Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!

March 19, 2020

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Today, in Mercy, we celebrate our beloved Saint Joseph.

saint-joseph-with-the-christ-child-ca-1650-oil-on-canvas-sebastian-martinez
St. Joseph and the Christ Child by Sebastian Martinez

Our first reading describes the line of descent from David down through the ages to Joseph of the House of David.

God promises David:

I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.

Joseph is the realization of that House.  He was the one who ultimately gave shelter, both literally and physically, to the Promised One.

In these days when we have to “shelter in place”, Joseph, provider of safe and sacred shelter, opens his arms to our fearful and pleading prayers. Often in my life when I had a particularly difficult need, I have prayed the Litany of St. Joseph. Just a few of its beautiful phrases may bring you confidence and peace.

Praying with today’s Gospel, and as these long days of self-isolation and quarantine draw on, let’s imagine ourselves being invited by Joseph, Mary and Jesus to go down with them  to our own “Nazareth” — to find the voice of God in the sacred protection of our homes.

Jesus went down with Mary and Joseph
and came to Nazareth,

and he obediently listened to them.

Music:  I absolutely love this video of these dear Sisters of St. Joseph in Rochester singing “Hail Holy Joseph, Hail”. Looking at these Sisters, we can just imagine the long legacy of their generous ministries under the guidance of Joseph, their beloved patron. May God bless all our Sisters of St. Joseph on their Feastday!(Lyrics below as well as the Litany of St. Joseph in a second post)

Hail, holy Joseph, Hail
by Father Frederick Faber

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
⁠Chaste spouse of Mary, hall!
Pure as the lily flower
⁠In Eden’s peaceful vale.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
⁠Prince of the house of God!
May His best graces be
⁠By thy sweet hands bestow’d.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
⁠Belov’d of angels, hail!
Cheer thou the hearts that faint,
⁠And guide the steps that fail.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
⁠God’s choice wert thou alone;
To thee the Word made flesh
⁠Was subject as a Son.
O Christ’s dear Mother, bless;
⁠And bless, ye Saints on high,
All meek and simple souls
⁠That to Saint Joseph cry.

 

5 thoughts on “Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!

  1. I have St. Joseph, patron saint of workers, to thank for my present teaching job abroad, after having searched for three months with no prospects in sight. While I was staying at my sister’s place in Canada between contracts, I went to the nearby Jesuit parish in Pickering, Ontario to say the Rosary and attend daily evening Mass. When I finished the Rosary before the statue of Our Madonna by the right side of the altar, it may have been Our Lady or my guardian angel who prompted me to look towards the other side, where stood a statue of St. Joseph. I thought to myself (or someone put the thought into my head) how negligent I had been by neglecting to honour and petition St. Joseph in my time of need. I crossed over and knelt down and noticed a plaque on the kneeler which was inscribed with the Litany of St. Joseph. I recalled that he was the patron saint of workers (including the unemployed). So, I recited the Litany and asked St. Joseph to help me find a new teaching job.

    By this time, it was early October and the hiring season was practically low. But the next day, I replied to an ad posted by an international school in Uzbekistan which needed a primary teacher immediately. I received an email invitation to teach at the school in just a couple of hours and left the country in two weeks after my visa was ready. I’m presently teaching at this school. I believe Mary was telling me in some inaudible way to pay more attention to our beloved patron Saint Joseph, her spouse on earth and father of Jesus. The Divine Logos humbled Himself to learn carpentry from his earthly father. By divine right, therefore, St. Joseph is our patron saint of workers. And he is especially compassionate to the unemployed. Let us offer a Litany for those who are desperately seeking employment.

    Liked by 1 person

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