The Assumption of St. Joseph?

Today I discovered that there are apparently Catholics who believe that St. Joseph was assumed into Heaven body and soul. Now, before we go further, let me make clear that:

  1. I know this is NOT an official Church teaching, and I have already reminded other people of this fact.

  2. With respect to believing it myself, I’m somewhere between “no” and “at best, we have no idea, so due to lack of evidence I’m leaning towards no”. The only people I believe were assumed body and soul were Mary definitely, and Elijah and Enoch possibly, based on OT Scripture. I always figured Joseph’s body is either in his yet-to-be-discovered tomb somewhere near Nazareth, or else perhaps his human remains have returned to the earth, or even been removed from his original tomb and moved somewhere else by early Christians and then misplaced, perhaps to be discovered again at the proper time. I have not even read or heard about St. Joseph being assumed in any kind of private revelation so far.

After hearing this theory about the Assumption of St. Joseph expressed, which was a new one on me, I googled and found apparently some Catholics do believe in the Assumption of St. Joseph. The arguments they give for it are generally along the lines of:

  • Mary and Joseph “became as one” when they were married, so if Mary was assumed into Heaven, it would be natural for Joseph to get the same treatment. This to me completely ignores the fact that Joseph, unlike Mary, was not lacking original sin and was not sinless in his life on earth either, and that Joseph did not carry the Messiah within his body, and Joseph’s body is not akin to the Ark of the Covenant, etc.

  • Mary loved Joseph so much that she would certainly ask Jesus to please assume St. Joseph body and soul into Heaven as well. My response to that is, Mary would only ask for such a thing if she knew it was God’s will, as Mary always does God’s will, so if she knew it was not going to be God’s will, she wouldn’t ask. Furthermore, Joseph being a very humble and pious man, certainly wouldn’t ask himself.

  • Joseph’s tomb has been found somewhere and it’s empty, so that proves his body was assumed into Heaven. However, I thought we still hadn’t found Joseph’s tomb, and even if we did find it and it was empty, there are many other more prosaic reasons for that which I listed above.

  • I am also skeptical because if Joseph was actually assumed into Heaven, it wouldn’t still be a newfangled idea after 2000 years. It would have likely been part of early Church tradition and I don’t think it is, although maybe I missed some apocrypha or something.

So, having said all that…
I was just wondering whether anyone here has heard these theological arguments for the Assumption of St. Joseph and whether there are groups of people who believe this? Is it a belief in some circles? Are people pushing for the Church to teach this? Because I have literally never heard of the concept before, anywhere.

I found one thread on the forum from 2011-2013 but it did not seem like the posters who responded to the thread believed this, and the person who originally asked about it agreed she had gotten confused.


I have never heard of the idea, and I have no idea.

Poor old St. Joseph is one of my favorites; I simply cannot wrap my mind around what it would be like to wake up in the morning and realize I was married to the perfect woman. Talk about having a mirror in which to look at oneself…


I’ve heard this expressed as a pious belief that some Catholics hold. The Church herself is silent on the issue and we may either believe it, not believe it, or suspend judgment (as I do). I haven’t heard any of the reasons why or why not. AFAIK there are no corporeal relics of St Joseph, so that might mean something, or it might not.

I am just going to throw this out there — and this would prove absolutely nothing — but does anyone know if the issue is addressed in Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God? I am fully aware that TPOTMG has no official status within the Church, but neither is it specifically condemned at this time. I will welcome any correction on this issue.

I have no opinion whatsoever on TPOTMG — I have one volume boxed up here with my massive Catholic library, got it at, of all places, the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama (someplace that you really must visit one day, if you haven’t already, it’s sui generis), but I’ve never read more than just fragments of it. I may get around to it sometime.

Why not… didnt her Son say, ask and you shall receive?

I think it would be awesome if it was discovered that St Joseph was also assumed to heaven body and soul. He did protect Mary… lived by God’s will… was an honest, righteous man… he deserved to be assumed into heaven.

Never heard of it happening, but it would be awesome.

God Bless St Joseph.

I’ve heard this a few times. I saw a video on youtube from a priest talking about several saints that made the case for the assumption of St. Joseph. Unfortunately I can’t find the video now. The Remnant did an article on it a while back and I think Taylor Marshall did too.

I have no issue with anyone believing it. A few of the reasons given make sense to me but I personally don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other.

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I discovered this soon after my conversion when I spent some time going to Opus Dei reflections (highly recommended, by the way). It was taught as a pious belief that some may have as part of a private devotion to St. Joseph. Personally it makes sense to me that the Holy Family is together in body and soul, the foremost example of the communion of saints that will be fully revealed in the end.

Even if we set aside Ratzinger’s comments about the Index of Forbidden Books still continuing in moral force after its abolishment (TPOTMG was on the Index when it was abolished), the Church has required that editions of this book be published with a note at the beginning basically stating that it’s fiction. Also, even if it somehow wasn’t either condemned or fiction, at best it would be an unapproved private revelation, so we can’t discuss its contents here as that would violate the TOS which forbids posting material from unapproved private revelations.

