St. Joseph is the pillar of family life. He is the head, and Mary is the heart, of all families. God himself gave both of them this role in human history. Every Catholic church, which is a family of families, should have a statue of Mary on one side of Christ’s altar, and a statue of Joseph on the other side of that atlar. They are the pillars that support the great altar of family life, without which we perish.
The other day I found a dusty and peeling statue of St. Joseph in our church basement. One of our wonderful parishioners, who is an artist, will restore it. In this statue, Joseph and Jesus have red hair and bright blue eyes (the Irish version of the Holy Family), but my artist friend (who is French), will make hair and eyes more appropriately Jewish. What I love about this statue how Joseph is holding the boy Jesus. He’s not just holding carpenter’s tools, but he is holding his son. St. Joseph, teach us how to hold our sons and daughters, so that we men too can become pillars of our families!