Christian Icons of St Joseph and Their Meaning
Although little is known about St. Joseph the Betrothed, he occupied a prominent place in the lives of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. The Blessed Virgin was married as a teenager, and St. Joseph is shown in icons as an elder. Why did he become the husband of the future Mother of Jesus Christ? What are the Christian icons of St Joseph, and what do they mean?
Who is St. Joseph?
St. Joseph the Betrothed is mentioned in the New Testament and apocryphal literature. He was born in Bethlehem and came of Jewish lineage from the house of David. He lived most of his life in Nazareth and worked as a carpenter. He had four sons and two daughters in his first marriage. After the saint became widowed, he lived a life of strict abstinence. At about the age of 80, St. Joseph was chosen to be the keeper of the virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary who had taken a vow of celibacy.
Unfortunately, there is little reliable data on the life of the saint, so it is difficult to answer the question, “Why did he become the earthly father of Jesus and the husband of the Virgin Mary?” However, it is known that he treated his role with humility and sincerely cared for the Virgin Mary and the Son of God.
Christian icons of St Joseph
In Orthodox iconography, the saint appears as a carpenter or as the earthly father of Jesus, along with the Virgin Mary and the Child. Frequent attributes of the saint are lily flowers or doves. The Orthodox icons of St Joseph the Betrothed with the Child Christ are deeply moving. They express the feelings and care the righteous elder experienced for the Savior.
Another example of St. Joseph’s iconography is the icons dedicated to the presentation of Christ in the Temple. The saint appears as a middle-aged man rather than an elder. He holds the Child in his arms while Jerusalem lies behind them. One can also see the family’s doves as the offering instead of the sheep.
Christian icons of St Joseph the Betrothed would be a great gift for everyone involved in the woodwork – carpenters, joiners, etc. While praying with the icon, people ask for humility and protection from evil. The Belgians consider St. Joseph to be the patron saint of their country. In addition, the saint patronizes orphans, prisoners, travelers, prisoners, and engineers.