That’s an interesting point, given that (as we discussed on a thread a few months back) there are several churches in Europe purporting to have relics of Mary in the form of locks of her hair.
If there’s alleged Mary hair floating around, one would expect to find some first-class relics of Joseph hair or beard or whatever, at the very least.

Of course, he may have been bald, or people’s minds might not have been on saving his hair or other relics given that he died prior to his son’s public life, or the Mary relics might be fakes…or he might have had his body assumed into Heaven from its unopened tomb.

Yeah, I don’t really have a problem with others believing it as a pious tradition, although I am skeptical of it myself and don’t feel it’s necessary to believe it in order to have a strong devotion to St. Joseph.
I just found it odd I’d never heard of it anywhere before. I did see that Remnant article and wondered if this was a popular concept among traditionalists.

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Everyone I’ve heard mention it leaned to the traditionalist side.

Yes, married to the perfect woman AND your adopted Son is God… Yikes!


Imagine having the Immaculate Conception and God Incarnate at the breakfast table and being responsible for both.

I’m sure he got graces to fulfill his responsibility.


I’ve never heard it but he died before Jesus so if he was assumed he wouldn’t have gone straight to Heaven because it wasn’t open.

Agreed, it seems likely Joseph’s body would have remained in the grave at first and his soul gone to the Limbo of the Fathers until Jesus died and descended into Hell in order to let all the righteous souls into Heaven.
Any Assumption of Joseph’s body would have taken place after Jesus’ resurrection. And I am guessing that it would not have happened until after Mary’s Assumption. Joseph would not have received this favor before Mary did.

Plus the fact that he must’ve felt sort of unnecessary. One day you’re changing his diapers and before you know it the boy is talking to his “real” dad and curing blindness.

Apparently it’s a hot button issue with some people, because several of us who were respectfully discussing its not being an official teaching of the Church got our posts deleted on the other website (not CAF, not affiliated with CAF). :roll_eyes:

I think the Bible implies that St Joseph died before the wedding of Cana, the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. And it had to be so, for he had to disappear so there would be no earthly father to be confused when Jesus preached about his heavenly father.

On May 26, 1960 Pope John XXIII in his homily for the feast of the Ascension of Our Lord made a statement that the Assumption to Saint Joseph is worthy of pious belief. Having said that, I agree with you and lean toward ‘no’, also because the same case could be made for St John the Baptist to be assumed body and soul and yet we have his skull at the Church of San Silvestro in Capite in Rome.

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There are those who insist Our Lady was assumed directly into heaven without first undergoing her Dormition. Is that what is meant here with St Joseph? If so, I have a major problem as I am very attached to the popular image of St Joseph on his deathbed surrounded by Jesus and Mary… THAT’s why he is the patron of happy deaths!

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That’s fascinating. I wonder why I have not heard of this until right this minute, then? It doesn’t even seem to have come up much on CAF.
I will go look that up.

I’ve heard people say Mary didn’t die and other people say Mary died and then was assumed. I think we’re allowed to believe either way as long as we believe she was assumed body and soul, and to be very honest, I don’t think it matters either way whether she died first or not.

Like I said above, I would think St. Joseph would definitely have to die first, because he would not have been assumed into Heaven before Jesus opened Heaven, and Joseph had apparently been deceased quite a while before Jesus did that.

Now I realize that may be seen as at odds with the OT seeming to say that Elijah and Enoch were assumed into Heaven, but I’m guessing they actually went to the Limbo of the Fathers or the Bosom of Abraham or whatever you want to call it, and only went to actual Beatific-vision Heaven after Jesus opened the gates. I know some people say that Elijah must have gone to Heaven as he appeared transfigured with Jesus at the Transfiguration, however Moses was also present at that occasion, and Scripture definitely doesn’t say Moses was assumed and in fact God didn’t even let Moses enter the Promised Land before he died - I can’t imagine God saying Moses got an advance pass to Heaven - so I can’t see Elijah getting one either.

I approach TPOTMG as nothing other than fiction. Personally, I am skeptical of it, because Jesus and Mary are portrayed as being HUGE talkers, and that doesn’t fit with any traditional Catholic concept of what they were like in real life (especially not Our Lady). I totally defer to the judgment of the Church on whether it could, in part or in whole, be anything other than pure fiction. I merely wondered if the fate of the body of St Joseph might have been addressed somewhere in the narratives. That’s all.

As far as the Index of Forbidden Books (Index Librorum Prohibitorum or ILP hereafter), I am aware that it retains its moral force, if not its legal force. It would be utterly impossible for the Church to parse every book in the modern world, to determine whether it belongs on the ILP. To my mind, that would include websites, and that is even more unfeasible. To say that the ILP retains its “moral force” seems to be tantamount to saying:

“These are not the best books for a Catholic to be reading. At one time they were forbidden by the Church for a reason. Not all people should read all books. Some books should not be read by anybody. Nevertheless, the Church recognizes that her children are from all walks of life, and nobody should be hindered from pursuing legitimate study for good reasons. Just be aware that, at one time, there was thought to be an issue with the books on this Index, and proceed accordingly.”

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