Not only did St. Joseph have a “happy death,” he also had a joyous life learning from his son.
While St. Joseph is widely known as the patron of a “happy death,” his happiness was not confined to the last hours of his life.
In fact, St. Joseph also led a “happy life,” even though he was the only member of the Holy Family with the stain of sin on his soul.
In the 19th-century book Devotion to Saint Joseph, the author explains why St. Joseph’s life was filled with joy.
Holy Church compares the happiness of St. Joseph in this life to that of the saints in Heaven, because upon earth he was permitted to see Jesus Christ face-to-face during 30 years and the glory of His divinity, which, as we are permitted to believe, was from time-to-time manifested to him.
It would make sense that St. Joseph would experience great happiness during his life on earth, as he would see on a daily basis God himself.
This should encourage us to visit a Catholic Church on a regular basis, as the same Jesus is there, hidden under the appearance of bread.
Also, St. Joseph’s happiness was learned through the example of Jesus and how he lived the beatitudes.
Joseph was blessed because he learned from the example of Jesus Christ the eight beatitudes. He was blessed because he practiced them all in great perfection and to the end under the eyes of Him who was to recompense them.
Jesus taught his disciples the eight beatitudes, but St. Joseph learned them first-hand by seeing Jesus live them out.
This is why it is suggested to, “Choose one of the beatitudes to practice in imitation of St. Joseph.”
If we seek happiness in this life, we should imitate St. Joseph by bathing ourselves in the presence of Jesus and practicing the eight beatitudes as much as we possibly can.