Fr. Maurice Meschler: Saint Joseph: Shadow of the Heavenly Father

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By Fr. Maurice Meschler, Catholic Exchange, Dec. 21, 2021

Fr. Maurice Meschler was a German Jesuit who lived during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is known for his writings on the saints and the life of Christ.

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a chapter in Fr. Meschler’s book, The Truth about Saint Joseph: Encountering the Most Hidden of Saints. It is available from your favorite bookstore or online through Sophia Institute Press.

Spiritual writers are fond of calling Saint Joseph the shadow of the heavenly Father, an engaging, elevated, and truthful repre­sentation indeed. It expresses the full extent of his greatness and the complete concept of his high vocation in a most concise and sublime manner. The heavenly Father is the type and origin of all fatherhood in Heaven and on earth (Eph. 3:15); and so every human father is a representative and image of the heavenly Father. In the case of Saint Joseph, however, this is verified in a most characteristic and glorious manner, and that from three viewpoints.


First, Saint Joseph is the image of the heavenly Father as re­gards authority. Authority is the first distinguishing mark of the father. …