Lesser Feasts and Fasts describes what little we know of Joseph in this way:
In the face of circumstances that distressed even a man of such tenderness and obedience to God as Joseph, he accepted the vocation of protecting Mary and being a father to Jesus. He is honored in Christian tradition for the nurturing care and protection he provided for the infant Jesus and his mother in taking them to Egypt to escape Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and in rearing him as a faithful Jew at Nazareth. The Gospel according to Matthew pictures Joseph as a man of deep devotion, open to mystical experiences, and as a man of compassion, who accepted his God-given responsibility with gentleness and humility.
Joseph was a pious Jew, a descendant of David, and a carpenter by trade. As Joseph the Carpenter, he is considered the patron saint of the working man, one who not only worked with his hands, but taught his trade to Jesus. The little that is told of him is a testimony to the trust in God which values simple everyday duties, and gives an example of a loving husband and father.
O God, who from the family of thy servant David didst raise up Joseph to be the guardian of thy incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to thy commands; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Each day we welcome hundreds of friends, neighbors and visitors, who come to worship, pray and quietly explore. If you find yourself in the middle of Midtown with some time on your hands, please stop by. You won’t regret it.
If you enter the church during a worship service, please join us. Simply have a seat in one of the pews. For services at the High Altar, leaflets are available from an usher. For services in the Chantry Chapel (which is to the left side after you enter the Fifth Avenue doors), service cards are available at the entrance to the aisle approximately 20 minutes before the start of the service. During worship services, please turn off all mobile devices. The use of cameras and recording devices is strictly prohibited. We encourage you to particpate in the worship service, but you are also welcome to sit quiety and observe.
If you visit when no organized event is underway, you are generally free to walk around the nave and Chantry Chapel to explore the wonders of the church. Printed self-guided tour pamphlets are available in the narthex, just inside the Fifth Avenue doors. You might notice others quietly praying or meditating, or someone at the rail in the Chantry Chapel venerating the Blessed Sacrament. Still others might be softly speaking with a priest or staff member. So while you may take photos during these times, and roam freely within the nave (the public area of the church), we ask that you take care not to disturb others. Silencing your electronic devices will help.