He was Bishop of Geneva and a Doctor of the Universal Church. He was only fifty-five years old when he died. He was cofounder, with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, in 1610, of the Order of Visitation nuns, the Order to which Saint Margaret Mary, the great apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, would one day belong. He converted 72,000 Calvinists to the Catholic Faith.
Saint Francis de Sales tells us concerning Saint Joseph: “His humility, as Saint Bernard explains, was the cause of his wishing to quit Our Lady when he saw that she was with child; for Saint Bernard says that he spoke thus to himself: ‘Ah! what is this? I know that she is a virgin, for we have together made a vow to keep our virginity and purity intact — a vow which nothing would induce her to break; yet I see that she is with child. How can it be that maternity is found in virginity, and that virginity does not hinder maternity? O my God! must not this be that glorious Virgin of whom the Prophets declare that she shall conceive and be the Mother of the Messiah? Oh, if this is so, God forbid that I should remain with her — I, who am so unworthy of such an honor! Better far that I should quit her secretly on account of my unworthiness, and that I should dwell no longer in her company.'”