Year of St. Joseph: the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Friday 19th March 2021

Each of us can discover in Saint Joseph, the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence, an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. He reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation.

Year of St. Joseph:

Prayer to St Joseph by Pope Francis in this special year of St Joseph

Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988), Saint Joseph the Worker (1963) basilica of San Lorenzo Florence

In this space bathed in a velvety, supernatural light, the young Jesus, with his very Westernised crop of golden hair, has joined his father in his carpentry shop.  Bent over the workbench, his right hand rests on two planks of wood while he carefully examines, as though fascinated, the nails held in his left hand.  With similar concentration, Joseph’s chiselled face expresses both deep tenderness and profound melancholy.  He is about to place his hand on the Child’s head in a gesture of blessing, but also of love and comfort.  He has a presentiment of the far more abominable use to be made of this wood that will form the cross and these nails that will pierce the body of his Child, the Christ, true God and true man.  The rendering of the objects and tools; the depth suggested by the wooden awning; the treatment of the landscape, oscillating between the abstract gold background and figurative elements of vivid or soft colours: all enhance these two figures, lending them a noble relief and a magisterial presence.  This Italian artist enables us to experience a real relationship: it is our gaze that joins with the carpenter’s hand in a caress that unreservedly enters us into this poignant moment of intimacy. Saint Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, watch over and protect all our families, and especially at this time our children and young people on their return to school.

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