Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph

Congratulations! You survived the first go-round of saintly kitsch. Which is more than we can say for Herman of Alaska who lost to Harriet Tubman 61% to 39% to claim the first spot in the Faithful Four.

Next up is Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph as they vie to represent the Biblical quadrant in the next round. To make it to this point, Joanna defeated Junia and Bartimaeus, while Joseph took down Joshua and Elizabeth. Now, some saints have lend themselves to kitsch more easily than others. Today’s matchup is a perfect example of the feast and famine nature of the Elate Eight. But this is why we employ such talented Celebrity Bloggers who, at times, must tap into their unceasing creativity to bring the kitsch.

Oh, and PLEASE don’t forget that you can read all the great information posted by our Celebrity Bloggers in previous rounds by heading over to the handy Bracket tab. Time to vote!

Joanna the Myrrhbearer

Since “hardly anyone knows Joanna” the Myrrhbearer, there is hardly any saintly kitsch associated with her.

There are just a handful of icons and medals available for purchase on Etsy, including blocks bearing her cartoon image so you can make sure the next generation gets to know her better: how she left a life of luxury to follow Jesus to the margins after he may have healed her, how she helped bankroll Jesus’ ministry, how she was present at Jesus’ death, how she may have been a leader in the early church.

But there is plenty of myrrh to be found on the internet, so let’s take a look at the thing with which Joanna is most identified.

Joanna is known as the myrrhbearer because she was one of the women following Jesus who went to prepare his body for burial and found it missing on Easter morning. One of the spices and perfumes the women would have brought with them is myrrh, an earthy-scented resin extracted from a number of small, thorny trees. It has long been used as perfume, as medicine and as part of religious ceremonies.

Myrrh is mentioned throughout the Bible, making appearances at Jesus’ birth, given to him by the Magi, and at his death, offered to him as a painkiller mixed with wine as he was being crucified.

Nowadays you can get myrrh resin or essential oils from Etsy, Amazon or your college friend’s multilevel marketing business. It’s touted for everything from setting a meditative mood when burned or diffused to preventing aging when applied in skin creams.

Among the myrrh products you can buy to commemorate Joanna:

A “Christmas necklace” of myrrh resin bottled with frankincense and gold so you, too, can be a myrrhbearer wherever you go.

Notice Me myrrh and frankincense body cream in the hopes Joanna might finally be noticed in the text and celebrated for her contributions to the church.

A myrrh and frankincense-scented candle in a votive printed with the opening words of the Virgin Mary’s Magnificat — “My soul magnifies the Lord” — for when you feel like celebrating all the fiercely faithful women of the Gospel.

A golden myrrh and frankincense-scented bath bomb to unwind after several hundred years of being overlooked in church history.

And, finally, myrrh and frankincense-scented soap in the shape of a Ouija board and planchette to cleanse your spirit and perhaps conjure Joanna in order to hear more of her story — and put that whole Junia thing to rest (not advised).

Emily Miller


Selling a house or property? St. Joseph is your go-to guy. Just bury a statue of St. Joseph upside down on the property and voila! – your house will be sold.

Have a headache, fever, or other pain? Take care of that hurt with St. Joseph’s aspirin.

Looking for a job? There’s a prayer to St. Joseph for that.  In fact, there are prayers to St. Joseph for many occasions and events.

St. Joseph’s feast day is March 19 and celebrations abound. Red is the color of the day, so don crimson clothing, and decorate your home and business in hues of red.  For March 19, prepare your St. Joseph’s altar, which includes flowers – usually lilies – wine, fruit, candles, and fava beans. Add a few breadcrumbs, symbolic of St. Joseph’s carpenter dust. It’s an annual big community event in New Orleans; sadly, the public St. Joseph’s altars were cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19.

The menu on his feast day features lots of zeppoles, a yummy cream filled pastry that is a traditional St. Joseph’s Day Italian treat, along with figs, cookies, and lots of fruit.

His image graces just about any surface that is available: medals, cards, statues of all sizes, icons, ties, posters, artwork by the great masters, books, t-shirts – the list is endless.

Wear your favorite St. Joe’s athletic gear to cheer on the Philadelphia college’s basketball team through its March Madness events. Sadly, this year’s March Madness – which (surprise surprise) is held simultaneously with Lent Madness – has been called because of COVID-19.


Holy cards are available depicting St. Joseph’s appearance in two well-known visions: with Mary at Fatima, Portugal 1917 and in Knock, Ireland in 1879.

St. Joseph can be your companion throughout this pandemic. Although he is a major figure in countless movies, there are a few dedicated to his story, which you can order and binge during this confinement time: Joseph of Nazareth (2000); Joseph of Nazareth: The Story of the Man Closest to Christ (2009); and St. Joseph (2018) – it’s not really about St Joseph, but about two NJ families, one of whom calls upon St Joseph for a favor….

Or sing your choice of songs about St Joseph: Dear St. Joseph, kind and true, I have lessons I must do. They are for your Foster Son. Help me till the work is done.

