It was not enough for the Eternal Father to have entrusted Joseph with Mary’s virginity; after having committed to his care this holy virginity that was to give Jesus Christ to the world, He placed Jesus Christ Himself in his hands.
He placed Him under the care of a mortal man who was to direct His painful childhood, and Joseph was chosen for this ministry. Who could say with what joy he offered himself to be this father? From that moment on, he lived only for Jesus Christ; he took on for this God the heart and tenderness of a father; and that which he was not by nature, he became it by affection.
St. Chrysostom remarks that everywhere in the Gospel, Joseph appears as a father. He gave Jesus His name; he was the only one the angel warned of all the Child’s dangers, and he alone received the announcement that it was time to return. Jesus revered him and obeyed him; he directed all His conduct as his principal care, and he is presented as a father everywhere. Whence does this come? It was the decision of God to give the great St. Joseph everything that can belong to a father without harming virginity.
- Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph