Joseph, the Image of God the Father

Source: https://osjusa.org/st-joseph/art/image-of-god-the-father/

In previous articles that I have written on Saint Joseph, I have noted the merits and demerits of certain ways of describing the fatherhood of the great patriarch, namely, the titles of Putative and Legal Father,[1] Foster Father and Virginal Father,[2] and lastly Spiritual Father.[3] But in this article, I would like to suggest a title for describing Saint Joseph’s fatherhood that so sublimely and eminently surpasses them all — which is the title that Saint John Eudes uses to praise Saint Joseph in his prayer called the Praises of St. Joseph; this title is that of “image of God the Father.”[4] But what does this title mean? What is its significance? Why is it a most excellent — indeed the most excellent — title for capturing the person of Saint Joseph and the essence of his paternity? Well, I shall tell you why, and this is best understood when one understands four things: 1) the essence of paternity; 2) the meaning of the term image; 3) Saint Joseph as a New Adam, or as the antitype of Adam; and 4) the significance of Matthew’s Gospel and of the Blessing of Jacob or Israel.

First, it is necessary to understand what fatherhood is as to its essence. Aristotle points out that the essence of paternity is to be the first principle or first cause of the existence or life of one’s children.[5] When we look at the paternity of God the Father, we notice the same thing because God the Father is the first principle of God the Son’s procession and He is also the first cause of the entire human race.[6] This is true of all created paternity, which Saint Paul the Apostle refers to in his letter to the Ephesians;[7] for both the earthly paternity of natural fathers — namely, the paternity “on earth” spoken of by the Apostle in Ephesians 3:14-15 — and the heavenly paternity of all priests, bishops, and of the Holy Father the Pope himself — which is the paternity “in heaven” referred to by Saint Paul in Ephesians 3:14-15 — both exhibit this characteristic of being a first principle of existence or life, and thus Saint Paul is telling us in this passage of the Ephesians that all created fatherhood participates in the Fatherhood of God the Father Himself.

Further, Saint Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae notes that Adam possessed “a certain dignity” from God the Father, which stemmed from the fact that “as God [the Father] is the principle of the whole universe, so the first man [Adam], in likeness to God, was the principle of the whole human race.”[8] Thus, God intended for Adam to be the first cause or first principle of the entire human race as regards to its physical existence, its knowledge and education,[9] and its inheritance of grace.[10] This is because Adam possessed the essence of paternity, which is to be a first principle or first cause. Furthermore, Thomas describes Adam as being made “in likeness [similitudinem] to God [the Father],” and this is important because this better helps us to understand the connection between the essence of paternity and being made in the image of God the Father. For in the next question in the Summa Theologiae, Thomas notes that the reason that man is said to be made in the image of God is because the kind of likeness — or similitudo in the Latin — required in being the image of something “requires likeness in species”[11]species in Latin being the same term that is used in the history of scholastic philosophy to refer to the being, substance, form, nature, or essence of something.[12] Thus, when Thomas says that Adam was made in the image of God the Father, this means that Adam was the principle of the entire human race for the precise reason that the First Man as to his essence possessed the essence of God’s paternity, which is to be a first principle of another thing in some way or ways.

Therefore, if Adam is the image of God the Father for the reasons stated above, this must be true of Saint Joseph as well but in a greater way for two reasons: 1) Adam is a type of Saint Joseph, and Saint Joseph in turn is the antitype of Adam, meaning that Saint Joseph is the New Adam;[13] and since in biblical typology, the antitype not only fulfills the type but also always surpasses the type, Joseph must also both fulfill and surpass Adam; 2) as Edward Healy Thompson observes in his book The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, the reason that Matthew in 1:1-16 of his gospel enumerates the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah is to show us that Saint Joseph not only fulfilled but also surpassed the Old Testament Patriarchs in everything — including Adam.[14] This second reason is realized more concretely when we take a look at the blessing given to Joseph the Patriarch by his father Jacob. When Jacob blesses Joseph the Patriarch — the Old Testament Joseph who is a type of Saint Joseph[15] — saying, “The blessings of thy father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers: until the desire of the everlasting hills should come; may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren.”[16] Thompson provides the following commentary on this passage from the book of Genesis:

This prediction of Jacob was only partially fulfilled in the ancient Joseph [namely, Joseph the Patriarch], because he was not present, nor could he be present, at the coming of the Desire of the everlasting hills, the expected Messias.  It was fully accomplished only in our Joseph [namely, Saint Joseph], since in him alone, according to the Fathers [of the Church], were summed up and epitomized all the blessings and all the virtues of the patriarchs who had preceded him.[17]

In his commentary on Genesis 49:26, Thompson is stating that the reason that Matthew enumerates the genealogy of Jesus is revealed in this passage from the book of Genesis. For the blessing or curse of an Old Testament patriarch for his son was not a mere respective well-wishing or simply a harboring of hatred for him, but was rather a prophecy, a prediction given by God through the patriarch for his son about the son’s future — and this is in fact exactly what Jacob tells Joseph and his sons before he gives his blessing to most of them and curses some of them[18] — which is why Thompson calls the blessing for Joseph the Patriarch in Genesis 49:26 a “prediction of Jacob.” When Jacob declares that “[t]he blessings of thy father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers,” this is essentially the part of the prophecy stating that the “blessings” or virtues and perfections that all belong to the previous patriarchs that come before Saint Joseph and Jesus in their genealogy will be exponentially multiplied or increased as they pass through the family line “until the desire of the everlasting hills should come,” which refers to Jesus, since it was Jesus that all the prophets, priests, and patriarchs of the Old Testament desired to see, which is who Thompson identifies as “the expected Messias.” Furthermore, when Jacob prophesies that “may they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren,” the “they” in this sentence refers to the “blessings,” and hence Jacob is prophesying by the Holy Spirit that the perfections and virtues — the “blessings” — of the patriarchs that precede Saint Joseph and which are supposed to increase as the ancestral line of Saint Joseph and Jesus move forward are going to reside or rest in Saint Joseph and in Jesus; in other words, they will be “upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite.” To clarify any misunderstandings that Jacob might be prophesying these words merely for his son Joseph the Patriarch, Thompson notes that “[t]his prediction of Jacob was only partially fulfilled in the ancient Joseph [namely, Joseph the Patriarch],” because there are two people that this prophecy is foretelling for the presence of the virtues and perfections or “blessings” of the previous patriarchs to be in through a superior or surpassing mode; both “the head of Joseph” — which could refer to either Joseph the Patriarch or Saint Joseph — and “the crown of the Nazarite” — which certainly refers to Jesus.

Thus, since Saint Joseph and Jesus go together in this prophecy, this is why Thompson says that “[t]his prediction of Jacob was only partially fulfilled in the ancient Joseph [namely, Joseph the Patriarch],” because Jesus is not present with Joseph the Patriarch, and because Joseph the Patriarch “was not present, nor could he be present, at the coming of the Desire of the everlasting hills, the expected Messias.” Therefore, if in this disjunct the option of this prophetic blessing being completely fulfilled is excluded of Joseph the Patriarch, then this prophecy must be referring to the man who was present to see “the Desire of the everlasting hills, the expected Messias,” which was the man who was the true father of the Son of God —namely, Saint Joseph. Hence, this is why Thompson writes that Jacob’s prophecy “was fully accomplished only in our Joseph [i.e., Saint Joseph], since in him alone, according to the Fathers [of the Church], were summed up and epitomized all the blessings and all the virtues of the patriarchs who had preceded him.” Thus, we know from these two principles that Joseph must also be the image of God the Father if this honor was also given to the First Man, Adam, but Joseph must be the image of God the Father in a surpassing way; we know that Saint Joseph must embody the essence of paternity in a greater way than Adam did.

