Franciscan Focus

Just a simple blog of a Secular Franciscan trying to live with a Franciscan focus.
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05 November 2009

Josephology: List of Must-Read Books 

A stack of Josephy goodness! (And these aren't even all of my Josephite books!)

Happily, there are Lots And Tons Of Many Great Josephite Books out there, but before I get to those, please indulge me in a rant:

Occasionally, I'll come across an author who whines something like, "Poor Joseph, there's really not much written about him! Oh, well!" To that I reply: You're full of it!

There are loads of excellent books and articles written about Joseph, ranging from devotional to scholarly and all shades in-between, so whenever a writer whines that they "couldn't find anything", it immediately suggests that he/she really didn't do much in the way of basic research. It's like plopping yourself down in a bubble bath and then whining that you don't see any water. </rant>

Whew. Thanks, I needed to get that off my chest!

Back to the list ... While I've cited a few of the titles in my Joseph posts, I figured hey, why not list 'em all in one spot for ease o' reference? So, following is a handy-dandy list of Josephite books for all your Josephy needs (and I own all of 'em save the Bibliographie, which, at 55 bucks a pop, I'm working my way up to ordering).

I'll update this post as I find more, and please note that I'm only listing books that I think are good and useful.*

Lisa's List of Happy Fun Josephy Books That You Should Read :-)

The Must-Reads

Joseph: The Man Closest to Jesus: The Complete Life, Theology and Devotional History of St. Joseph by Fr. Francis L. Filas, SJ
Considered to be the definitive Josephological tome out there, this is essential reading. Seriously. Anyone who considers themselves devoted to Joseph must read this (honkin' big) sucker; not reading it is akin to a chemist waving off study of the Periodic Table of Elements. While it's out of print, you can find a copy through used booksellers (I got mine through or borrow one from your local library. Get crackin'!

Joseph the Silent by Michel Gasnier, OP
If you only read one Josephite book, make it this 'un. (Though you really should also read the previous one, but hey, this'll do if you're draggin' yer heels.) Gasnier presents a vivid and moving portrait of Our Glorious Patriarch, and it's all based on extensive research and serious study. This dude knows his stuff (no whiny crap here), and he presents it all in a relatively short, yet engrossing, read.

Joseph in the New Testament by Fr. Larry Toschi, OSJ
The amount of info. that Fr. Toschi is able to draw from the NT about Joseph is just mind-bogglingly amazing. Sure, Scripture doesn't say a lot, but what it does say offers tons of food for thought, and Fr. Toschi delivers. I luv Fr. Toschi.

The Good-to-Reads

Now that we've gotten those Top Three outta the way, here are the rest (alphabetical by title). This isn't a comprehensive list, just my faves.

Bibliographie sur saint Joseph et la sainte Famille by Roland Gauthier, CSC
THE be-all, end-all Josephological bibliography, weighing in at 1,365 pages, with 19,725 entries! As the book's description says, it's "the single most important source of information about publications of all kinds (ecclesiastical, theological, devotional, artistic, etc.) on St. Joseph and the Holy Family." I got a look at this baby thanks to the wonders of interlibrary loan requests, and hoo-boy! You could cause some serious damage with it; it's especially useful for whacking "I-couldn't-find-anything-on-Joseph!" authors upside the head.

Husband, Father, Worker: Questions & Answers About St. Joseph by Fr. Larry Toschi, OSJ; Fr. José Antonio Bertolin, OSJ; Rick Sarkisian, PhD

Just Man, Husband of Mary, Guardian of Christ: An Anthology of Readings from Jeronimo Gracian's Summary of the Excellencies of St. Joseph (1597) by Joseph F. Chorpenning, OSFS

The Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, MA

A Manual of Practical Devotion to St. Joseph by Fr. Antony-Joseph Patriganani, SJ

Saint Joseph by Boniface Llamera, OP (out-of-print)

Saint Joseph: Patron of the Triumph by Fr. Richard Foley, SJ

Saint Joseph: Shadow of the Father by Fr. Andrew Doze

Saint Joseph Studies: Papers in English from the Seventh and Eighth International St. Joseph Symposia, Malta 1997 and El Salvador 2001 edited by Fr. Larry Toschi, OSJ

St. Joseph: A Theological Introduction by Michael D. Griffin, OCD

St. Joseph and the Third Millennium: Traditional Themes and Contemporary Issues edited by Michael D. Griffin, OCD

St. Joseph in Early Christianity: Devotion and Theology: A Study and an Anthology of Patristic Texts by Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ

True Devotion to St. Joseph and the Church by Dominic De Domenico, OP

* Books like Saint Joseph: His Life and His Role in the Church Today by Louise Bourassa Perrotta, in which she whines about "not finding anything on Joseph", do NOT make the cut. (Perrotta's book is pretty lame on top of it all. How she snookered Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR into writing the Forward is a mystery.)

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