One of Israel’s twelve sons was Joseph, the dreamer. From these twelve sons comes the twelve tribes of Israel. Many of you have heard the Latin saying; ‘Ite ad Joseph’. In English this means; ‘Go to Joseph’. This comes from his own name sake, Joseph, who was sold by his brothers as a slave and was purchased in Egypt.
1 And Joseph was brought into Egypt, and Putiphar an eunuch of Pharao, chief captain of the army, an Egyptian, bought him of the Ismaelites, by whom he was brought.
2 And the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man in all things: and he dwelt in his master’s house,
3Who knew very well that the Lord was with him, and made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4 And Joseph found favour in the sight of his master, and ministered to him: and being set over all by him, he governed the house committed to him, and all things that were delivered to him:
5 And the Lord blessed the house of the Egyptian for Joseph’s sake.
His master’s wife tried to sexually seduce Joseph. Since he was chaste, he repulsed her advances. She became angry and accused him to her husband, Joseph’s master, that he had tried to seduce her. He was then put in prison.
While in prison, the Pharaoh’s chief butler and baker were put in with him. They both dreamed and Joseph interpreted their dreams for them. But before he did, he said; ‘Doth not interpretations belong to God?’ Gen. 40:8. He then told the chief butler that in three days he would be back in the graces of the Pharaoh. He told the baker that he would die in three days. He also told the butler to tell the Pharaoh that he was unfairly in prison.
The chief butler forgot about Joseph and left him languishing in prison for another two years. When Pharaoh had the dream about the seven years of bountiful harvest and seven years of drought, the chief butter again remember Joseph. When Joseph correctly interpreted the dream for Pharaoh, he became the head prince in the Pharaoh’s service.
41 And again Pharao said to Joseph: Behold, I have appointed thee over the whole land of Egypt.
42 And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck.
43 And he made him go up into his second chariot, the crier proclaiming that all should bow their knee before him, and that they should know he was made govenor over the whole land of Egypt.
44 And the king said to Joseph: I am Pharao; without thy commandment no man shall move hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
So when ever anyone wanted to purchase food, the pharaoh would say: ‘Ite ad Joseph, et quid quid obis dixerit, facite’. ‘Go to Joseph, and do what he tells you.’
In St. Joseph’s name sake, we see his great love for chastity. He suffered imprisonment for over two years rather than sin sexually. St. Joseph was also perfectly chaste. We also see the similarity in that God gave St. Joseph dreamed and knew what to do to protect Jesus and Mary by what he understood. St. Joseph was also blessed by God in all he did, so as to be able to take care of them and to feed them.
May we copy these two holy men whom found favor with God and for this reason were blessed by God in all that they did. They were faithful, prayerful, sexually pure and obedient to God’s will. May we imitate these two holy men and therefore have access to their help. Let us never forget St. Joseph’s powerful intercession and go to him in all of our needs.