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Everyday Josephs: Fathers and unsung heroes

It is the day after Christmas, and all you have to do is clean up, keep the kids from fighting over their new toys, and maybe go back to work. For Joseph and Mary, it was only the beginning of a trying time.

When you hear the Christmas story, which character is seldom mentioned? It is always Joseph. The Rev. Marjorie Gerbracht-Stagnaro of Grace Episcopal Church in Manchester makes the observation that Joseph is unjustly overlooked. Without his strength of character, faith and love, what might have become of Mary and her baby.

The Bible notes that Joseph considered quietly leaving Mary when he learned that she was pregnant. But an angel came to him in a dream and told him that the baby was the Son of God. A man of faith, character and strength, he stayed with the wife who was destined to make him a social outcast, and he determined to raise the baby that was not his.

Think of the men in your life. How many of them make big personal sacrifices to provide and care for their families? Most, if not all, probably do. There are so many fathers who, like Joseph, quietly keep their families together and, like Joseph, do not get the credit they deserve. At Christmastime, think of how many charities would not be needed if more fathers followed Joseph's example.

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