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The Seven Sundays of Saint Joseph

(Note: On the seven Sundays preceding his feast, March 19, one can contemplate a series of circumstances - seven joys and sorrows - in Saint Joseph's life so that he/she mightconfront the joys and sorrows of his/her life as he did. The following Novena was taken from the booklet "Devotion to St. Joseph", edited by F. Delclaux, printed by Scepter Publishers.)

Sixth Sunday


"But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying:

'Arise and take the Child and His mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the Child's life are dead.'

So he arose and took the Child and His mother, and went into the land of Israel. But hearing that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there; and being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee. And he went and settled in a town called Nazareth." (Mt. 2: 13-18)


After the sorrow of not being allowed to go into Judea, St. Joseph experiences the joy of returning to Nazareth. His joy increases as the days of Christ's hidden life go by. The home life of Jesus, Mary and Josephresembled that of their neighbors. Time was spent in family life. Sometimes Joseph would contemplate the Child "in the most pure arms of Mary, the blessed Mother. She held God veiled in flesh, and pressed her lips in sweet kisses on the flesh of the One who is true God and true man." (Paulinus of Aquilea)

And St. Joseph, as F. de Eximensis so charmingly says, "showed great delight and joy in constantly providing for the Infant Savior's needs, bathing him, reverently handling the small limbs of His precious body, changing His clothes and doing other things that little children require." (F. de Eximensis, "Vita Christi")

Contemplating Joseph's life in the company of Jesus and Mary,we can make our own the words of a prayer composed by Pius XII: "St. Joseph, grant that according to your example,we may keep our eyes fixed on Mother Mary, your most sweet spouse, who silently used to do her weaving in a corner of your modest workshop, with the sweetest smil playing on her lips. Grant that we may not lose sight of Jesus, who busied Himself with you at your carpenter's bench. Thus we may be able to lead a peaceful and holy life on earth, as a prelude to that eternally happy one which awaits us in heaven for ever and ever. Amen." (Pope Pius XII, "Prayer", March 11, 1958)


O glorious St. Joseph, how you marveled to have the King of Heaven subject to your commands; though your consolation in leading Him out of Egypt was troubled by fear of Archelaus, nevertheless being reassured by the angel, you lived at Nazareth with Jesus and Mary.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that our hearts may be freed from harmful fears, and that we may have peace of conscience living in security with Jesus and Mary and also dying in their company.

Specifically, I ask that.... (mention in silence the favor asked and pray one Our Father, One Hail Mary and one Glory Be).



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