1638 – 1640
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

St Joseph steps out of the shadows into a mysterious light. In his arms, he beholds the glory of God-made flesh. Notice those aged lines on his sagging skin. It reflects the frailness of the elderly as he takes delight in the delicateness of a newborn. The relaxed Christ Child is playfully content as he holds up an apple. You’ve guessed it right! The fruit is a symbol of the bitter fall. Here it also symbolizes the fruitfulness of God’s promise of redemption. Notice the posture of the Saint. In reverence, he presents Christ Child to us. Is this not a glimpse of the Father’s heart? It reminds us of John 3:16 – ‘For God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.’

– Archdiocesan Heritage Museum

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