The “terror of demons,” St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers, stepparents, carpenters, families, realtors, pastry chefs, numerous cities and countries.

And in this sad time of COVID –19, pray to St. Joseph if you are in doubt, or are hesitating, or if you are in harm’s way and need protection, or in need, or in trouble. Pray to St. Joseph for a peaceful, happy death.

— Neva Rae Fox


Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph

  • Joseph (69%, 4,579 Votes)
  • Joanna the Myrrhbearer (31%, 2,092 Votes)

Total Voters: 6,671

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129 Comments to "Joanna the Myrrhbearer vs. Joseph"

  1. April 1, 2020 - 8:01 am | Permalink
    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      April 1, 2020 - 10:50 am | Permalink

      OK, now I’ll be singing the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical all day.
      Life could be worse!

  2. Julie Knudsen's Gravatar Julie Knudsen
    April 1, 2020 - 8:05 am | Permalink

    Totally down with Joseph. He is frequently overlooked and he was a good man. Not too many all around good guys in the Bible!

    • Frank Hubbard's Gravatar Frank Hubbard
      April 1, 2020 - 8:57 am | Permalink

      Amen. And a quick story. When I was in college, I taught Sunday School. A friend of mine was studying Art History, and I recruited him to come one of the Sundays in Advent and show slides (remember slides?) of classic paintings of the Holy Family. He showed pictures of Mary, Mary and the infant Jesus, Mary, Elizabeth, Jesus, John the Baptist,. After a while, we heard this anguished plea from a little boy, “Where’s Joseph!!? ” My friend whispered to me, “I don’t have many with him in the picture.” “But he was, historically, “in the picture”, I said.” So in the subsequent pictures, the class and I described the sort of responsible, loving things Joseph must have been doing to care for the family which led him not to be included in the painting: getting firewood to keep everyone warm, going to work, getting groceries while Mary nursed Jesus, preparing for the flight into Egypt, etc. The kids got into it. But I’ve wondered since if there was no “Joseph” in the life of that little boy. Far too many kids don’t have a loving, responsible man in their lives. Let’s celebrate the guys who do show up for their families in good ways by celebrating Joseph.

      • April 1, 2020 - 9:12 am | Permalink

        I was voting for Joseph anyway, but your story brought tears to my eyes! Thank you! Celebrate the things dad and stepdads do every day, large and small, vote for Joseph!

        • Pamela Duncan's Gravatar Pamela Duncan
          April 1, 2020 - 9:29 am | Permalink

          Word for word what Lori said…I suspect you are won of the good guys you mentioned….

          • Pamela Duncan's Gravatar Pamela Duncan
            April 1, 2020 - 9:30 am | Permalink

            that was supposed to be “one”…not “won”

        • Renee D's Gravatar Renee D
          April 1, 2020 - 10:40 am | Permalink

          My dad was a “Joseph.” Not his name, but he was a wonderful man who quietly did things for the betterment of his family. He did everything without any fanfare. We lost him 34 years ago, and reading the above about St. Joseph reminded me of him.

        • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
          April 1, 2020 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

          Agreed , Lorie. Well said all around. I love the story of Joanna (and those little blocks are fabulous) and would be happy for either of these saints, but the love and care by Joseph for Jesus and Mary is truly reflective of God’s love for us and all of creation. Joseph for the Golden Halo!

      • Donna's Gravatar Donna
        April 1, 2020 - 9:55 am | Permalink

        Thanks Frank. I think that’s enough to push me over the voting edge to Joseph. Staying safe?

      • April 1, 2020 - 10:33 am | Permalink

        Lovely story; I had already voted by the time i read it, but thank you for highlighting the gifts of male parents! Dads matter!

      • Jack Zamboni's Gravatar Jack Zamboni
        April 1, 2020 - 11:19 am | Permalink

        I voted for Joanna largely to support all the women of our tradition who have been overlooked/ shoved aside by the men who have hogged the spotlight. But I’m good with Joseph, too, as I’m a step-dad.

        I can also say about Frank Hubbard that he is indeed one of the good guys in the mold of Joseph, as Pamela Duncan proposed above. In his retirement from full-time priestly ministry, I’m blessed that Frank decided to hang his hat in the parish I serve as Rector. He has led Kid Friendly Eucharists when I’ve been on vacation. In what he calls the reclaiming of his baptismal ministry, he reads to kids in the pediatric waiting room of an area low-income health clinic; he also plays with/reads to/babysits kids of abused women in an area shelter while moms are in group meetings with the staff. And by all accounts, he is a topnotch grandfather.

        • Donna's Gravatar Donna
          April 1, 2020 - 11:39 am | Permalink

          Yes, Frank is definitely one of the Good Guys!

        • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
          April 1, 2020 - 2:30 pm | Permalink

          Oh how lovely to know this about Frank – talk about walking in the way of Joseph!!

