Jewish layman who was attached to the biblical school of Tiberius, and served as assistant to the famous Rabbi Hillel. Secretly a Christian believer, Hillel was baptized on his death bed, and entrusted his holy books to Joseph. As head of the synagogue in Tarsus, his congregation caught Joseph reading the gospels; they beat him and threw him in the Cydnus River. He then publicly converted.
Friend and counselor to emperor Constantine the Great, who appointed him to the high position of comes. Built churches in Galilee, Tiberias, Nazareth, Capernaum, Bethsan, and Diocaesarea, and evangelized throughout the Holy Land. Fought Arianism, and moved to Scytholopolis where he hid priests from their persecution. Financial patron of Saint Eusebius of Vercielli and Saint Epiphanius; Epiphanius wrote Joseph’s biography.
- Book of Saints, by the Monks of Ramsgate
- Lives of the Saints, by Father Alban Butler
- Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints
- “Saint Joseph of Palestine“. Saints.SQPN.com. 5 November 2013. Web. 17 April 2014. <>