(ZENIT News / Edmonton, Canada, 26.07.2022).- Saint Joseph’s Seminary of the Archdiocese of Edmonton was the Holy Father’s residence during the four days and three nights he spent in that area of the country. In gratitude for the hospitality he received, Pope Francis gave the Seminary a sculpture of Saint Joseph.
The sculpture belongs to the modern artistic production of religious artifacts. Although it has stylistic traces of the 19th century, it respects faithfully the iconography of Our Lord’s “Silent Guardian.”
In the sculpture, Saint Joseph holds the Child Jesus with his left hand. In his right hand he holds the rod that –as the apocryphal texts recount– flowered miraculously with lilies when the priests of the Temple of Jerusalem had to choose Mary’s bridegroom among the unmarried descendants of the tribe of Juda.
The statute also reflects Saint Joseph’s humility, in the slight inclination of his head, which denotes not only a deferent attitude toward the Son (of whom he is only “putative father”), but also the importance of his “silence.”
On several occasions Pope Francis, who is a fervent devotee of Saint Joseph — to the point that he wished to begin his Petrine Ministry on the day of the Saint’s Solemnity –, has pointed him out as one who was able to “walk in darkness,” was “expert in listening to God’s voice” and went “forward in silence.”