Saint Joseph  

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"The veneration of the saints has its place among the more outward manifestations of faith. It is subject to the influences of popular fancy rather than of theology, and they sometimes deprive it of its dignity. The special cult of Saint Joseph towards the end of the Middle Ages is characteristic in this respect. It may be looked upon as the counterpart of the passionate adoration of the Virgin. The curiosity with which Joseph was regarded is a sort of reaction from the fervent cult of Mary. The figure of the Virgin is exalted more and more and that of Joseph becomes more and more of a caricature. Art portrays him as a clown dressed in rags ; as such he appears in the diptych by Melchior Broederlam at Dijon. Literature, which is always more explicit than the graphic arts, achieves the feat of making him altogether ridiculous. Instead of admiring Joseph as the man most highly favoured of all, Deschamps represents him as the type of the drudging husband."--The Autumn of the Middle Ages (1919) by Johan Huizinga

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Joseph was, according to Christian Gospel accounts and tradition, the husband of Mary.

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