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Emblem of St. Joseph, foster father of Our Lord. Usually represented with lilies sprouting from the rod, honoring his virginity and purity. Legend has it that Mary's life partner was chosen in this way. As early as the fourth century we see Joseph represented with this emblem, while the other suitors called together by Zechariah are seen holding barren rods.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.