ON THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH
Today we Feast, we remember and celebrate Joseph, the spouse of Mary. We don’t know much about him but here’s a short poem by Madeleine L’Engle imagining Mary speaking about Joseph, her spouse. It might help you enter the mystery and linger there for a while.
It was from Joseph first I learned
of love. Like me he was dismayed.
How easily he could have turned
me from his house; but, unafraid,
he put me not away from him
(O God-sent angel, pray for him).
Thus through his love was Love obeyed.
The Child’s first cry came like a bell:
God’s Word aloud, God’s Word in deed.
The angel spoke: so it befell,
and Joseph with me in my need.
O Child whose father came from heaven,
to you another gift was given,
your earthly father chosen well.
With Joseph I was always warmed
and cherished. Even in the stable
I knew that I would not be harmed.
And, though above the angels swarmed,
man’s love it was that made me able
to bear God’s love, wild, formidable,
to bear God’s will, through me performed.
As catholics we talk a lot about Mary. But today, the focus is on Joseph, spouse of Mary. Who is Joseph for you? Even though there’s not much said about Joseph in the Gospels, what are some of the traits and characteristics you see in Joseph that inspire you the most?
Poem: O Sapientia by Madeleine L’Engle in A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation edited by Luci Shaw (Regent College Publishing, 1997) page 21
Art: Pietro Annigoni, St. Joseph and the Christ Child in the Carpentry Workshop, 1963. Fresco, San Lorenzo, Florence.