Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father


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Saint Joseph: a Brush with the Real Man

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By Marc Massery

More than 100,000 copies of Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, have been sold since its publication in January. After some time, Fr. Calloway commissioned several works of art by various artists featuring St. Joseph. Many of these works are available for purchase from the Marian Fathers.

"Throughout the centuries, St. Joseph has been depicted as this old man," Fr. Donald said. "He's usually this character that's in the background, someone shown as being weak and frail. I figured that I had to do something about that image of him. That's not the real St. Joseph."

So, Fr. Calloway turned to classically inspired artists around the world to have some new images of St. Joseph created, images that depict him as Fr. Calloway's book describes. "Saint Joseph could not have been an old man when he espoused Mary. Old men don't walk to Egypt. They don't walk three times a year from Nazareth to Jerusalem, either," he says.

Father Calloway described to the artists he hired the image he had in mind. "I instructed them about each detail, down to the color," Fr. Calloway said. The images highlight aspects of St. Joseph that often go overlooked. "In some of these images, he's pictured wearing a crown. You don't see that a lot. It's usually Our Lady that you see wearing a crown, but historically in the Church we have had papal crownings of St. Joseph statues. Crowned images of St. Joseph exist, but they're few and far between."

In one of Fr. Calloway's commissioned images, St. Joseph is depicted wearing a crown seated next to Christ in Heaven. "The piece is titled 'Matthew 20:23,'" Fr. Donald said. "In that passage, Jesus makes a reference to St. Joseph in his preaching. The apostles James and John ask Jesus if they can sit on his left and on his right in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus answers them, 'My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.' Without a doubt, we know that Mary is seated at the right side of Jesus because she is the Queen of Heaven. But who is seated on Jesus' left? It's got to be St. Joseph. There is no other person worthy of that seat. So that's what this image depicts."

Another image Fr. Donald had commissioned is called "St. Joseph, Terror of Demons," created by American artist Bernadette Carstensen. "The devil is petrified of St. Joseph," Fr. Donald said. "I had this image commissioned because more people need to invoke St. Joseph by this title." Another image by the same artist depicts St. Joseph surrounded by 26 of his most faithful devotees, including St. John Paul II, St. Andre Besette, Blessed Pope Pius IX, and Venerable Fulton Sheen. "Many of these saints I write about in my book. The truth is, St. Joseph has been an incredibly important saint for the faithful since the founding of the Church," Fr. Donald said.

"Do you have a picture of your earthly father in your home? You probably do," Fr. Donald said. "Do you have a picture of your spiritual father in your home? You should!"

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