Relationship with someone begins with a particular face and name. Through our faces we can communicate to another what is hidden deep within our souls. Names have meaning, giving a clue to shed light on the mystery of the person. Our names, connected with our face become the basis of our relationship with others. When we give our own name, and turn our face to others, we are giving something of ourselves. How our name is used by others, with respect and love, or with disrespect and hatred, will be reflected in our face.
“The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it. The name one receives is a name for eternity. God calls each one by name. Everyone’s name is sacred.”– Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2158-59
Therefore, St. Joseph’s name is an icon of his person, and the meaning of his name is a key to the treasures that are unveiled to those who are blessed to enter into a relationship with this great saint. The mysterious meaning of the name of Joseph is “He will increase.”
But, to little Jesus, St. Joseph’s name was “Abba” – Father, Daddy. His was the first man’s face that the Christ Child saw, with all the virtues reflected there – humility, patience, obedience, faith, hope, charity… St. Joseph’s face was the mirror of the image of God the Father, and his name was the echo of the Holy Name of God.
When we go to St. Joseph, as our model, in prayer and contemplation, “he will increase” grace, virtues, and God’s mercy in us. And Jesus will look on us, with eyes of love, as He looked upon the face of His father on earth, the glorious St. Joseph. What a tremendous blessing is this “Year of St. Joseph” for the Church and the world!