Wednesday, January 25, 2017

St. Joseph the Burly

The following photo (not for the faint of heart) appeared recently on Christopher West's Facebook page, with the author's usual semi-disturbing commentary. Mr. Grump thinks that Joseph looks more like a blacksmith than a Roman occupation-era carpenter, or like I imagine Beorn from The Hobbit, but that's what happens when I am not consulted on these matters. I suppose we can thank our lucky stars that the art student did not also see fit to make the Virgin look like an American pop star.


25 comments:

  1. Yeah. Definitely too jacked and too young. Looks like a man in his prime. I mean look at that chest. He was a carpenter, not a lumberjack.

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    1. ' too jacked and too young- How young was he? the great ST. Joseph was in all likelihood a mason as well as a carpenter - too buff for that job you think?why not prime? what was prime then? certainl not 40-50; maybe 25-35? ever done framing and concrete work for longer than a day? did Mary, the most beautiful woman on earth or heaven , not deserve a manly man? or did she require a girly man- a grandfather type as HUSBAND??? i understand historic depictions wanting to show a man fully in control of concupiscence with help from the male climacteric,reinforcing Mary EVER Virgin, but Mr. Wests' sculpture encourages an image of a more heroic saint, as i think he deserves; to be portrayed as the man in control of himself who did walk from Jerusalem to Egypt.... both ways, guiding a beast while caring for an infant and His mother on a road full of vagabonds and brigands.and above all, he was of Royal blood - i think the imagery serves him well. pls consider and expand the discussion i am in loyal opposition on this one and love your recently found blog, truly, paul

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    2. All of which is to say you're just founding your opinion on emotion, not according to Tradition. There is no Tradition of a virile St. Joseph whatsoever; that opinion gained currency only in modern times.

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    3. I must add that all the older Traditions mentions an old St. Joseph, as you would see in J.'s Josephology series on this blog.

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  2. Also, that's why outright realism isn't quite good for religious art. Although people in time of birth of our Lord could paint and sculpt very realistically in Church, they didn't do it.
    An Icon is a thousand times more conducive to prayer and veneration than a photograph (the yo dawg st. Josemaria Escriva altar *picture* comes to mind).

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  3. When you start attending a Russian Greek Catholic Church, you tend to forget that things like this exist.

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  4. This could be just the excuse needed to update the Pacellian Feast of St. Joseph the Commie, er, Worker to something more amenable to the challenge of the 21st century: "Feast of St. Joseph the Gym Rat."

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    1. Give him a "man bun" and it will be believable.

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  5. What you people fail to realize is that the Theotokos often prayed for the strength for what she had to endure and reflected often on the great warrior Samson. The spirit of Samson would often be permitted to visit the Theotokos and his devotion to her freed him of his failings and permitted him to enter Paradise on Pascha. Joseph also was occasionally visited by Samson when he prayed

    Now, you'll excuse me while I get started on, "Warrior and Slave of Mary: The Glorious Life of the Holy Family through the Eyes of Samson". Expect it to be referenced soon at a Latin Mass church near you...

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  6. The entire "Theology of the Body," by name alone, is an absurdity and it is best ignored by real men.

    Lord have mercy, a Pope Saint wrote that?

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    1. The whole "ToB" movement is very odd, and I have close friends who are affiliated with a local related ministry. It doesn't seem to be much more than a self-affirmation movement for people to feel good about their bodies, while providing very thin moral arguments for traditional Catholic sexual mores.

      In his defense, P. JP2's own writings and speeches were better grounded than West's popularizations, but they were easily exploitable because of his densely confusing philosophical language.

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    2. "providing very thin moral arguments for traditional Catholic sexual mores."

      While providing very thin moral arguments for *some* traditional Catholic sexual mores. Patriarchy/the duty of wives to submit to their husbands is a teaching that is treated in a simply abominable way.

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    3. ^ This. The cancer of the mutual submission "interpretation" (As if "Women, be subject to your husbands in everything.", can be interpreted as directed towards husbands) needs to be crushed.

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    4. That was certainly one of JP2's failings. The idea of "mutual submission" is sophistic nonsense.

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    5. Most of the talks on which ToB was based would have been interpreted quite differently if a Chrysostom, von Hildebrand, or Gregory the Great had compiled them instead of Christopher West.

      A full reading of a certain chapter of Ephesians gives the full scope of the family:
      1. The Father submits to the will of God and endures everything he can for his family.
      2. The Mother should be inspired by her husband to do the same and not undermine him.
      3. The children have a simple duty to obey they parents.

      There is a "mutual submission" of sorts: the Father to God, the Mother to God through her husband, and children to God through their parents.

      This is why the most screwed up families are the ones where the Father fails.

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    6. We're not talking about that mutual submission of both husband and wife to Father through Christ in Spirit. That was never in question.

      We're talking about clear biblical teaching according to which wives need to obey their husbands and it is not the husbands in any way that need to obey their wives at the same time.

      I mean st. Paul uses the image of Christ and Church. There is no mutual submission to one another. Only Church is submitted and obeys Christ while Christ loves her.
      In admonitions it is always the husband which is commanded to love his wife, while the wife is commanded to respect him.

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  7. that he walked from probably Jerusalem to Egypt and back among brigands[dismas?] is recent theory? with the added burden of a young mother and an infant in tow?on a well known disobedient beast, an ass - that is emotion? or that traditional ancient carpenters were also masons [fact in roman history] as they are today is recent theory? that any reference to Joseph being old like 111 at death or 90 or old with a family of 4 sons and two daughters hence we have an explanation for brother James the lesser are all dismissed by the Patriarchs and mother church is emotion? so much for invitation to expanding on a most noble if not the greatest of all saints by virtue of He had the right and privilege to name his SON, the very Christ - now my emotion is getting me- your condescension is annoying.... my emotion ; oh gifted one...... enlighten me - i still fully enjoyed your discussion of the Sarum Salisbury rite - good luck to you and prayers

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    1. All that you say about his heroism and strength do not require him to look like he can do 200 lbs on a bench press.

      Btw. an ass can be trained very well.

      About carpentry and masonry.
      Look at these guys https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5b/Indiacarpenter.jpg

      You don't get that bulky of masonry.

      The widower Joseph is not dismissed by the patriarch and the Church. The earliest tradition is that he was old and a widower.

      According to the Gospels, st. John the Baptist is greatest born of a woman.

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    2. I'm of the opinion that Joseph was more 50-55 when God told him to wed the 14-year-old Mary. I've met some men in their 50s-60s (even in my lazy country in this lazy age) who could have probably handled what Joseph did. He probably died in his 70's when Jesus was in His 20's.

      Btw, Byzantine iconography always portrays him about 50-70 while Coptic makes him into an octogenarian. Interesting, considering the Copts have the most early iconography of him and were the first to have anything like a "Holy Family" devotion.

      Typical Byzantine icon:
      http://zone3.blessedmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Saint_Joseph_Hand-Painted_Byzantine_Icon_4.jpg

      Typical Coptic icon:
      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/04/47/a5/0447a5fb3f57f0864821fc7fd11ead0d.jpg

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    3. And for the heck of it, here's some Ethiopian iconography
      http://icons-et.dk/images/Til%20fods.jpg

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