Friday, May 1, 2009

St. Joseph, Mary Garden Patron


Today, May 1, is the beginning of the month of Mary. It is also a day the church dedicates to St. Joseph under the title "St. Joseph the Worker". The feast in honor of St. Joseph the Worker was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955.

Artist Ade Bethune, a Mary gardener, designed the statue depicted above for placement in her Mary Garden. An article about the statue found on the extensive Mary Gardens website states regarding St. Joseph:

"As prayerful workman, most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin, and foster father of Jesus, he is the example and inspiration for every aspect of our Mary Garden work, both prayerful and practical. . . .

"To bring St. Joseph closer to us as we work with the soil, and to assist us in meditating on his example, in beseeching his intercession and in contemplating his life with Mary and Jesus, we can use to advantage a suitable outdoor image or likeness of St. Joseph. . . .

"This statue is identified as that of St. Joseph, most chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin and foster father of Jesus, by the flowering staff, the traditional emblem of St. Joseph, clasped in his left hand.

"St. Joseph, patron of all workmen and provider for the Holy Family, is represented in a special manner for garden and farm workmen as kneeling at garden work with a small cultivating tool in his right hand.

"A sense of St. Joseph's fidelity to grace and to the interior life, and of his faithful watchfulness for God's will and providence, is conveyed by the artist's representation of his countenance and of the entire bearing of his body.

"At the same time, the statue's body and countenance show a strength which bespeaks St. Joseph's fitness as protector of the Holy Family and the Church and also as model for all workmen. It likewise testifies to the strength of his purity and chastity.

"The cultivating tool recalls for us that garden work and all work is a stewardship of God's creatures. It recalls also the analogies between the cultivation of plant life and of the spiritual life. . . .

"Beholding the statue as we work outdoors, we are reminded that all our work, too, should be performed recollectedly, with prayerful intentions and custody of heart, and that from time to time we should pause for a moment to give our attention fully to Our Lady and to the divine Child, that our work, like St. Joseph's, will become a continual prayer of devotion, praise and thanksgiving."

Read more here.

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