節日 / Solemnity
Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Joseph is considered the second greatest saint – second only to the Blessed Virgin Mary – because of his humility and closeness to Christ as his foster father. Scripture reveals St. Joseph was just, pure, gentle, prudent, and unfailingly obedient to the divine will.
Pope Bl. Pius IX named him Patron of the Universal Church, and Pope Bl. John XXIII included his name in the Roman Canon.
Seven sorrows and joys of St. Joseph
First sorrow: The doubt of Joseph
Joseph her (Mary’s) husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly (Mt 1:19).
First joy: The message of the Angel
After Joseph had pondered these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her” (Mt 1:20).
Second sorrow: The poverty of Jesus’ birth
She (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Lk 2:7).
Second joy: The Birth of the Savior
The angel said to them (shepherds), “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Lk 2:10-11).
Third sorrow: The Circumcision of Jesus
At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb (Lk 2:21).
Third joy: The Holy Name of Jesus
She (Mary) will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Mt 1:21).
Fourth sorrow: The prophecy of Simeon
Simeon blessed them (Jesus, Mary and Joseph) and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk 2:34-35).
Fourth joy: The effects of the Redemption
And coming forward at that very time, she (Anna) gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem (Lk 2:38).
Fifth sorrow: The flight to Egypt
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt (Mt 2:13).
Fifth joy: The overthrow of idols in Egypt
Oracle on Egypt: See, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud on his way to Egypt; The idols of Egypt tremble before him, the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear (Is 19:1).
Sixth sorrow: The return from Egypt
But when he (Joseph) heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go back there. And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee (Mt 2:22).
Sixth joy: Life of Jesus with Mary at Nazareth
When they (Mary and Joseph) had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth (Mt 2:29).
Seventh sorrow: The loss of Child Jesus
Thinking that he (Jesus) was in the caravan, they (Mary and Joseph) journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him (Lk 2:44-45).
Seventh joy: The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
After three days they (Mary and Joseph) found him (Jesus) in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions (Lk 2:46).
Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that by Saint Joseph's intercession
your Church may constantly watch over
the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,
whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
English text: Daily Roman Missal, 2011