Sliem Għalik Sużeppi, Bin David
by Martin Mamo OFM Cap.
printed by Outlook Coop, Malta, 2021
In December 2020, Pope Francis decreed 2021 as the year dedicated to Saint Joseph. He not only expressed his desire that Christians commemorate the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as Protector of the Universal Church by Pope Pius IX in 1870, but – more importantly – to invite the faithful to reflect on the role and the unique example given by the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The author of the volume, Father Martin Mamo, Capuchin Brother, offers readers a wide range of essays on Saint Joseph. In fact, the book includes 24 chapters that Fr. Mamo qualifies as “reflections” – on very varied themes, such as: Joseph, the righteous; the sanctity of marriage; Joseph, a man of prayer and silence; Joseph and the new evangelization, Joseph’s relationship with Mary; the devotion of various saints to St Joseph; Joseph in the liturgy; and cathedrals and churches dedicated to the saint.
Among the merits of this volume, we note that the author managed to edit several essays he had written over the years, as well as two eulogies on Saint Joseph that he delivered in his native Kalkara.
It is commendable that such matter which has dispersed and could have been lost is now united in this mini encyclopedia on the man who exercised such a unique role, that of being the foster father of the Son of God made man. .
The author is to be congratulated for including an unpublished text on Saint Joseph by the famous Gozitan poet and Capuchin friar, Father Matthew Sultana (1918-1986). Once again, such a work – the text of a eulogy on Saint Joseph – could have been lost, if it had not been offered, 36 years ago, by Sultana to Mamo who decided to share it with her readers.
The last part of the book offers a vast collection of prayers to Saint Joseph. These prayers, with their varied styles and origins, are a source of spiritual nourishment for the faithful of Saint Joseph. If that was not enough, Mamo then completes his collection by also publishing a series of hymns to the saint.
As the year consecrated by Pope Francis to Saint Joseph is gradually drawing to a close, readers of Fr. Martin Mamo’s book are invited to reflect on the saint and to be inspired by his exemplary witness.
Further information on the acquisition of the book can be obtained from religious bookstores and Capuchin convents in Malta and Gozo. All proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to the Malta Trust Foundation, chaired by President Emeritus Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.
Fr. Hector Scerri is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology, University of Malta.
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