St. Joseph the Betrothed icon (3)

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Orthodox icon of Holy Righteous Joseph the Betrothed (3).

Commemorated December 29.

Protector Saint of : Adopted Boys, Carpenters and Woodworkers

Orthodox icon of Saint Joseph the Betrothed of the royal lineage of King David, who was a simple carpenter from Nazareth. In his first marriage to Salome, he had four sons, James, Justus, Jude, and Simon, and two daughters. After he became a widower, St Joseph led a life of strict temperance and was chosen by divine providence to be the protector of the Most Holy Theotokos, who had taken a vow of virginity.

An angel told him of the Incarnation of the Son of God through her. St Joseph was present when the shepherds and the Magi worshiped the new-born divine Infant. On the orders of the angel, he fled into Egypt with the Mother of God and the Infant Jesus, saving them from the wrath of King Herod. He lived in Egypt with the Virgin Mary and the divine Child, working as a carpenter. St Joseph reputedly died at the age of one hundred.

St. Joseph is called the Betrothed because although he was betrothed to the Virgin, which is the first part of the marriage contract in Israel, he never married her as a witness that Jesus was not his child. He was 80 years old when he began to protect the Virgin. His date of death is unknown, though he was still living when Jesus was 12 years old. St Joseph is commemorated on the Sunday after the Nativity. If there is no Sunday between December 25 and January 1, his Feast is moved to December 26. The Righteous Joseph is also commemorated on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers.