The Blessed Sacrament Chapel
South of the Sanctuary is the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, designed originally as a Chapel of St. Joseph. The Blessed Sacrament is reserved here in the veiled tabernacle on the altar and is used for the Communion of the Sick and for the devotion of the people. Visitors are asked to show special reverence while in this chapel which is used for private prayer. St. Joseph, chosen by God to be foster father of Jesus and protector of the Holy Family, has been declared Patron of the Universal Church. The window behind the altar represents, at the foot, the shepherd boy Joseph, son of Jacob in the Old Testament, who later protected the Hebrews in Egyptian exile, and is regarded as the proto-type of Joseph of Nazareth. Above is the Angel appearing to Joseph in a dream – two such visions are reported in Matthew’s Gospel, the second advising Joseph to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt, far from Herod’s anger. Next is Joseph as guardian of the Holy Family, and finally Joseph Protector of the church represented by pope, bishop, king and people including a dying man, since Joseph, at whose death-bed Jesus and Mary are presumed to have assisted, is patron also of the dying. The adjacent window of two lights is known as the Tree of Jesse. Jesse, father of King David, is the ancestor of Joseph according to the genealogy given in Matthew’s Gospel. The recumbent figure at the foot of the window is Jesse, the intervening figures; the kingly parentage, and at the top of the window is Joseph. The carved bosses overhead represent (from the altar end) the Betrothal of Joseph to Mary, his dream and his death.
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