So how can a father better embody the essence of paternity than Adam did? How can a father be made more in the image of God the Father than by imitating Him in the way that Adam did, namely, by being the first principle of the entire human race? Well, if we look at the ideal of paternity, which is embodied in God the Father, we see that God the Father is the principle of God the Son in a purely spiritual way by generating the Son exclusively through the use of his intellect, and then generates the rest of the human family and His family the Catholic Church through the use of His intellect and His will.[19] Joseph also resembles and embodies God the Father’s paternity in this way, because Joseph — being ever-virgin as Mary was ever-virgin[20] — raised and educated Christ within his true marriage with Mary,[21] and thus reared Christ into manhood without the use of his body in the generative act — that is to say, in a purely spiritual way. One could even say that Joseph was the principle of Christ’s existence in His humanity not only because he reared the Christ Child into manhood, but also because — as every man naturally does in marriage when he proposes to his bride-to-be — Joseph initiated his virginal marriage with Mary since it was Joseph’s prerogative as man to be the fitting candidate for Mary to wed. This was initiated by Joseph when he and the men of the House of David cast lots to see who would be the husband of Mary, and as a result Joseph’s rod not only miraculously bloomed, but even the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove landed on that same rod of his to indicate that Joseph above all other men was set aside by God to be wedded to Mary.[22] Hence, Joseph was the first principle for the marriage in which Jesus was conceived inside, the marriage being a necessary pre-requisite or principle for the existence of the humanity of Christ,[23] and by being the principle of the existence of Christ in this way, Saint Joseph like God the Father is the principle of the existence of God the Son in His humanity without the use of his body in the generative act — in other words, in a spiritual way[24] — just as God the Father is the principle of God the Son in a spiritual way, since God the Father, being pure spirit,[25] has no body. Since Adam was not the father of Christ, while Joseph was, Joseph surpasses Adam not only in this most excellent way of being the principle of the existence of the Son of God, but also in the way that Adam is said by Saint Thomas Aquinas to be the principle of the entire human family; for Joseph, by being the father of Jesus Christ, also was the principle of the existence of the entire Mystical Body of Christ, of every single member of Christianity — of the entire family of God. Thus Joseph was the first principle of the existence of the New Creation in Christ at the beginning of the New Testament in Matthew’s Gospel, as Adam was the first principle of the existence of the First Creation at the beginning of the Old Testament in the book of Genesis.[26] To answer the question that was originally proposed at the start of this article, the reason that Saint Joseph’s title of Image of God the Father is the most excellent, sublime, and eminent is because he embodies or possesses the essence of God the Father’s paternity better than every single human father — from natural fathers, to priests, to bishops, even to the Pope himself — including Adam, for the precise reason that Saint Joseph is the first principle of the Son of God and of His entire Mystical Body the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Family of God, as God the Father is; in other words, Saint Joseph is the Image of God the Father because he is the real father of Christ and because he is our real father — as God the Father is our real father.

In closing, let all Catholics consider the glory of Saint Joseph by considering this; that God the Father “Who formerly had said He would give His glory to no one,[27] now, by an exceptional favour communicates, in a manner, to a mortal [namely, to Saint Joseph] that paternity which is the special glory of the Eternal Father,”[28] that “special glory” being the possession of paternity over God the Son. For God the Father does not communicate this aspect of his paternity to any other father — be they natural father, priest, bishop, and even the Pope himself — nor did he communicate this privilege of His very paternity, His innascibility,[29] to any of the nine choirs of Angels; the Almighty Father did not communicate this dignity of His to the Order of the Patriarchs — including Adam, — nor to the Sacerdotal Order, nor to the Order of the Prophets, and neither to the Order of the Apostles; neither did the God and Father of all communicate His paternity to Mary the Mother of God and the Queen of Angels and Saints, and not even to His Own Divine Son, Jesus Christ; this was the unique privilege of Saint Joseph — to be the Image of the Eternal Father.

Hence, to be sure that others knew of this special glory of the Eternal Father that was communicated to Saint Joseph, God the Father through the Holy Spirit when forming Jesus His Son in the womb of Mary arranged Jesus’ genetic material so that everything about Jesus — from His physical features to His build and stature to His temperament — would resemble Saint Joseph, so that people might understand that Jesus really did proceed from Saint Joseph,[30] as the same Son of God proceeds from the Eternal Father. Thus, let us say with the greatest josephologist of the past century Father Francis Lad Filas following Saint Thomas Aquinas and countless other theologians that Saint Joseph has a “certain infinite dignity”[31] because of his unique privilege of being the Father of Jesus Christ[32] — of being the very Image of God the Father. For this is why the title of Image of God the Father so sublimely, so eminently, and so infinitely surpasses all of Joseph’s other titles of Putative Father, Legal Father, Foster Father, Virginal Father, and Spiritual Father — because Saint Joseph shares in the very infinite paternity of God the Father Himself.