      • John Simkins's Gravatar John Simkins
        April 1, 2020 - 2:12 pm | Permalink

        @Frank Hubbard: Well said; Kudos for that brief lesson on St. Joseph.

      • Patricia Gordon's Gravatar Patricia Gordon
        April 1, 2020 - 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Love this reminiscence, Frank . What a generous and loving person you are. I was voting for Joseph anyway but your anecdote affirmed my thought. Especially liked your final “dedication” – you are so right. God bless you.

        • April 2, 2020 - 7:16 am | Permalink

          Poor Joanna….once again left behind as just another name in the Bible. I’m dropping a myrrh salt ball in the tub so I can sit and sulk.

      • Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
        April 1, 2020 - 8:55 pm | Permalink

        Joseph also might not be in many pictures if he, like my dad, was always the one taking the pictures 🙂

  3. Neva Rae Fox's Gravatar Neva Rae Fox
    April 1, 2020 - 8:06 am | Permalink

    Go St. Joe!

  4. Joseph John's Gravatar Joseph John
    April 1, 2020 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    Excuse me, but it’s St. Joe’s UNIVERSITY.

  5. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    April 1, 2020 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joanna the myrrh Bearer just because she’s not that well-known and everybody knows about Joseph. And I like the smell of myrrh incense when it burns

  6. Gloria Ishida's Gravatar Gloria Ishida
    April 1, 2020 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Difficult to choose, although both have significant roles, as there really isn’t a lot of verifiable background for either. Still I will go with Joanna, who administered to the body of Jesus. She must have loved him as deeply as the other women followers at that time.

  7. Denise LeGendre's Gravatar Denise LeGendre
    April 1, 2020 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I was going to vote for Joanna but somehow Joseph stole my heart this morning. One question has always bothered me though – why bury the statue upside down when trying to sell your house? Anecdotally, it seems to have helped my sister in a buyers market years ago but why the indignity of upside down?

    • Beth Parkhurst's Gravatar Beth Parkhurst
      April 1, 2020 - 8:28 am | Permalink

      My guess about the rationale for burying St. Joseph upside down is that he’ll in more of a hurry to get the house sold so he can be put rightside up. Worked for my Episcopalian mother. Thank you, St. Joseph!

      • sheila's Gravatar sheila
        April 1, 2020 - 8:46 am | Permalink

        worked for me sell my house….I looked to retrieved the statue but cold not find it. …….Joseph gets my vote…carpenter, visionary, willing to be redirected, to be flexible and face the circumstances of following call….

      • Denise LeGendre's Gravatar Denise LeGendre
        April 1, 2020 - 9:18 am | Permalink

        Love it! I’m adopting that explanation!

      • Ruth Douglas Miller's Gravatar Ruth Douglas Miller
        April 1, 2020 - 9:54 am | Permalink

        Brief web search says you’re right, and even says it originated in a tradition of abusing the saints to get them to help you. Doesn’t sound like the most effective strategy, to me!

    • April 1, 2020 - 9:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, it worked for me, too. But I put him in a plastic bag so he wouldn’t get dirty. Don’t know why he must be upside down, however. And you just have to remember to dig him up before you move!!

    • Donna's Gravatar Donna
      April 1, 2020 - 9:59 am | Permalink

      Often wondered that myself. I had Jewish friend who were trying to sell their house for quite a while. Another friend, a Roman deacon, told them the St. Joseph story –they did it and the house got sold almost immediately.

    • Sandy Warren's Gravatar Sandy Warren
      April 1, 2020 - 1:25 pm | Permalink

      My sister gave me a St Joseph statue when we were selling our house but I could never quite bring myself to bury him. I let him preside from a high shelf with a nice view over the water in front. It took a long time for our house to sell but it was ultimately perfect timing, for which I credit Joseph. I think that there is no need for burying to be part of the recipe. I had never had any prior experience of traditions around the intercession of saints, but I found Joseph’s quiet presence surprisingly supportive during the whole process.

      • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
        April 1, 2020 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

        Can’t tell you why St. Joseph is supposed to be buried upside down, but I do know that when the home is sold, he is supposed to be placed in a place of honor in the new home!

  8. April 1, 2020 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    Go Joe! He had all the faith and trust and hope in the world! And I like him at his workbench with the hammer. That medal used to be my best seller. Now it’s a bit of a dud but I love Joe. Go Joe!

  9. Barbara Ross's Gravatar Barbara Ross
    April 1, 2020 - 8:28 am | Permalink

    Kudos to both celebrity bloggers today for their highly entertaining kitsch collections.

  10. Nina Nicholson's Gravatar Nina Nicholson
    April 1, 2020 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    When we sold our house, by chance our realtor published its listing ON St. Joseph’s feast day, and it was under contract to a buyer in less than a week.

  11. April 1, 2020 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    I was going to vote for Joanna, Who quietly supported the ministry, but the great write-up of all the solutions to problems people attribute to St. Josesph I decided to vote for a peaceful death.

    • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
      April 1, 2020 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      Yeah, that “peaceful, happy death” thing! Oh, Neva! Made me laugh in horror and cast my vote for St. Joseph, dad of dads and pop of pops.

  12. Carolyn's Gravatar Carolyn
    April 1, 2020 - 8:45 am | Permalink

    Difficult choice, but I went with Joanna, to elevate the untold stories of so many biblical women. My dad, a carpenter (though named William), had the exact kitschy necktie pictured. That swayed me a bit toward a vote for Joseph, but Joanna and women everywhere won in the end.

  13. Laura R.'s Gravatar Laura R.
    April 1, 2020 - 8:46 am | Permalink

    I have to support the “fiercely faithful” women of Christianity!

  14. April 1, 2020 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    Last Fall before the ground froze, I buried a statue of St. Joseph in our front yard for aide in selling our Vermont home. The house was listed on a Thursday afternoon and we signed a contract Saturday. My vote is for St. Joseph.

  15. Marian the Lutheran's Gravatar Marian the Lutheran
    April 1, 2020 - 9:04 am | Permalink

    In honor of Ralph and Bob – 2 of the best stepfather I have ever met in person, I vote for St Joe.

  16. Joyce's Gravatar Joyce
    April 1, 2020 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Here’s a little kitch humor. A close friend, an Episocopal priest, gave us a plastic St. Joseph statue she bought on-line to help us sell our house. We did everything right: buried him upside down in the flower garden in front of the house, faced him toward the house, etc. Every morning I would find him unear
    thed and tossed aside on the ground. We figured it was either a raccoon or a squirrel – once he was taken up the driveway before dropped. So, I hid him deep in a pot of geraniums by the front door, and guess what, we sold the house.

  17. Elise Adams's Gravatar Elise Adams
    April 1, 2020 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I hate to once again overlook a fellow female follower of Jesus, but I must vote for the good father, remembering my own good father.

  18. Joseph's Gravatar Joseph
    April 1, 2020 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    I have to go with Joseph, patron Saint of Canada.

  19. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 1, 2020 - 9:13 am | Permalink

    “Your college friend’s multilevel marketing business”: that’s a different herb, Emily, associated more with the stoners than with the stoned. I voted for Joanna purely for the kitsch and for Emily’s magnificent effort to create a kitsch world for Joanna ex nihilo. Having been consumed this week with putting an entire course online, with long meetings in Zoom, with long meetings in Zoom to learn Zoom, I do not pray for a peaceful and happy death. If death comes, I hope it comes instantly, and is not latent in this cold I have. Did I pick up an invisible colored-circle-undead-pest from the xerox machine or my refrigerator handle? If I am now unknowingly among the walking dead, I want to spend my last hacking breaths among the “fiercely faithful women of the Gospel.”
    Also, here’s a recipe for zeppole (basically fritters), from Jill Paradiso on the Food Republic site:
    • 1 cup flour
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup ricotta
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs, well beaten
    • Powdered sugar, for garnish
    • Vegetable vegetable oil for frying
    1. Pour about 2 inches of oil into a 3-quart pot and heat over medium-high flame.
    2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
    3. Add in eggs, vanilla and ricotta and stir to fully incorporate. The consistency will be like a thick batter.
    4. When oil is hot (about 375 degrees), start frying in small batches of 3 or 4 at a time using about 1 tablespoon of batter for each zeppola. The batter will puff up when dropped in the hot oil.
    5. Fry about 3 minutes or until deeply and evenly browned on all sides, flipping over about half way through.
    6. Transfer fried zeppole to paper towels to absorb excess oil and garnish liberally with powdered sugar.
    7. Zeppole are best when warm, but can be served up to 2-3 hours after cooking.

    • Mimi's Gravatar Mimi
      April 1, 2020 - 10:02 am | Permalink

      Thanks for this recipe! I think I’ll mark my calendar to hold a zeppole frying party next March 19!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 1, 2020 - 10:05 am | Permalink

      You are branching out from cocktail recipes! Those zeppoles sound scrumptious. And now you have me worried. St. C is sick? Please take care of yourself!

    • Marcia Bracy's Gravatar Marcia Bracy
      April 1, 2020 - 10:06 am | Permalink

      There are at least three multi-level marketing businesses whose sales are focused on essential oils. I don’t think she was referring to that “other herb” in this context,

      • Marcia Bracy's Gravatar Marcia Bracy
        April 1, 2020 - 10:09 am | Permalink

        By the way – I voted for Joseph in honor of my own wonderful father.

    • Jill Reynolds's Gravatar Jill Reynolds
      April 1, 2020 - 9:52 pm | Permalink

      Golden pastry for golden halo?

  20. Pastor Rick's Gravatar Pastor Rick
    April 1, 2020 - 9:19 am | Permalink

    Kitsch: Joseph, I might have to sell my house some day. As for the myrrh, I suspect the one who embalms my body will take care of that.

  21. Marilyn's Gravatar Marilyn
    April 1, 2020 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Joseph and fava beans.

