If God honored Joseph with these three treasures (the virginity of Mary, the Person of His only-begotten Son, and the secret of the Incarnation), he, for his part, offered God the sacrifice of three virtues.
The first was his purity, that can be seen from his continency in marriage; the second, his fidelity; the third, his humility and love for the hidden life.
In order to guard Mary’s virginity under the veil of marriage, what virtue did St. Joseph need? An angelic purity, that could respond in a way to the purity of his chaste spouse.
To guard the Savior Jesus amidst so many persecutions that attacked Him from His earliest childhood, what virtue was required? An inviolable fidelity, that could be shaken by no risk or danger. And lastly, in order to guard the secret confided to him, what virtue would he use, if not that admirable humility that fears the eyes of men and does not wish to be seen by the world, but loves to hide with Jesus Christ?
- Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, First Panegyric of St. Joseph.