So let all Catholics think of infinity when they hear the title of Image of God the Father applied to Saint Joseph, and let them see in Saint Joseph the Eternal Father, because Joseph indeed has that highest participation in the infinite paternity of God the Eternal Father Himself, surpassing so supremely the certain dignity that Adam possessed in being father to the human race with the certain infinite dignity of being the very Image of God the Father. Thus, as this Year of Saint Joseph comes to a close on December 8, 2021- the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary – let this year of Saint Joseph not be the end to our memory of the greatness of this most holy man and true father who is so forgotten, and has been so forgotten for centuries in the Church’s History; rather, let the memory of the greatness, of the infinite dignity of Saint Joseph live on in the minds of Catholics from the Year of Saint Joseph and onward into eternity. For Saint Joseph truly was, is, and always will be the Image of God the Father, not only for Jesus Christ the Son of God, but even for us his children — for all eternity.[33]

[1] Joshua Francis Filipetto, “A True Thomistic Versus an Oddly Ockhamist Josephology,” Catholic Insight, October 8, 2021, https://catholicinsight.com/a-true-thomistic-versus-an-oddly-ockhamist-josephology/.

[2] Joshua Francis Filipetto, “Saint Joseph: Foster Father, Virginal Father, Real Father?” Catholic Insight, October 26, 2021, https://catholicinsight.com/saint-joseph-foster-father-virginal-father-real-father/.

[3] Joshua Francis Filipetto, “Joseph, Our Spiritual Father,” Catholic Insight, November 8, 2021, https://catholicinsight.com/joseph-our-spiritual-father/.

[4] Donald H. Calloway, MIC, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father (Stockbridge: Marian Press, 2020), 244-245.

[5] Aristotle, Physics II.3, 194b25-35: “ἔτι ὅθεν ἡ ἀρχὴ τῆς μεταβολῆς ἡ πρώτη ἢ τῆς ἠρεμήσεως, οἷον…ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ τέκνου.” See also Aristotle, Metaphysics, V.2, 1013a25-35: “ἔτι ὅθεν ἡ [30] ἀρχὴ τῆς μεταβολῆς ἡ πρώτη ἢ τῆς ἠρεμήσεως, οἷον… ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ τέκνου.”

[6] Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, trans. Fr. Laurence Shapcote, O.P., ed. John Mortensen and Enrique Alarcon (Lander: The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012), I, q. 33, a. 1, co., https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~ST.I; Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, ed. James Canon Bastible, D.D., trans. Patrick Lynch, Ph.D. (Charlotte: TAN Books, 1974), 56-57.

[7] Epistula Sancti Pauli Apostoli ad Ephesios 3:14-15 (Nova Vulgata), https://www.vatican.va/archive/bible/nova_vulgata/documents/nova-vulgata_index_lt.html, emphasis added: “Huius rei gratia flecto genua mea ad Patrem, ex quo omnis paternitas in caelis et in terra nominatur.”

[8] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 92, a. 2, co., emphasis added: “Primo quidem, ut in hoc quaedam dignitas primo homini [Adam] servaretur, ut, secundum Dei similitudinem, esset ipse [Adam] principium totius suae speciei, sicut Deus [Pater] est principium totius universi.”

[9] Ibid., q. 94, a. 3, co.

[10] Ibid., I-II, q. 81, a. 5, co: “Manifestum est autem secundum doctrinam philosophorum, quod principium activum in generatione est a patre, materiam autem mater ministrat. Unde peccatum originale non contrahitur a matre, sed a patre. Et secundum hoc, si, Adam non peccante, Eva peccasset, filii originale peccatum non contraherent. E converso autem esset, si Adam peccasset, et Eva non peccasset.”

[11] Ibid., I, q. 93, a. 2, co, emphasis added: “Requiritur autem ad rationem imaginis quod sit similitudo secundum speciem.”

[12] Saint Thomas Aquinas, De Ente et Essentia, trans. Robert T. Miller, ed. The Aquinas Institute (Lander: The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2017), c. 1, https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~DeEnte.

