He shone in outward appearance but even more so in the excellence of his mind.
And though for many people good looks are usually a hindrance to a good life, they could not harm this saintly man because his handsome appearance was governed by the excellence of his mind.
So the soul must rule the body, not the body the soul, because the soul is mistress of the body; the body is really a servant to the soul.
Hence the unhappiness of the soul which is ruled by the body, and after being mistress becomes servant, because it breaks faith with the Lord and submits to the slavery of sin.
But the soul of the Patriarch Joseph was faithful to its dominion, and there was no question of the body usurping its power.
In fact when his master’s wife, an unchaste woman, asked him to lie with her he refused to do so, because even in his state of slavery he had not lost command of his soul. As a result he was falsely accused and put into prison.
But the saintly man regarded that prison as a palace, or rather was himself a palace in the prison, because where there is faith, chastity and modesty, there is the palace of Christ, the Temple of God, the abode of the Holy Spirit.
So if any man prides himself on his good looks, or any woman boasts of the beauty of her body, let the man follow Joseph’s example and the woman Susanna’s.
Let them be chaste in body and mind; then they will also be beautiful not only to their fellow human beings but to God.
For there are three examples of chastity in the Church, so that all have someone to copy: Joseph, Susanna, and Mary; Joseph for men to copy, Susanna for women, and Mary for virgins.
Chromatius of Aquileia (d. 406/7): Sermon 24.2 (SC 64:70-72); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Sunday of the Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year 2.