  22. Margaret S's Gravatar Margaret S
    April 1, 2020 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Both of today’s Saints are often relegated to the background and are under appreciated. I voted for Joanna for her strong faith in following Jesus and her love, respect and care for his body after death. In this time of pandemic, I am especially mindful of all the caregivers who are risking their own lives to provide care, comfort, and compassion to so many.

    • SharonDianneFosterPattison's Gravatar SharonDianneFosterPattison
      April 1, 2020 - 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to all caregivers this 2020, and always, but especially this 2020!
      Women in the Bible and even now, were underestimated and expected to do whatever, without praise!Has anything changed in this year of our Lord 2020?
      My vote is still for the under praised Joanna for her strength and conviction to do whatever to care for the one she so loved JESUS!

  23. Joanne B. Parrott's Gravatar Joanne B. Parrott
    April 1, 2020 - 9:36 am | Permalink

    Joanna for the women who should be recognized not overlooked

  24. Sheila Williams Brockmeier's Gravatar Sheila Williams Brockmeier
    April 1, 2020 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    Good job, Emily Miller, on finding some “kitsch” for Joanna! I appreciate and admire Joanna, but voted for Joseph because ultimately, his life had the bigger impact on Jesus (and consequently, we followers of Jesus). Phew, that was a run-on sentence almost worthy of some of Paul’s Epistles!

  25. April 1, 2020 - 9:44 am | Permalink

    This competition is unfair for poor Joanna. I really like Joanna and want to vote for her, but she can’t compete with the father of Jesus. Martha

  26. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    April 1, 2020 - 9:46 am | Permalink

    I was heading toward a vote for Joanna until I noticed, and read, the prayer to Joseph for employment on the card in the bio. Go back and read it, if you missed it: it’s quite beautiful and speaks so directly to this moment.

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 1, 2020 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      I missed that. Will go. Back and look. Thanks, Davis.

    • Jane Young's Gravatar Jane Young
      April 1, 2020 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      Thank you, it’s a great prayer and very timely!

    • Vicar Mollie's Gravatar Vicar Mollie
      April 1, 2020 - 10:10 am | Permalink

      Wow! Thanks, David.

    • Mary Gallagher's Gravatar Mary Gallagher
      April 2, 2020 - 1:48 am | Permalink

      Thank you for having me go read the prayer…it is very timely indeed.

  27. Millie's Gravatar Millie
    April 1, 2020 - 10:16 am | Permalink

    Hey, y’all! Let’s have a rally for Joanna the unknown. Joseph (the man) gets all the attention again. Joanna has waited far too long to be in the spotlight. All the way with Joanna.

  28. April 1, 2020 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph, have him in the final, but I love Emily’s image of using the bath bomb to overcome centuries of neglect in church history. Made me chuckle today. And I REALLY need to chuckle.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      April 1, 2020 - 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Glad I could help, Jane!

  29. April 1, 2020 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    Oh, my goodness! The Celebrity Bloggers have done a real number today! Joanna’s ‘stuff’ gave me a giggle and Joseph’s devotionals spoke to special moments in my life. What to do, what to do?

  30. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 1, 2020 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    Really enjoyed the kitsch today. I voted for Joseph.

  31. Fr Bill 80 year old priest's Gravatar Fr Bill 80 year old priest
    April 1, 2020 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    When our son was gardening at his new house in Orange City NJ he found a Joseph in the garden. It had been left there by an owner before the last one.
    However, I voted for Joanna.

  32. Deborah Northern's Gravatar Deborah Northern
    April 1, 2020 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    Went for Joanna because she risked a lot to come out to see that Jesus had a proper burial. With all the deaths from the virus and families unable to come together to bury their dead as in the past, I hope we have people like Joanna who will do these unseen tasks of preparing the body for burial.

  33. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    April 1, 2020 - 11:01 am | Permalink

    It was REALLY hard to choose–but that’s the point, right? But I went with Joseph, for all those dads who support their families, even without a lot of fanfare.

  34. Ron Carswell's Gravatar Ron Carswell
    April 1, 2020 - 11:05 am | Permalink

    Tough choice. The early fathers did a great job of masking the fiercely faithful women around Jesus. I’m learning so much. Just a question? Do we pray to Saints or do we ask the Saints to pray for us?

    • Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
      April 1, 2020 - 12:30 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox pray to saints, asking them to intercede with God; but Protestants, who believe that no intercession other than Jesus is necessary, do not. For Anglicans it is an option. The practice can and does seem to lead to attributing various powers to the saints themselves, but I believe the official doctrine is that they only intercede and that the power to grant the thing prayed for is God’s alone.

      I would welcome correction or clarification from anyone who knows more about the practice than I do, which isn’t a lot because I don’t personally pursue it.

  35. Charles Stuart's Gravatar Charles Stuart
    April 1, 2020 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    As father of Jesus, non-judgmental and supportive husband of Mary, and awesome go-to for prayers of intercession, Joseph gets my vote.