[13] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, 27-28; St. Pope Paul VI, “Discourse to the Equipes Notre Dame Movement (May 4, 1970),” as quoted in St. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (On the Person and Mission of St. Joseph in the Life of Christ and of the Church), 7, https://www.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_15081989_redemptoris-custos.html: “Ecce quippe Novo ineunte Testamento, haud secus atque Veteris Testamenti principio, adest coniugum par. Verum, licet Adami Evaeque fuerit par malorum fons quae orbem obruerunt, culmen efficiunt Josephus ac Maria unde diffunditur universa in terras sanctimonia. Opus namque salutis Servator ex virginali hac et sacra coniunctione incohavit, ubi omnipotens ipsius ostenditur voluntas purificandae ac sanctifcandae familiae, quae et amoris sacrarium est et vitae ipsius seminarium.” See also St. Pope Paul VI, “Discourse to the Equipes Notre Dame Movement (May 4, 1970),” 7, https://www.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/fr/speeches/1970/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19700504_notre-dame.html: “[H]ere at the threshold of the New Testament as at the entrance of the Old stands a couple. But, while that of Adam and Eve was the source of the evil that swept over the world, that of Joseph and Mary is the summit from which holiness spreads over the whole earth. The Savior began the work of salvation with this virginal and holy union in which his almighty will to purify and sanctify the family is manifested, this sanctuary of love and this cradle of life.” It should be noted that both Christ and Saint Joseph are New Adams (See 1 Corinthians 15:45), and the reason that Joseph too is called the New Adam alongside his Divine Son is because Joseph in his humanity has the following over Christ in His humanity; that Joseph was the father of the entire family of God just as Adam was the father of the entire human family, and this cannot be said of Christ because he never appropriated the title of “father” to himself, bur rather the title of “master.” See Matthew 23:9-10 (Douay-Rheims 1899 America Version): “And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ.” See also Evangelium Secundum Matthaeum 23:9-10 (Nova Vulgata): “Et Patrem nolite vocare vobis super terram, unus enim est Pater vester, caelestis. Nec vocemini Magistri, quia Magister vester unus est, Christus.” Hence, both Christ and Saint Joseph can be called “New Adams” because they are both men, but only Saint Joseph can be called “the New Adam” because only Joseph was a father.

[14] Edward Healy Thompson, M.A., The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph: Husband of Mary, Foster-Father of Jesus, and Patron of the Universal Church (Charlotte: TAN Books, 1888), 59-60, emphasis added: “Doctors of the Church have observed that the Evangelist [Saint Matthew the Apostle] enumerates all the ancestors of Joseph…to make us understand that in Joseph were accomplished all the glories of his forefathers, all their hopes, all their prayers; that in Joseph all their virtues were combined, but in far greater fullness and perfection; that in Joseph was closed and terminated that line of great patriarchs who were the glory of Israel, but whom Joseph greatly surpassed from his incomparable election to be the destined husband of [Mary] of whom, by the operation of Divine power, Jesus was born.”

[15] Pope Pius IX, Quemadmodum Deus: Decree of Pius IX Declaring St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church, December 8, 1870, quoted in Edward Healy Thompson, M.A., The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph: Husband of Mary, Foster-Father of Jesus, and Patron of the Universal Church (Charlotte: TAN Books, 1888), 457, emphasis added: “Quemadmodum Deus Josephum ilium a Jacob patriarcha progenitum constituerat universae terrae Aegypti, ut populo frumenta servaret, ita temporum plenitudine adventante, cum Filium suum Unigenitum, mundi Salvatorem, in terram missurus esset, alium selegit Josephum, cujus ille primus typum gesserat, quemque fecit Dominum et Principem domus ac possessionis suae, principaliumque thesaurorum suorum Custodem elegit.” See also Thompson, The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, 13-19, 388; Mark I. Miravalle, STD, Meet Your Spiritual Father: A Brief Introduction to St. Joseph (Lighthouse Catholic Media and Marian Press, 2015), 23; Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, 97-100.

[16] Genesis 49:26 (Douay-Rheims 1899 America Version); Liber Genesis 49:26 (Nova Vulgata): “Benedictiones patris tui confortatae sunt super benedictiones montium aeternorum, desiderium collium antiquorum; fiant in capite Ioseph et in vertice nazaraei inter fratres suos.”

