Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!
"Hail, holy Joseph, hail! Chaste spouse of Mary, hail!" begins a well-loved devotional hymn, one of the hymns we sing in honor of St. Joseph on his feasts and on Wednesdays throughout the year. Today is one of great conventual joy. The silence and austerity of Lenten disciplines give way to the celebration of the Solemnity. Even the bright flowers on the altar proclaim the Church's veneration of so great a saint.
"Who can imagine or worthily describe the sentiments which filled the heart of this man, whom the Gospel describes to us in one word, when it calls him (justus—the just man Matt. 1: 19). Let us try to picture him to ourselves amidst the principal events of his life—his being chosen as the Spouse of Mary, the most holy and perfect of God's creatures; the Angel's appearing to him, and making him the one single human confidant of the Mystery of the Incarnation, by telling him that his Virgin Spouse bore within Her the fruit of the world's salvation; the joys of Bethlehem when he assisted at the Birth of the Divine Babe, honored the Virgin Mother, and heard the angels singing; his seeing, first the humble and simple shepherds, and then the rich Eastern Magi, coming to the stable to adore the new-born Child; the sudden fears which came on him, when he was told to arise and, midnight though it was, to flee into Egypt with the Child and His Mother; the hardships of that exile, the poverty and privations which were endured by the hidden God, whose foster-father he was, and by the Virgin Spouse, whose sublime dignity was now so evident to him; the return to Nazareth, and the humble and laborious life led in that village, where he so often witnessed the world's Creator sharing in the work of a carpenter; the happiness of such a life, in that cottage where his companions were the Queen of Angels and the Eternal Son of God, both of whom honored and tenderly loved him as the head of the family—yes, St. Joseph was beloved and honored by the uncreated Word, the Wisdom of the Father, and by the Virgin Mary, the masterpiece of God's power and holiness." - Dom Gueranger
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