Finding St. Joseph in Your Own Fatherhood

Jesus’ earthly father, St. Joseph, demonstrated his love for Jesus through various virtuous interactions. He was Jesus’ adopted father and still today serves as an example for fathers. 

Fathers can lean on St. Joseph as they seek to impart virtues on their children. As examples and family leaders, a father’s example of virtue greatly impacts their children.

Here are five virtues St. Joseph exemplified as Jesus’ adoptive, earthly father that impacted Jesus’ life:


Just days after Jesus’ birth, Joseph swiftly led Jesus and Mary out of Bethlehem to Egypt immediately after learning of King Herod’s intent to kill the baby Jesus. It was strength of mind that allowed Joseph to be decisive and act quickly so as to save his Son from harm.


In the Bible, St. Joseph’s humility is evident in the way that he quietly leads. Despite his silence, St. Joseph displayed strength through his confidence in the Lord.


When Joseph discovered Mary was with child during their engagement, he decided to quietly divorce her so as not to embarrass her. When an angel appeared to him in a dream telling Joseph that Mary’s pregnancy was one of divine nature and that she was carrying the child of the Lord, he placed his trust in God and saw the marriage through. 


Joseph led the pregnant Mary to Bethlehem on a donkey, searching for a room for her to stay. The image of Joseph walking the donkey with pregnant Mary atop it is a classic photo oftentimes seen during the holidays. This image beautifully depicts Joseph’s sense of humility and care for his family.


St. Joseph was a worker. The Bible often illustrates his carpentry skills and dedication to his trade. He not only taught Jesus the practice of carpentry, but also the importance of hard work and a deep portrayal for others through his example.

As fathers, embodying these five virtues lends your children an example of St. Joseph’s way of living. Passing along these virtues to your children through example empowers them to live well. 

Just as we look to a leader on pilgrimage to grow, so too is the case of the father’s role. By imitating the virtues so frequently seen in St. Joseph, fathers can lead their children into a deeper relationship with God.



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