  36. Elaine Hixson's Gravatar Elaine Hixson
    April 1, 2020 - 11:20 am | Permalink

    Just know that if you bury St. Joseph in the yard for selling your home, you have to find a Joseph that is not holding Jesus! Jesus is Risen!

    • Susan Lee Hauser's Gravatar Susan Lee Hauser
      April 1, 2020 - 11:45 am | Permalink

      Great kitsch today, ladies! St. Joseph’s altars are something new for me this Lent Madness—there are photos of some fantastic ones on Pinterest. It’s amazing the things that are made from bread on those altars—crosses and pigs of all things! I am charmed by the idea of sprinkling bread crumbs over it all in memory of the sawdust of Joseph’s workshop.

      Both my dad and husband have made me beautiful things of wood; both are wonderful fathers. But I can’t not vote for Joanna. I am fascinated by the idea of this upper crust lady leaving her privileged life behind and giving her life and money to follow Jesus and stick with him to the glorious end (beginning!). And I think I’m going to have to order that ouija board soap!

  37. April 1, 2020 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    St. Joseph is one of my favorite saints. We have a lot in common; for instance, both of our fathers are Jacobs; we both are married to Marys; we are both dreamers; we’re both stepfathers.
    I took Joseph as my Confirmation name. I am also attracted to Joseph’s humility and obedience.

  38. April 1, 2020 - 11:26 am | Permalink

    This was a tough decision. My son’s in the midst of selling his house and I’m inclined to purchase a St. Joseph statuette as a gift for him to bury in his back yard. On the other hand, burning an essential oil with myrrh may be more helpful to ease anxiety during this current COVID-19 crisis. With that in mind, I vote for Joanna.

  39. Scott Glidden's Gravatar Scott Glidden
    April 1, 2020 - 11:44 am | Permalink

    Luke is the nom de plume for Joanna/Junia.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 1, 2020 - 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Hadn’t heard that before. Love the idea!

  40. Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
    April 1, 2020 - 11:53 am | Permalink

    Joseph is a Dad among Dads. I love the story above about the teacher and children imagining all the work and care he lavished on Mary and Jesus. A mensch for all seasons.

  41. Linda LeBreux's Gravatar Linda LeBreux
    April 1, 2020 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m voting for Joanna. It took 3 years to sell our house. St. Joseph’s assistance was NOT effective. But Frank Hubbard’s story almost swayed me.

  42. Jo's Gravatar Jo
    April 1, 2020 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Joanna or Joseph – both my namesakes – and Joseph will win the day, but here is why I am going with Joanna – there is a “dogged” quality to Joanna that I love. Even when things got as bad as they could get – Jesus condemned to death, Jesus dying – she was there. She was with Him at the end, she was there at the tomb. There are people in life who don’t give up. Who are just determined to be “there”, even when things are grim – people who stay with you when things don’t look good, people who are there when the worst happens, people who in their dogged, steadfast way, are there to pick up the pieces. They are often not the big heroes we know of, but their steady presence, their determination to just be there with us, gives us comfort, courage and strength. So thank you, Joanna, for just being there.

    • Shelly's Gravatar Shelly
      April 1, 2020 - 7:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure I’m going to vote for Joseph, because I was so moved by Frank Hubbard’s story. However, you’re giving me second thoughts.

  43. Ann Smith's Gravatar Ann Smith
    April 1, 2020 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Once again I was torn between the two. Joseph won out, mostly because I was the organist of the Church of St. Joseph of Nazareth. I remember many wonderful sermons about him over the years I served there.

  44. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 1, 2020 - 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Joseph for the Gold. Duh.

  45. Linda S's Gravatar Linda S
    April 1, 2020 - 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Joanna, though we know little of her, those few mentions depict a potent woman who impacted Jesus’s mission in life. Inspiring and worthy of our vote any day of Lent for sure…
    Now consider Joseph, the man God chose to care for and bring up Lil’ God Incarnate. This morning I’m thinking about Joseph’s unstated departure from the Gospel narrative. It’s exactly as it should be: Joseph decreases as Jesus increases.
    I’m voting for Joseph.

  46. Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
    April 1, 2020 - 12:52 pm | Permalink
    • Melanie's Gravatar Melanie
      April 1, 2020 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Darn. It didn’t work. How do people manage to post photos? Never mind. It was a nativity scene in which Joseph is playing with the baby and Mary is sound asleep on the manger. Adorable. Sorry y’all can’t see it.

      • Sandy Warren's Gravatar Sandy Warren
        April 1, 2020 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

        I love the idea of this! Thanks for describing it even if the photo won’t post! ( :

      • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
        April 1, 2020 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

        I was able to see it. Thank you for this lovely family moment.

    • Sue heise's Gravatar Sue heise
      April 1, 2020 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

      I was able to see the photo, it did work.

  47. john's Gravatar john
    April 1, 2020 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    In times of looming unemployment via the pandemic, St. Joseph will called upon through prayers and sermons.

