roll modal ” do you really understand his roll ,

    I have so long to be in St Josephs shoes in a relation in my later years . . but women have no place for his roll when it involves there wants .

    • Dominic-981542 March 19, 2014

      Dear Saint Joseph , please pray for me for those merits that so dear to you.

      That my body be chaste.

      My heart be pure.

      And my mind be innocent.

      So that i can be a protector if innocents like you to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect Chasity.

      Aman.

    • Stacy-337910 March 20, 2014

      Why do you say women would not understand his role? I think it is great when someone God chose to show as an example, should be a role model for anyone – male or female. Joseph showed how to follow God’s calling same as Mary and Mary should be a role model for us all.
      I was engaged to someone with a child. I was going to take on parenting someone who did not have my genes so to speak. I was scared to death of becoming a step parent. I do know I wanted what was best for the child; which is exactly the shoes Joseph was in. Maybe I wasn’t going to be the protector of the family but I did take on many of the same things Joseph said yes to. Then you have the single parents who have to say yes to being both mother and father. I’m sure they could use Joseph’s guidance.
      Maybe I am not understanding what you are saying, I believe Joseph is amazing and a great role model because he said Yes to God’s perfect plan.

      • Dominic-981542 March 22, 2014

        Hi Stacy , yes you did not understand my comment . . saying yes to being a foster parent is not his mane roll . and yes women do not understand his roll .

        Taken into count male and female are not of the same nature , we see Mary and Joseph with unique rolls , and these unique rolls can not apply for both female and male a like. . . . Mary for females and Joseph for males . . Of cause we can use both sex for ether one when referring to there doing Gods will . . but there roll is different ,
        But thank you for commenting. . i would explain why only I’m not sure you would be back to read this.

  8. Marie-1050590 March 19, 2014

    One of my favorite saints. Wonderful article.

  9. Jorge-443462 March 19, 2014

    SAN Jose a model for us men gracias Thanks pray for San Jose to be like you.amen

  10. Luis-1061414 March 20, 2014

    It has been a wonderful article. I still remember praying to St. Joseph…l, was just 13 y.o.!!! (lol!) trying to emulate his teachings.

  11. MJ-1056972 March 20, 2014

    Its really wonderful article and I am great follower of St. Joseph too.
    Now I am on Catholic Match I leave every thing to him to find suitable match for me here!

  12. Stacy-337910 March 20, 2014

    My mother had long been St Joseph’s cheerleader. She always said he spent more time with Jesus here on Earth than anyone except Mary. He was the first to see our Savior’s face.

  13. Pat-736638 March 22, 2014

    Hi, Everyone!

    I entered into a relationship with a very young Catholic convert (he isn’t young, his Catholicism is). I love him, and am sad that we will probably part. However, I am very grateful to have learned that I DO want a husband, an true, Catholic, husband, who knows that I will never be a person who will never cause difficulty in our lives. I haven’t given up. Before I met this man, I mourned the death of another man for 10 years, and thought I would never find that kind of love again. I guess I haven’t yet.

    pat

  14. Andrew-1040810 March 25, 2014

    I love Saint Joseph and accept him as a wonderful role model We older men need to be aware of the possibility that our Lord may ask us to marry a younger woman and become the stepfather for another man’s children…..who are in fact God’s Children. It would be a challenge that I would boldly accept if I thought the woman truly loved me as Mary loved Joseph. We should NEVER forget that Mary and Joseph were a man and a woman that God brought together and that God is working in our lives to do the very same thing. If women want a husband as faithful and loyal as St. Joseph…….I hope they realize they will need to put aside their childish ways and model the behavior of the Blessed Mother!!!

  15. Marina-986328 April 1, 2014

    Hi! my name is Marina I’m 66 years old never maried, mexican I understand a few english but doing progress on it. I would like to meet catholic people probably I can meet people that have something in common . I love music , sing, outside activities, swimming , social parties , travel for vacation, read books, go to the cinema, I love cook , work in my garden , plant flowers, have my house real clean , well and so on.
    And this article is very interesting I love St.Joseph and mary virgen. they are my inpiration and the family model that wu must to imite. sorry for my english mistakes.
    I’m blondy, blue eyes red hair. I’m 1. 60 mts. tall and 150 pounds. I’m agree with Andrew. 1040810 you are rigth.

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