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Saint Joseph's statues

My very first statue restoration; Saint Joseph
My very first statue restoration of Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph is a wonderful saint. As the parent of a family and a man who worked with his hands, we chose him as the patron of our ministry. We have experienced miracles through his intercession and pray daily for his assistance to help us in our particular challenges of work and family life.

To mark the end of the Year of St. Joseph, I am posting just a few photos of the many statues of him we have repaired, restored and repainted in recent years. We hope you enjoy viewing them. The following examples had been neglected or poorly repainted by well -meaning amateurs. We are always happy to restore statues of saint Joseph, even those needing special TLC.

Bring Me a Face Mask!

I am not an advocate for face masks; they hide how wonderfully expressive God made our faces and chose to place our means of life (the ability to breathe, pray, and sing to his glory) in that vicinity. Yet on occasion I see some church statues which may benefit from a face covering of some sort!

face of st. Joseph statue Before & after restoration
face of st. Joseph statue Before & after restoration

Church statues are there to remind us of the beauty of the saints in glory. So when they are disfigured by botched paintwork or neglect, I wonder if it is at very least a venial sin to leave them that way.

This statue of saint Joseph had been consigned to a dank basement for many years and resurrected by the newly installed priest. I would think that one reason for its banishment was the amateur paintwork. Such handiwork does little for the diginity of the saint portrayed. Those who dabble should spare a thought for the morale of parishioners who have to view it for any length of time. The fully restored statue is shown below.

rescued from the church cellar - before & after
rescued from the church cellar - before & after

Heavy Make Up

Here below is another example of a statue of saint Joseph sporting paintwork akin to "heavy make-up"and a garish colours giving it a "fair-ground" look. We were asked to custom-paint saint Joseph's garments to a decorative scheme chosen by our client, and I hope dear reader you will agree, the appearance of the restored statue is much more heavenly to view!

A "heavenly" restoration of Saint Joseph statue
Before and After - Saint Joseph statue

Bright Pupils

When restoring a statue, I think about the people who made it and who first painted it. Did they work long hours in conditions that had no "health and safety" regulations? Were they tired or their sight failing? Occasionally the original paintwork on an antique statue (over 100 years old) can appear as though it was rushed or painted by an apprentice. The Victorian aesthetic was not always what we might consider attractive today.

before & after Saint Jpseph statue restored
before & after Saint Jpseph statue restored

True to Victoriana, the surface of this statue of Saint Joseph was highly decorated (though not a standard scheme for this model). And yet it was poorly executed and rather messy.

Saint Joseph plaster statue restored & repainted
Saint Joseph plaster statue restored & repainted

At close quarters, the face was slightly disconscerting, the eyes had bright orange pupils and vibrant green lids. The Chroma of the paint used on the hair had separated into brown and purple hues, which only served to exagerrate the odd choice of flesh tones.

The dark colours and dense decoration made the figure of Saint Joseph disappear into the shady corner of the church where he stood. Father decided to go for a complete make over of the statue, and I beleive the results helped the statue of saint Joseph appear more prominent in the church. The natural rendering of the face made the figure appear more ameanable and I would suggest, fatherly. End of the Year, not the end of prayers Although we are now at the end of the Year of Saint Joseph, his powerful intercession goes on.

We are greatful to those who have made it possible for us to restore Saint Joseph's image in our churches; Remembering all those who have asked our prayers, our patrons, and all who support our work in any way, commending you all to the care of St. Joseph.

It seems appropriate here to pass on the wisdom of a holy person to me in regard to prayer: Be consistent. Be insistent. Be persistent. (Don't give up!)

Our daily prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph

Eternal Father, creator and ruler of the Universe In every age you call humanity to develop and use their gifts for the good of others, with Saint Joseph as our example and guide, help us to do the work you have asked and come to the life you have promised. Through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.

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