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Saint of the Day for 23 January: Marriage of Mary and Joseph

Marriage of Mary and Joseph: Analysis and Meaning of a Fundamental Biblical Event


Marriage of Mary and Joseph


Joseph takes Mary as his wife


23 January



O most loving Spouses Mary and Joseph, who, enlightened by God, lived together in the little house of Nazareth a most holy life of faith and love, turn your loving gaze favorably upon us, your humble devotees, who prostrate ourselves at the feet of that throne of glory which you deserved in Paradise, we beseech you to receive us under your most valid protection. Infuse in our hearts an ardent desire for the virtues which you exercised together with such perfection: make us love the sublime purity of ‘your angelic life by which you became the wonder of heaven and earth; impart to us that spirit of prayer which was always the soul of your life; obtain for us Christian patience, that we may profit by the trials in which the Lord puts us. Protect, we beseech you, Christian spouses who will contract or who have contracted the ‘indissoluble bond of marriage, guard them from the dangers that threaten the sanctity of life and conjugal fidelity, that by imitating on earth the domestic virtues of which you were the preeminent example, they may make themselves like You on earth, and participate one day with You in the eternal glory of heaven. Amen.




The Saint and Mission

The Marriage of Mary and Joseph represents a moment of great significance in Christian history, symbolizing not only a marriage union but also the beginning of a divine mission. This simple but profoundly symbolic event highlights the faith and obedience of two central figures in the Christian tradition, engaged in a journey that would change the course of human history. The mission undertaken by Mary and Joseph through their marriage goes far beyond their personal lives. They become active participants in the divine plan, with Mary agreeing to be the mother of Jesus and Joseph assuming the role of his earthly father. Their acceptance of these roles, with humility and trust, reflects a deep dedication and commitment to serve a purpose greater than themselves. The Marriage of Mary and Joseph also symbolizes the beginning of a family that would become a model of faith, love and spiritual dedication. Their example of cooperation, mutual respect and reliance on divine will provides a model of how human relationships can be lived in harmony with higher purposes. In this context, the Marriage is not only a historical event, but a moment that highlights the power and beauty of a shared mission in the context of faith. Their story teaches us that, even in the most humble and ordinary circumstances, it is possible to live a life of deep meaning, responding with courage and love to the call of a greater destiny.

The Saint and Mercy

The Marriage of Mary and Joseph is an event that touches the chords of mercy in a deeply meaningful way. In their union, Mary and Joseph embody a form of mercy that transcends the normal context of human relationships, entering a dimension of acceptance, trust and unconditional love. Mercy is most clearly manifested in Joseph’s decision to marry Mary despite the unusual and potentially scandalous circumstances of her pregnancy. This act of acceptance and love represents a deep mercy based on trust in the divine will and compassion for his betrothed. Joseph, in this context, emerges as a figure of quiet strength and understanding, a model of human mercy that is based on faithfulness and trust. Similarly, Mary demonstrates extraordinary mercy in her openness and willingness to accept the divine plan for her life, which included marriage to Joseph. Her acceptance of her role as the mother of Jesus is an act of mercy toward humanity, bringing into the world the one who would become the very symbol of divine mercy. Together, Mary and Joseph represent a union that is rooted not only in mutual love, but also in a deep mercy that extends beyond their family, touching all of humanity. The Marriage of Mary and Joseph reminds us that mercy can be found in everyday actions of trust, acceptance and unconditional love, emphasizing the power of mercy in transforming not only individual relationships but also the whole world.


January 23 marks the liturgical celebration of the marriage between Mary and Joseph, those who welcomed and raised God’s son on Earth, according to Scripture. Speaking most about the figure of Joseph, otherwise somewhat marginal in the Gospels, though important, is the evangelist Matthew. He writes, “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: his mother Mary, being betrothed to Joseph, before they went to live together, found herself with child by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, who was just and did not want to disown her, decided to dismiss her in secret.” The two according to the custom of those times are engaged yes, but it is as if they were already married. Mary, just 15 years old, has been chosen by God himself to give birth to his incarnate son Jesus. And she must receive him as a virgin together with the virgin bridegroom Joseph. As mentioned in those days, betrothal already counted as marriage, with the same rights and duties but not cohabitation. A year later, just as happened to Mary and Joseph, the bride could be introduced into her husband’s house to start a new family. During the betrothal feast, the betrothed placed a ring on the finger of his beloved, and…


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