St. Joseph No Proletarian

At this time of the year, I am reminded of one of the many things that the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, may he rest in peace, taught me.

During the Middle Ages, some undoubtedly well-intended monks set out to proletarianize the Holy Family. (From similar motives, others portrayed one of the Three Kings as black, although they were probably Chaldeans, and undoubtedly white.)

Despite all the claims and sweet stories, St. Joseph was no worker. He was a prince of the royal family of Israel, “of the House and lineage of David.” And his profession is more properly translated as builder, not carpenter. He was also a property owner, one of a very few at that time.

This does not mean he was well-to-do. We link aristocracy and money, said Erik, but that has never been true in the Middle East. It was also not true in the American South after the invasion and military occupation by rapacious federal troops, he pointed out. Our Lady was an earthly aristocrat as well.

When God became man, in the event that split history, He came to all peoples, of all classes, of all times. But Our Lord came first to His own people, and He was born into their royal family. That is one of the reasons He was accused of seeking to become an earthy king. But enough of historical revisionism for the moment.

May the Christ Child, His Blessed Mother, and his holy foster father, St. Joseph, be with you on this day, and always.

December 25, 1999