St. Joseph Intercedes with Jesus and Mary for Souls in Purgatory

235 x 159 cm. While Our Lady and the Child Jesus are surrounded by light and angels amid heavenly clouds, St. Joseph is on the left side, halfway between them and the souls in Purgatory, leaning against a cloud. A strong and tall man, with dark hair and beard, his posture is one of supplication to his wife and child. His gaze is toward them. In his right hand is the flowering staff, sign of his purity and dignity as Mary’s husband. With his left hand though he draws the attention of Jesus and Mary to the suffering souls in Purgatory. Next to Jesus, the one Mediator between God and men, and Mary the mediatrix of all graces before Him, there is Joseph as a powerful intercessor before them for the salvation of souls. With his gaze up toward heaven and his left hand lowered, St. Joseph appears as a bridge between the yearnings of the souls and those able to come to their aid. Accustomed as we may be to invoke him here on earth, it is consoling to be reminded by this painting that his powerful intercession continues even after death, as a bridge between Paradise and Purgatory. St. Joseph will not abandon us until we are safely home in Heaven, together with the Holy Family of Nazareth. (Material taken from Tullio Locatelli, “San Giuseppe Intercessore Tra Paradiso e Purgatorio,” La Voce di San Giuseppe, April 2006, S. Giuseppe Vesuviano, NA, Italy.)