Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

March 19, 2024

“The coronavirus pandemic was terrible. Death was everywhere, and so many brothers and sisters lost loved ones without being able to be near them, and this made death even harder to accept and process.”
— Pope Francis

Feast of St. JosephThroughout history, many titles have been given to St. Joseph. He is the foster father of Jesus and the husband of the Mother of God. He is the terror of demons, the lover of poverty, the mainstay of families. He is the patron of carpenters, fathers, craftsmen, the poor and the Universal Church. He is also known as the patron of a happy death. What a curious title. Most of us look at death with terror. What could possibly be “happy” about it?

We know little about St. Joseph, and we know even less about his death. Every time he is mentioned in the Gospels, he is confronting a crisis. He learns that the woman he is engaged to is pregnant, so he plans to quietly divorce her, until an angel appears to him in a dream. Then, after the Christ Child is born, the angel appears again and tells him to take the holy family into Egypt because King Herod plans to kill the baby. Finally, he and Mary desperately search for 12-year-old Jesus and after three days, they find him in the Temple, talking with the elders.

From the fifth century, Joseph has often been depicted in art as dying in the presence of Jesus and Mary, peacefully. A happy death. Over the next centuries, many have turned to Joseph, also desiring a happy death … in the presence of the Son of God and the Blessed Mother.

“O, Blessed Joseph, you gave your last breath in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When the seal of death shall close my life, come with Jesus and Mary to aid me. Obtain for me this solace for that hour — to die with their holy arms around me. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul, living and dying, into your sacred arms. Amen.”

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St. Joseph, patron of the dying and of sinners, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

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