[17] Thompson, The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, 23, emphasis added.

[18] Genesis 41:1 (Douay-Rheims 1899 America Version): “And Jacob called his sons, and said to them: Gather yourselves together that I may tell you the things that shall befall you in the last days.” See also Liber Genesis 49:26 (Nova Vulgata): “Vocavit autem Iacob filios suos et ait eis: ‘Congregamini, ut annuntiem, quae ventura sunt vobis in diebus novissimis.’”

[19] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 27, a. 2, co., emphasis added: “Sic igitur processio verbi in divinis habet rationem generationis. Procredit enim per modum intelligibilis actionis…Unde processio verbi in divinis dicitur generatio, et ipsum verbum procedens dicitur filius.” See also Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, ed. James Canon Bastible, D.D., trans. Patrick Lynch, Ph.D. (Charlotte: TAN Books, 1974), 56-57, 65-67; Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 14, a. 8, co; Ibid., q., 19, a. 4, co; Ibid., q. 50, a. 1, co.

[20] Matthew 1:18; see also Saint Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences, trans. Beth Mortensen, STD, ed. and annot. Michael Bolin, PHD, Jeremy Holmes, PHD, and Peter Kwasniewski, PHD (Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine), IV, d. 30, q. 2, a. 3, ad 4, https://aquinas.cc/la/en/~Sent.I: “Joseph, qui etiam virgo fuit.”

[21] Ibid., a. 2, ad 4.

[22] Thompson, The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, 117-125; “St Joseph (Feast Day 19-March),” Sensus Fidelium, March 19, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMQXtmnvLBc, 6:39-7:25; “Lenten Mission on St. Joseph: All Powerful Intercession,” Sensus Fidelium, May 23, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HwDNEuDI70, 28:38-30:45.

[23] Aquinas, Commentary on the Sentences, IV, d. 30, q. 2, a. 2, ad 4.

[24] Thompson, The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, 199-200.

[25] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 3, a. 1, co.

[26] St. Pope Paul VI, loc. cit.

[27] Isaiah 42:8 (Douay-Rheims 1899 America Version): “I the Lord, this is my name: I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things.” See also Liber Isaiae (Nova Vulgata): “Ego Dominus: hoc est nomen meum; et gloriam meam alteri non dabo et laudem meam sculptilibus.”

[28] Pere Binet, S.J., The Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph, trans. M.C.E. from the edition of the Rev. Fr. Jennesseaux, S.J. (Charlotte: TAN Books, 1983), 16.

[29] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 32, a. 3, co: “Igitur persona patris non potest innotescere per hoc quod sit ab alio, sed per hoc quod a nullo est, et sic ex hac parte eius notio est innascibilitas.” See also Ibid., q. 33, a. 4, co: “inquantum autem est principium non de principio, innotescit per hoc, quod non est ab alio, quod pertinet ad proprietatem innascibilitatis.”

[30] “Lenten Mission on St. Joseph: All Powerful Intercession,” Sensus Fidelium, May 23, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HwDNEuDI70, 40:05-40:41; Thompson, The Life and Glories of Saint Joseph, 199-200.

[31] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 25, a. 6, ad 4, emphasis added: “Ad quartum dicendum quod humanitas Christi ex hoc quod est unita Deo, et beatitudo creata ex hoc quod est fruitio Dei, et beata virgo ex hoc quod est mater Dei, habent quandam dignitatem infinitam, ex bono infinito quod est Deus.”

[32] Francis L. Filas, S.J., S.T.D., Joseph Most Just: Theological Questions about St. Joseph (Milwaukee: The Bruce Publishing Company, 1956), 26, emphasis added: “Joseph, then, was the father of Jesus not only in name and in popular estimation but also in actual fact. Theologians have not been slow to draw the parallel between Mary’s motherhood and Joseph’s fatherhood in the moral order. If the former gave Mary a quasi-infinite dignity because it had to do with God Himself, then with proper qualifications the other gave Joseph a quasi-infinite dignity because his fatherly relationship, too, referred to God.”

[33] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, 38.