St Joseph the Betrothed Icon
Although little is known about the life and deeds of St Joseph the Betrothed, his icon is highly revered by Orthodox believers. St Joseph is called the Betrothed because he was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, yet technically. He made a vow before God to preserve her chastity and become the earthly father for Jesus Christ. St Joseph the Betrothed icon is often used for prayer purposes, so below we will discuss its meaning.
St Joseph the Betrothed: short biography
St Joseph the Betrothed and the Virgin Mary got married when she was in her teens and him in his old age. Although the saint is pointed to as a descendant of King David, he had to work as a carpenter in Nazareth. He had two daughters and four sons from his first marriage.
According to the Christian tradition, he was present at the birth of Jesus Christ and witnessed the shepherds and wise men worshipping Him. When King Herod ordered to kill all the infants in Jerusalem, Joseph the Betrothed, along with the Virgin Mary and the Child, went to Egypt. St Joseph was last remembered in the Bible when he accompanied Jesus to Jerusalem when Christ was 12 years old. It is believed that the saint died at about 100 years old.
St Joseph the Betrothed icon
Until the 17th century, St Joseph the Betrothed was a secondary figure found in religious icons. He was portrayed alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. However, the saint soon became one of the central characters in Orthodox iconography.
St Joseph the Betrothed icon depicts him as an old man. Some images depict him alone or with Christ. A distinctive icon feature is the small figure of an elder, shown nearby the saint. It symbolizes the devil who wants to tempt St Joseph and raise doubts about the Virgin’s Immaculate Conception.
St Joseph the Betrothed icon is a great gift for those involved in carpentry and woodworking. Besides, St Joseph the Betrothed is the patron saint of orphans, pregnant women, travelers, craftsmen, prisoners, and engineers. The prayer with the icon of the saint can give support, love, and the strengthening of faith.
St Joseph the Betrothed is also considered the patron saint of many cities and countries, including the United States, Korea, Belgium, China, Mexico, and Vietnam.