  48. Rene Jamieson's Gravatar Rene Jamieson
    April 1, 2020 - 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I had already voted when I read Frank ‘s story, and that served to affirm for me that I had made the right choice.

  49. Rufus's Gravatar Rufus
    April 1, 2020 - 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph. Couldn’t help myself: I’m a father!
    By the way, I heard once in a sermon that we are probably incorrect to think of Joseph as a carpenter. There are so few trees in the Holy Land, he wouldn’t have had much wood to work with. I think the Greek word in the original text is something like “teknike,” cognate with our technique/technician and designated a person who made things. The speculation offered in the sermon was that Joseph was a stone mason.

    • Frank Hubbard's Gravatar Frank Hubbard
      April 1, 2020 - 5:31 pm | Permalink

      What I’ve heard is that the word usually translated as “carpenter” could also mean “stonemason” — a multi-talented master craftsman, “blue chip” blue collar worker. As a stone mason, Joseph would have been able to make the stone for a “rolling stone tomb” (looks like a giant “manhole” cover made out of stone). There is such a tomb, carved out of bedrock, in the lower-most level of what is now an archeological site in Nazareth, under what I saw in 1994 was a school for deaf and blind children of all faiths run by the R.C. Sisters of Nazareth. In what was a little village in the First Century, how many master craftsmen would there have been? Which makes that house quite possibly Jesus’ boyhood home.

  50. April 1, 2020 - 2:01 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have strong feelings about either. I’m not a believer in praying to saints or performing rituals like burying saints statues upside down, particularly not abusing statues to get them give you what you want. My father was a terrific person who used reason on me instead of spankings. I feel women have been treated badly throughout human history, so I feel I should vote for Joanna, but this time I’m voting in honor of my dad.

  51. April 1, 2020 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    A soap ouija board and a bath bomb are hard to beat. Since I own a bakery and married a Joseph I had to roll with Joe. Heading to Etsy now to check out Jo’s kitsch.

  52. Diane Quantic's Gravatar Diane Quantic
    April 1, 2020 - 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Poor Joanna has turned into a kitsch machine. Apparently few to none of her nicknacks have any restorative powers. Who would want a myrrh necklace for heavens sake. No, Joseph has the power: lost things, lost souls, carpenters, neglected houses–and I know the Joseph upside down works. That plus repainting the entire interior of the colorful house with one dull color.

  53. Kelly McGlaun-Fields's Gravatar Kelly McGlaun-Fields
    April 1, 2020 - 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Joseph to honor Chad, who stepped in to raise my granddaughter as his own.

  54. Michelle Jackson's Gravatar Michelle Jackson
    April 1, 2020 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    My father’s name was Joseph, as was his father, who was born in Prizzi, Sicily, 1886. Dad remembered that he and his father had their own special St Joseph’s Day, March 19, celebration. He got to sit alone with his dad, at a special table for dinner. He said it was meant to be fun but he really just wanted to sit with everyone at the big table.

  55. Kristen's Gravatar Kristen
    April 1, 2020 - 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I voted for Joanna. Also I am loving you low key making fun of MLMs.

  56. Cheryl K.'s Gravatar Cheryl K.
    April 1, 2020 - 3:36 pm | Permalink

    There are actually a number of interesting Orthodox icons of the “myrrh bearers” available through the various outlets such as Uncut Mountain Supply and Skete, so Joanna is getting some of her due over there.

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      April 1, 2020 - 5:47 pm | Permalink

      They’re too pretty to be kitschy, though! I was thinking of getting one to console myself for what looks like will be Joanna’s loss today.

  57. James N Lodwick's Gravatar James N Lodwick
    April 1, 2020 - 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Neva Rae Fox says that red is the color of St. Joseph’s Day. Where? I think she’s wrong. I’ve always thought it was white. Joseph wasn’t martyred for the faith. My liturgical calendar lists white as the color of the day.

  58. Sally Harris's Gravatar Sally Harris
    April 1, 2020 - 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Joseph – patron saint of pastry chefs…
    Enough said!

    April 1, 2020 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic job by both celebrity bloggers, but especially on Joanna the Myrrhbearer. Tak about making something from nothing!! I found myself laughing out loud throughout! Thank you. I shall always remember Joanna even if she doesn’t get the Golden Halo!

    • Emily McFarlan Miller's Gravatar Emily McFarlan Miller
      April 1, 2020 - 5:48 pm | Permalink

      My work here is done!

      • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
        April 1, 2020 - 6:02 pm | Permalink

        I loved your write-up too! Especially the ending stream of what each item reminds us about Joanna. I’m with Louise – I will always now remember this extraordinary woman.

  60. Laura Russell's Gravatar Laura Russell
    April 1, 2020 - 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Celebrity Bloggers, for your writing. Just to let you know, though, you eat Sfinci on St. Joseph’s Day-the proper name for the canoli cream filled pastry in honor of him. I get them every year and celebrate my Sicilian roots!

