Joseph has strong arms, a strong grasp
When strength is in demand.
Not only is a child’s soft hand protected
In his brown massive hand,
But he can hold up cities, hold up nations.
Now in the season of weakness, season of search,
He can poise on his shoulder like a child
The ponderous age-old structure of the Church.
There on his shoulder, there in the crotch of his arm,
A church, a people held, a kingdom piled.
And Joseph knows this strength grew great in him
From lifting up a Child.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Joseph was written by Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, a published poet and Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Pewaukee, Wisconsin upon a special commission by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Terre Haute, Indiana to accompany this image of Saint Joseph, which the nuns then used to print holy cards for distribution to their benefactors and to the faithful. We are grateful to them for sending us an image of the prayer card and the text of Sr. Miriam’s poem. Learn more about the Terre Haute Carmel and Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, as well as her published poetry.