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Retablo de San Jose’ Obrero : Retablo of St Joseph the Worker : May 1
“Ite ad Joseph!” (Genesis 41:55 “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do...”
According to an ancient tradition, this utterly tender prayer was found in the 50th year of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and passed down to generations of loving people and saints in the church...
“O St Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers.
O St Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St Joseph, patron of departing souls; pray for me .
In the above prayer, it says “I never weary of contemplating you...” During my years as an illustrator and in the past 30 years as an iconographer, I never weary of drawing and painting St Joseph. And it seems that he gives me new ideas continually. On my website there is a section just for St Joseph and so far, there are 7 images and icons of him. I plan to do another one hopefully during the summer.
When I moved down from Taos, nine years ago, I was assigned by Archbishop John Wester to St Joseph on the Rio Grande Church. It’s a large and beautiful beautiful Church and our pastor, Msgr. Luna’s middle name is Joseph. There is a lot of wood inside so even if you didn’t know the name of the church, it feels like Joseph.
One of the many many great things about Pope Francis is his authentic love for Joseph; he gave us the year of Joseph, 2020-2021. We all have different spiritual lives, so I always try to respect people’s way of praying. If you are open to a devotional mystical life, Mother Maria Cecilia Baij, OSB “Life of St Joseph” was very helpful for me, as well as the incomparable “St Joseph Shadow of the Father” by Fr Andre’ Doze. I don’t know if Fr Doze is still alive, but it’s a wonderful history of devotion to Joseph, and his love for Joseph really comes through every beautiful chapter.
A blessed feast of St Joseph the Worker may he continue to intercede for all who pray to him, and St Joseph, please intercede for Ukraine !
Fr William Hart McNichols 💮 1 May