Another memorable image of Jesus and St. Joseph — UPDATED

This, from Orlando and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Queen of the Universe.  (Visitors to Disney World will be familiar with it — it’s practically my second parish!) This is a life-sized bronze depiction of Jesus with his foster father in their workshop.  (Note: some pieces of wood arranged like a cross on the bench.)

Unfortunately, the shrine website doesn’t describe the artwork on display — some of it, quite stunning — or name the artists. Anybody know who created this??

UPDATE: A reader did a little digging and got this information from the shrine’s rector:

The name of the sculptor is Bruno Luchesi.  He has studios in New York and Italy.  He is among the world’s most renowned interpreters of the human figure.  He has written works “Modeling the Figure in Clay” that have been textbooks for the artistic discipline.  He has permanent collections in New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum, Cornell University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Dallas Museum of Art.

Meantime, some food for thought, from a recent homily on this saint:

What is hinted at in this gospel today is a man more like us than we realize.

We tend to think of Joseph the way we see him in the manger scene outside our church, or on the cards we send, or the pageants that are staged.   He is strong, stoic, patient – “righteous,” as Matthew describes him.

But … the man betrothed to Mary was a man of worries, and apprehension, and even fear.  This morning, I’d like to suggest that Joseph is also a man who speaks to our own time.

He is a man for our age – an Age of Anxiety.

He must have known economic uncertainty – wondering how he would support and sustain his family, running his own small business.  He had to pay taxes – to “render unto Caeser.”  Like many people today, shortly after his son was born, Joseph and his family became refugees, immigrants in a foreign land – the land that had held his people as slaves.  Joseph also lived with the threat of terror – a ruthless king bent on murdering children.

On a more personal level, Joseph knew the anxiety of any man about to become a father. He must have asked himself: am I ready for this?  Am I good enough, strong enough, wise enough? And then, confronting the very real possibility of scandal, Joseph must have had more than a few sleepless nights.  How, he must have wondered, could he protect and spare the woman he loved?

And — like Mary, the woman he loved — he also must have thought at some point: this is not what I had planned.   Everything is suddenly different.

How many of us have said that about our own lives?  How many of us have had to face, like Joseph, a confusing world with uncertainty, and doubt, and anxiety and fear?

  • dymphna

    The statue looks cheap.

  • Jamie Hunt

    Looks like love.

  • bt

    That is a beautiful work of art!


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