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Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009 - 4:07 p.m.

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Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti

Well, today I am googling "Saint Joseph" since I must depict him in a nativity picturebook I am doing. Of course I could draw him any old way, but thought at least I'd look up his age.

Who knew. There is no consensus on his birth date or death. In fact, he may be the son of either Jacob or Heli, depending on if you like the geneology of Matthew or Luke.

But in order to explain a Mary who remains a virgin for her whole marriage, and to explain Jesus having brothers and sisters named in the bible, all sorts of peripheral writings have sprung up over the centuries.

Apparently he was about 93-94 yrs old when Jesus was born:

It will not be without interest to recall here, unreliable though they are, the lengthy stories concerning St. Joseph's marriage contained in the apocryphal writings. When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place. These dreams, as St. Jerome styles them, from which many a Christian artist has drawn his inspiration (see, for instance, Raphael's "Espousals of the Virgin"), are void of authority; they nevertheless acquired in the course of ages some popularity; in them some ecclesiastical writers sought the answer to the well-known difficulty arising from the mention in the Gospel of "the Lord's brothers"; from them also popular credulity has, contrary to all probability, as well as to the tradition witnessed by old works of art, retained the belief that St. Joseph was an old man at the time of marriage with the Mother of God.

Yes, and Mary was about 16 (12-14 at marriage, with child 2 yrs later, 9 mos pregnancy). This isn't a may-december marriage, it's a 19th century-21st century marriage! Imagine at a time when childhood was deemed over at 12, where a lot of people died in their thirties: at 92, he had a 12 yr old wife: she gave birth at 16- so if there is 16 yrs per generation, she could be his great great great granddaughter, and Jesus his great great great great grandson. Dangarama.

These stories of his great age led to paintings such as this and this one of a young Mary and old Joseph.

Anyways, that is all debatable, since there IS no writing in the bible about who these brothers and sisters of Jesus were, or Saint Joseph's birth or death. So I guess I'll just depict him as a man in his prime, somewhere between 25 and 45. But yikes.

And here, if you aren't interested in biblical history, you may be interested in Spaghetti Sauce!:

St. Joseph Spaghetti Sauce

from St. Joseph’s Family Life Center
Shreveport, Louisiana

Serves 8
2 bunches fennel greens
2 large onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsps. oil
12-oz. can tomato paste
1 can anchovies
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil fennel in large pot of water until tender. Chop fennel finely, or put in blender. Use water from fennel to make sauce. Fry onions and garlic in oil; add tomato paste. Add water, about 4 cans. Add anchovies, raisins, pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until thick. Boil spaghetti and serve with sauce. Approximate values per serving: 188 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 340 mg sodium.

From Human Flower Project.

Back to Google image research! byebye!

New!: Get your "St Joseph Prosperity Beans", "Blessed Salt" and "Holy Cloak" here! Scroll down to "featured St Joseph Item". Caution! music!

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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