A photo depicting Saint Joseph by a Mullingar woman has appeared for the third consecutive year on the cover of a religious magazine.
Last year, Nuala Higgins’ photo of a stained glass window by Sue Klayman at St Joseph the Worker Church in Ozark, Missouri, featured on the cover of a magazine, the December edition of St Patrick’s Mission magazine’ Africa’ – and this year he appears on the cover of St Joseph’s Advocate, the magazine of St Joseph’s Missionary Society of Mill Hill.
The image depicts Joseph holding the infant Jesus while Mary rests, and in 2019 it also featured in the December edition of St Martin’s magazine.
Nuala took the photo while visiting the US on vacation in May 2019. She previously told the Westmeath Examiner that the stained glass window struck her as unusual.
“You rarely see a young Saint Joseph – he is usually depicted as an old man. And you also rarely see him holding the baby Jesus.
“Before that, I had been to Santa Cruz, California, after visiting the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph the Redeemer. It really woke me up to St Joseph, and from there I realized he had a role important to play in the life of Christ, and we forget it.
“I discovered a new admiration for Joseph’s role in the Holy Family. The prayer garden attached to the sanctuary as well as the devotion to Joseph was heavenly and touched me deeply. I have the impression that the adoptive father of Christ is often forgotten. In fact, as far as we know, Jesus in his public life never mentioned it.
In the Winter 2021 edition of St Joseph’s Advocate, in his “From the Editor” article, Father Jim O’Connell writes: “Joseph looks younger and more involved than he often appears to be in the nativity scene and in the paintings. In the stained glass window, he is at the center of things – as the father lovingly holding the infant Jesus.
“He looks rather serious, as if in deep thought, perhaps worried about what lies ahead. The baby Jesus looks calm and secure in Joseph’s strong arms. Here we see Joseph in his role as father of Jesus and husband of Mary.”
Nuala’s photos have won awards and other recognition, and in the 2022 calendar of St Martin de Porres three of them feature, for the months of February, March and August.
The picture she took of a deer in San Antonio, Texas, outside the home of Father Kevin Ryan, from St John’s Terrace, Mullingar, appears in February. Nuala recalls Father Kevin being a well-known member of the Mullingar Shamrocks and playing with Mullingar Town in the 1960s. He is now pastor of St Mark the Evangelist Church in San Antonio.
Another image that Nuala captured during her travels in the United States illustrates the month of August. “I snapped the squirrel in a Little Rock, Arkansas park in March 2020.”
A photo Nuala took near her home in Ginnell Terrace shows the month of March in the calendar; it shows the Boris Anrep mosaic of St Patrick in Christ the King Cathedral, Mullingar.