Archbishop Josef has brown hair and is dressed in a white and gold robe that reaches the ground. His robe also has a decoration resembling a door with Aelfric's fire on the other side, possibly symbolic of how believers in the Sacred Flame are always welcome in the Church.
Archbishop Josef is a wise and charitable man, willingly adopting Ophilia as a little girl when her parents died in a war, teaching her and Lianna the ways of the Church, and is a loving father to them both, earning their love in return. Josef is deeply respected in the Order of the Sacred Flame, and he regularly tells visitors how proud he is of both his daughters, something that deeply moves Ophilia when she finds out, as she didn't think herself worthy to be equal to Lianna, as Lianna is Josef's trueborn daughter whereas Ophilia is his foster daughter.
When Ophilia and Lianna were young, they found a dead bird behind Flamesgrace Cathedral and were distressed that they couldn't do anything to help them. Josef taught the two girls of "the joy of life" — namely, that death is permanent and inevitable, but knowing that inspires the living to reach their full potential, and the departed will be remembered by those still alive, creating a connection that continues their legacy even in death. Sure enough, many years later, when Josef falls ill and eventually dies, his lecture on "the joy of life" becomes crucial in defeating Mattias, making his wisdom a self-fulfilling prophecy.
According to Bishop Bartolo, when Josef ignited the Sacred Flame at Saintsbridge on his Kindling pilgrimage 20 years prior to the events of Octopath Traveler, the fire "burned bright and strong, full of vigor and passion". Bartolo tells Ophilia that the flames lit on the pilgrimage "is said to reflect the heart of the Flamebearer who carries it". If Bartolo's words are true, Josef's flame is likely symbolic of his strong belief in the teachings of the Church and in the Sacred Flame.
While Josef is a wise and loving father as well as a great archbishop, according to Lianna he is a poor housekeeper. Lianna even goes so far as to jokingly refer to him as "an old layabout" in regards to his non-existent housekeeping skills.
|(I don't think this is where I should be going at the moment...)|
The following section contains potential story spoilers!
20 years prior to the events of Octopath Traveler, Josef performed the Kindling ceremony, in which a priest of the Sacred Flame takes Aelfric's Lanthorn and lights the Sacred Flame in Saintsbridge, Goldshore, and Flamesgrace.
5 years later, he adopted Ophilia, who had been orphaned as the result of a war, and introduced her to his daughter, Lianna. He taught the girls to treasure the gift of life. During current events, at the onset of Lianna's Kindling ceremony, he falls ill due to being discreetly poisoned by Mattias. He understands and accepts Ophilia's willingness to perform the pilgrimage in her sister's place. He succumbs to the poison around the time Ophilia reaches Goldshore.
Lianna is devastated by Josef's death, which allows Mattias to manipulate her into becoming one of his followers by promising her that he will bring her father back to life if she complies with his orders to steal the ember from Ophilia. Mattias successfully acquires the ember and has Lianna initiate a dark ritual, before cruelly revealing that he was lying about bringing her father back all along and was merely using her grief to obtain more power from Galdera. His gloating is interrupted by Ophilia, who reminds Lianna of a childhood memory when they found a dead bird behind Flamesgrace Cathedral and Josef took this time to teach the girls to treasure life and remember those who have died, which snaps Lianna out of her madness and stops the ritual, foiling Mattias' plan.
- Archbishop Josef carried out the Kindling pilgrimage the same year that Ophilia was born, as the pilgrimage is performed once every 20 years and Ophilia is 20 years old during the events of Octopath Traveler.