Another Spanish painting of S. Joseph by Murillo (1670s). This is another image popular in the 16th and 17th centuries in Spain, S. Joseph in some fatherly pose with the Divine Infant. In this case, he is normally shown as a younger man with a black beard, although here we can also see the flowering staff is still present. The younger S. Joseph is part of a programme of re-evangelising European city states by promoting the Holy Family as the ideally harmonious and ordered family unit. From Catholicculture.org :
"In 1570 Johannes Molanus, the Counter-Reformation's arbiter of religious art, demanded a clean sweep of legendary material in Christian art. Among the subjects his writings denounced were the Holy Kindred and apocryphal accounts of St. Joseph's selection as Mary's spouse. Molanus insisted that St. Joseph be depicted as young and vigorous, with the Christ child firmly under his paternal authority."
Prayer to S. Joseph for Protection
Gracious St. Joseph, protect me and my family from all evil as you did the Holy Family. Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ, ever fervent in imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady, your sinless spouse, and always faithful in devotion to you. Amen.