    • Barbara MacRobie's Gravatar Barbara MacRobie
      April 1, 2020 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of Sicilian pastries, maybe next year we should try to get St. Agatha on the list just for the sake of those traditional cakes showing up in the kitsch round. I found out about them only last night when a friend sent me a link. At first I thought she was kidding!

  61. Kevin's Gravatar Kevin
    April 1, 2020 - 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Joseph. Wife born on 3-19; taught 3rd grade many, MANY years ago for the Sisters of St. Joseph (for 2 years); 1969 graduate of St. Joe’s in Philadelphia.

  62. Loretta's Gravatar Loretta
    April 1, 2020 - 4:24 pm | Permalink

    My choices are driven by the quality (kitschiness) of the kitsch.

  63. TJMannion's Gravatar TJMannion
    April 1, 2020 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Joey is the man!

  64. Edwin's Gravatar Edwin
    April 1, 2020 - 4:53 pm | Permalink

    “Looking for a job? There’s a prayer to St. Joseph for that. In fact, there are prayers to St. Joseph for many occasions and events.”
    For these sorts of prayers, might they best be addressed to Daaaadyyyy.

  65. Leslie's Gravatar Leslie
    April 1, 2020 - 5:00 pm | Permalink

    As it’s April Fools’ Day, I voted for Joanna as it seems to be a foolish enterprise. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Joanna is celebrated on two days – her feast day in June, and on the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing women (2nd Sunday after Orthodox Easter). Kudos to women who marked the path for others, as Joanna did in being one of the early disciples.

  66. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    April 1, 2020 - 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Really difficult to decide today between these two over looked saints. Once again I have voted for both in previous rounds. However in the end Joseph’s association with baking won my vote. Perhaps he will pray for me as I experiment on my family during the lock down.

  67. Dolores Duncan's Gravatar Dolores Duncan
    April 1, 2020 - 5:25 pm | Permalink

    YEARS ago, as we passed a house with MANY Christmas Decorations (none religious) my daughter exclaimed:”Where’s Joseph, and Mary?” I was surprised to hear a child of less than 10 years show thought of Joseph.

  68. Sr. Heather's Gravatar Sr. Heather
    April 1, 2020 - 7:03 pm | Permalink

    One of my friends had almost immediate success selling her house with the help of St. Joseph. She didn’t have a statue, so she visualized herself burying one in the yard, and the house sold the next day!

  69. Emily Sampson's Gravatar Emily Sampson
    April 1, 2020 - 7:06 pm | Permalink

    One of my favorite paintings is St. Joseph Charpentier by Georges de la Tour. How he establishes the fragility of the child and the love between Joseph and Jesus is breathtaking A worthy painting for any home that wishes to honor the role of fathers

  70. Carole's Gravatar Carole
    April 1, 2020 - 8:32 pm | Permalink

    On Staff at St. Joseph’s in Seattle during two Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Northwest years. Happily “Ruined for Life”. It’s Joseph for me.

  71. Barbara Gay's Gravatar Barbara Gay
    April 1, 2020 - 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Had to vote for Joseph because both my favorite men are carpenters (going with the popular assumption about Joseph’s profession) plus the need for his intercession on behalf of all the people suddenly unemployed in the last two weeks.

  72. Nancy Noel's Gravatar Nancy Noel
    April 1, 2020 - 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Assumed and intended to vote for Joanna, as women so slighted in the Bible[with most not even mentioned by name but just as “his daughters/wife”]
    So for the first time I “cheated” and read comments before voting. Have to go with Joseph especially after reading Neva’s last paragraph
    BTW what exactly is”kitsch”?

  73. Wendy Mayer's Gravatar Wendy Mayer
    April 1, 2020 - 10:54 pm | Permalink

    This was a hard vote for me!! I go into institutions where women are incarcerated to take meetings and I believe that these women have the privileges that they do because of Saint Joanna. I also have a heart for stepfather’s as my oldest son was raised by my husband, who is not his biological father, but amazing job in connecting with my son, whose father was an active alcoholic. Therefore my vote went for Saint Joseph, the patron of the fathers.

  74. Sara L's Gravatar Sara L
    April 1, 2020 - 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Voting late in the day, and for the likely also-ran. Love both these saints! But going with Joanna over Joseph, as she was present at the Resurrection. That’s what we’re about to celebrate! (in a pandemically-responsible way)

  75. Mary Lou's Gravatar Mary Lou
    April 1, 2020 - 11:36 pm | Permalink

    I had to stay with my home boy. I’ve always felt that Joseph got the short shrift in the Bible. Think about it; God expected a lot of Joseph. Betrothed to a virgin, then he’s told that even though he isn’t the father, he’s got to marry her anyway. And, oh yeah, you have to raise this child, which he did. But suddenly Joseph disappears from the Bible. Poof! Never to be heard of, or from, again! Hmm. So, there’s always been a soft spot in my heart for Joseph.

  76. Cheryl's Gravatar Cheryl
    April 1, 2020 - 11:36 pm | Permalink

    @Nancy Noel

    Check this out:

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