Joseph is a saint. By any definition.
Although I am not Catholic, or Christian of any denomination, I spent the first few years of my primary education at a Marianist school named after the chap, giving me the privilege of counting Isamu Noguchi as a fellow alumnus. (So, where’s the halo effect?!) I then switched to a de la Mennais Brothers school named after his wife. (No, I did not switch to a girls’ school; in fact, it is a boys’ school despite its name.) Therefore, one could say that the story of Joseph and his domestic situation was very much a part of my formative years.
It has been a little while since I last read the Bible. I actually bought an old copy a couple of years ago so that I can get reacquainted with it, but the little King James Bible has tiny print with uninviting layout so I have not actually read any of it yet. What I cannot remember is what Joseph actually contributed to the story.
However, I am convinced beyond doubt that he fully deserved a sainthood; I have no idea about attainment of sainthood, but my conviction is unshakable.
The chap took a wife but never consummated the marital union. Then, the wife bore someone else’s son albeit through Immaculate Conception. Despite being a father to that child in a mundane way, the child kept referring primarily to the other guy as papa. He did not have a say in anything (I do not recall him saying anything in the New Testament, do you?). And, nobody seems to have taken note of the circumstances surrounding his death because we find out about his death only indirectly by being informed, rather out of the blue, that the Virgin Mary is a widow.
He’s a saint, no matter how you look at him.
I learned recently that the beautifully situated St Joseph College shuttered in 2000, just one year shy of its centenary. St Mary’s International School, happily, is still thriving.