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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 22, Saint Joseph of Arimathea, Confessor

February 22, Saint Joseph of Arimathea, Confessor
According to the holy Evangelist St. Mark, this Joseph was an honorable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God. Saint Matthew telleth us that he was a rich man of Arimathea. Saint Luke saith of him that he was a good man, and a just, and consented not to the counsel and deed of the other elders of the Sanhedrin in condemning the Lord to death. Saint John saith that he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews. This last Evangelist addeth further that he was possessed of a garden nigh at hand, outside the walls of Jerusalem, and in which was a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. * When even was come on the Day of the Crucifixion of the Lord, this same Joseph cast aside his unworthy fears, and professed Jesus openly, in that he went6 boldly to Pilate and craved the body of Jesus. He also it was that brought the winding sheet, and with the help of the same Beloved Disciple John, and the Saints Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Nicodemus, did anoint the most holy Body unto burial, and lay the Same in the sepulchre in the garden. Whereby was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning Messias ; He made his grave with the rich man. * Some would have it that Joseph of Arimathea came afterward to Britain, and planted his staff there, which same grew and bloomed, and became the sacred thorn of Glastonbury ; and it is known to be a fact that in this place there was in very early days a church dedicated to god under his name. In the Eastern Church his feast is kept on July 31st, but in the Western Church on March 17th or February 22nd, both of these dates being in honour of the enshrinement of his relicks in different places.
O God, who for giving sepulture to the Body of Jesus, didst reward blessed Joseph with courage to be a stalwart Confessor of the Faith : deliver us from that respect of persons whereby this thy servant, for fear of the Jews, was at first hindered from serving his Master except in secret ; and make us brave by filling us with holy fear, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, very informative page.
    Could you tell where this St Joseph icon can be found and its date of creation?.
    Our faith is being tested in the east.
    All the best.
    A fellow orthodox Christian.