NE OF MY favorite paintings of Saint Joseph is by Jusepe de Ribera. This Spanish Baroque painter was not afraid to make Saint Joseph a strong, handsome father. Joseph holds in his hand a blossoming staff and looks up to his own Father in heaven just as Christ look up at him. I love the austere solemnity of this painting. I think Ribera had a special gift at representing flesh. If you look closely, you can see that Saint Joseph has just the beginnings of a few fine lines around his eyes and on his forehead. It is as if we can read on his face the care he has lavished on Mary and Christ.