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Why not venerate Joseph?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Pilgrim of this Reality, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Why dont Orthodox and Roman Catholic, and other like belief systems venerate Joseph as much as they do Mary? Yes Mary was chosen to give birth to Jesus, but Joseph was chosen to raise him as his earthly father. Jesus would have spent more time with Joseph in that culture than with his mother. Afterall, Joseph would have wanted to pass on his trade to his eldest son. Also, Joseph had it much harder and had to have more faith than Mary because Jesus wasnt his own flesh. Joseph would have known only through dreams that Jesus was the Messiah. That is a great faith to believe dreams; faith in God and in the Jewish beliefs.
     
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  2. Majikthise

    Majikthise Guest

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    I have wondered about this myself. Perhaps to place more attention to the fact that God is Jesus's tue father?It is said a lot that christianity is patriarcal, but this does not seem to fit in with that idea. Maybe the glorification of Mary is an attempt to appease women and Joseph is a fall guy.This is a great question and worth some thought.
     
  3. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    It's because Mary's role was so much greater. She had to be absolutely holy. Remember how sacred the Ark of the Covenant was, and magnify the sanctity significantly. Mary, though, didn't just have to be completely holy physically, but she also had to be in a lifestyle. She had to refuse sin at every corner, lest her natural interaction with Christ kill her: She carried God inside her. Joseph never did anything near that level.

    Further, St. Joseph was an old man. I don't know how long he lived, but Mary was with Christ until the end, and at the end, Joseph was apparently dead, so Christ gave her to the Apostle John to care for. Mary was with Christ all the way as a result.

    The above had Mary active in our salvation in a way that nobody else could be. Only one person could be Theotokos. All salvation hinged on her obedience to that role. St. Joseph likewise had the overwhelming responsibility of being the step-father to God. However, he was never placed with the same responsibility as Mary. Our salvation didn't hinge on his absolute obedience in every matter.

    Mary did this from youth, and she had to. The demands on her were simply far above that any other person has ever faced. I hope that answers it sufficiently :)
     
  4. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I might also add that we do venerate St. Joseph. He is a saint, and a very worthy man. It's just that Mary is basically the chief among the saints, because of her unique role.
     
  5. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    That's a good point. It would take a very faithful, loving, and strong man to accept the situation he was in.
     
  6. Pilgrim of this Reality

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    Joseph was gone by the time of Jesus' ministry mainly because he would have been around mid 20s when he was betrothed to a young Mary that was maybe 13 at oldest as customs dictated. He would have died around/before the average age of 50. We have to note that, despite what texts wrote centuries later say, the family was still very poor and hard working. The poor at that time rarely lived long. It is likely he would have followed Jesus if he still lived.

    an aside: as for saints being special people they are but not enough to be elevated. 'saint' is just another word for Christian: Romans 1:7; Romans 15:25,31; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 2 Corinthians 9:12... etc. Technically, Joseph, Abraham, etc were not saints because they lived under the Judaic Law.
     
  7. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Nobody says they weren't poor :). I'll go by our earliest testimonies on St. Joseph's age and the Tradition of the Church: Joseph was an old man, not in his twenties, entrusted to guard Mary and was betrothed for that very purpose (and thus failed in his sacred duty in his mind).

    A "saint" is a sanctified one who is being sanctified or is sanctified. In general, the Church is full of saints, all of them are holy unto God. The dead we term "saints" are those who people have recognized that they have run the race and were sanctified in an extremely potent way in life. We see no contradiction in this.

    I'll also have to point out that in the OT, people were called "holy ones," which is what the word "saints" means: they are holy. In fact, one of my favorite Psalms, 150, opens with this line in the LXX: "Praise God among His saints." Every time a person is called holy in the Old Testament, they are called "saintly," and if it is "holy man" or something like that it is "saint."
     
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