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St. Joseph's Workshop

St. Joseph's Workshop by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Artist's Narrative:

Blessed are you St. Joseph, witness of the glory of God here on earth!
Blessed and glorified be God who chose you!
Blessed and glorified be the Son who obeyed you!
Blessed and glorified be the Holy Spirit who sanctified you!
Most Blessed be Mary who loved you!

His feast day is March 19.

McGrath collection: 
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A fond tradition asserts that the Church of St Joseph in Nazareth is built over the carpentry workshop of the husband of the Virgin Mary.

The church (also known as the Church of the Nutrition and the Church of Joseph’s Workshop) is a solid and unpretentious building. It stands very much in the shadow of the soaring cupola of the Church of the Annunciation on its southern side — just as St Joseph himself lived in the shadow of Jesus and Mary.

But there is no evidence that the cave over which the church is built was Joseph’s workshop. Even if this is the site of the Holy Family’s home, the cave is unlikely to have been a carpentry workshop in the modern sense.

The Gospels use the Greek word tekton, meaning builder or artisan, to describe Joseph. He most likely worked with both stone and wood, since stone was the common building material in the area.

Joseph’s work may have taken him away from his home. A likely place of employment was the Roman city of Sepphoris or Tzippori, which was being rebuilt by Herod Antipas at the time the Holy Family arrived from Egypt. The building site was a 50-minute walk from Nazareth.