Medium: Mixed Media (mostly coloured pencil)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Having been privately committed to virginity from my youth, I have a very special devotion to St. Joseph as “Guardian of Virgins”. He has been the best of fathers and guardians to me, and I have often thanked Jesus for the gift of his holy protection.
We have never needed St. Joseph, outstanding in his chastity, as in these days of moral decay in which sexual sin bears the stamp of social acceptance. We need his holy fear of the Lord, to give us a horror of even the smallest sin of impurity.
We need his holy protection upon our women and young people, who are most vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation.
We need his pure mind upon men and women of every age, to correct the disordered movements of our fallen nature, to guard our eyes and our hearts, and to heal perversions from exposure to corruption, especially pornography.
In sacred art, St. Joseph is often depicted as much older than the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom God entrusted to his care. While depicting him as such makes his chastity more believable, I think it is an injustice to grace, which enables mortal men to participate in the life of the angels. I wanted to depict Joseph as young and virile, in the hopes of giving better view to his strength of character: his self-mastery over the flesh and defeat over the serpent, his unselfish love for Our Lady and the Christ child, and the tremendous power of his intercession for us.
~ Prayer to the Guardian of Virgins ~
Joseph pure and Joseph chaste, gentle heart of lion’s strength, you lived to love the Son of God and keep His holy handmaid safe. With the Virgin of all Virgins, entrusted to your care, keep my life all lily-white and free from every snare. Amen.