Tuesday, May 01, 2012

St. Joseph the Worker

Pietro Annigoni

John Collier

Two of my favorite paintings of St. Joseph the Worker.

The first, by Pietro Annigoni is masterful - I love everything about it.  "Annigoni was not only the greatest painter of the twentieth century but his works rank with the most celebrated paintings of all time" ~ Bernard Berenson.

The second, by John Collier is wonderful for its realism.  I would like to see a St. Joseph painted in a sort of Soviet Realist, propaganda-poster style, since his feast day falls on May Day, or International Workers' Day.  Pius XII established the feast of St. Joseph the Worker as a remedy for the Socialist Worker's celebration.
In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Joseph patron of the universal Church and instituted another feast, with an octave, to be held in his honour on Wednesday in the second week after Easter. This was abolished by Pope Pius XII, when in 1955 he established the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker", to be celebrated on 1 May. This date counteracts May Day, a union, workers and socialists holiday and reflects Joseph's status as what many Catholics and other Christians consider the "patron of workers" and "model of workers." Catholic and other Christian teachings and stories about or relating to Joseph and the Holy Family frequently stress his patience, persistence, and hard work as admirable qualities which believers should adopt. - Source
Perhaps in our day the emphasis ought to be placed upon St. Joseph's role as father and husband. 


  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    "Perhaps in our day the emphasis ought to be placed upon St. Joseph's role as father and husband."

    I agree. In the past year, St. Joseph has come to mean more to me than he ever had. I am continually drawn to him and am grateful that his particular way of sanctity is available for us to consider.

  2. Terry I like the idea of a painting of St Joseph i a Soviet era poster style.

  3. That Collier painting is fantastic. I always say that if Medieval artists painted saints in contemporary dress, why shouldn't we? I love the idea of a Soviet Realist St. Joseph poster too.


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