At first sight there seems to be no material for a meditation on Joseph, for what do we know of him, apart from his name and a few events that occurred in Our Lord’s childhood? The Gospel does not record a single word from him; his language is silence. It was his attention to the angelic voices which spoke in his sleep; it was that prompt and generous obedience which was demanded from him; it was manual labor, in the most modest and fatiguing of forms, which earned Jesus the reputation of being “the son of the carpenter” (Mt. 13:55). There, is nothing else known of him, and it might well be said that he lived an unknown life, the life of a simple artisan, with no sign of personal greatness.
Excerpted from a Homily of Pope Paul VI on St. Joseph March 27, 1969