Many great saints, doctors, and theologians have taught the sinlessness of Saint Joseph, and also his bodily assumption.
The Sinlessness of Saint Joseph
Francisco Suarez, Jean Gerson, and Saint Alphonsus Ligouri each teach that Saint Joseph was sanctified and regenerated in his mother’s womb prior to birth. As you know, our Blessed Mother was sanctified at the very moment of her conception in the womb of Saint Anne – this is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In the case of Joseph, this sanctification occurred after his conception and before his birth.
Sacred Scripture teaches us that the Prophet Jeremiah and Saint John the Baptist received this honor of sanctification in the womb. The eminent theologians above, notably Saint Alphonsus – a doctor of the Holy Church, extend this privilege to Saint Joseph. They even teach that Saint Joseph was confirmed in the grace, which means that he was so filled with grace that he never committed a mortal sin or a deliberate venial sin.
The great doctor of the Holy Church Saint Bernard taught: “Power is given to some of the saints to help in particular necessities; but to St. Joseph power is given to help in all necessities.”
The Bodily Assumption of Saint Joseph
Francis Suarez maintained St. Joseph was taken up into heaven bodily. St. Bernardino of Siena, Gerson, and St. Vincent Ferrer held the same. St. Francis de Sales points out the fact that nobody claims the tomb of St. Joseph and that there are no relics of this saint. Then he continues in Les Vrais Entretiens Spirituels:
Surely, when Our Lord went down into Limbo, St. Joseph addressed Him in this wise: “Be pleased to remember, Lord, that when you came down from Heaven to earth I received you into my house and family, that I took you into my arms from the moment you were born. Now you are going back to Heaven, take me with you (body and soul). I received you into my family, receive me into yours; I took you in my arms; take me into yours; I looked after you and fed you and guided you during your life on earth; stretch forth your hand and lead me into life everlasting.”
Some have speculated that Saint Joseph was among the “saints” who were resurrected shortly after the death of Christ on Good Friday:
“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and the rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (Mt 27:51-53).
Here’s the Saint Joseph homily again:
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