MEDITATIONS IN HONOR OF ST. JOSEPH
St. Joseph, chaste Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying, Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
St. Joseph’s greatest dignity, honour, and glory is comprised in the title ‘reputed father of Jesus’ his next greatest privilege is that he was in truth, as the above texts clearly prove, the real spouse or husband of Mary. It is from his relations with Jesus and Mary that the mind conceives an adequate idea of the dignity, the grandeur, the glory, and the sanctity of St. Joseph. Think how much is contained in this title — ‘husband of Mary.’ Who is Mary? She is the Immaculate Mother of God. Long before her birth Prophet after Prophet announced her glories, her dignity, and her sanctity. In the Old Testament she is pronounced all fair; without spot; beautiful, sweet, and comely; the perfect one; the only one. The New Testament styles her blessed; full of grace; and proclaims that all generations shall call her blessed. In one word the Blessed Virgin was the purest, the most holy, the most immaculate soul ever created by the Almighty. God gave her a Saint for her father, and a Saint for her mother. Who but the greatest Saint could be her spouse. From among the sons of men God raised up one Saint; God in a special manner sanctified his soul and body, and made him worthy to be not only the companion, but the real husband of the purest of virgins, the Immaculate Mother of the Redeemer of the world. No wonder the pious Gerson exclaims, O sublime elevation! O admirable dignity of Joseph, whom the Mother of God, the Queen of heaven, deemed worthy to call her spouse. St. Leonard of Port Maurice writes: — The Evangelists say very little of the virtues and life of St. Joseph; but when they style him the spouse of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, they give him the most glorious title possible; for he was nearest in every way to Mary, the purest creature ever made by God Almighty. 0 Jesus, make us chaste; 0 Jesus, make us pure. St. Joseph, pray for us, and recommend us to Jesus and to Mary.
In order to create in my soul, by the grace of God, a lasting and living Devotion to St. Joseph, I resolve to pay a visit, every day of my life, to an altar, statue, or picture of St. Joseph, and there to pray to St. Joseph to obtain for me the grace of a happy death.
O dearest St. Joseph! take my salvation under thy protection. O most chaste spouse of Mary, the purest of virgins, obtain for me purity of soul and body; obtain for me from Jesus the grace to lead a pure, chaste, and holy life; and the grace of a happy death. I salute thee, most chaste spouse of Mary; I salute thee as spouse and companion to her, who was the Mother of Jesus, and is now the Queen of heaven. St. Joseph, ask Mary to recommend me to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Joseph ask Mary to adopt me as her child, to make me her client, then I am sure to be saved.