NOVENA TO SAINT JOSEPH
First Day – St. Joseph, Spouse of Mary
Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. 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. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.
He was the true and worthy spouse of Mary, especially predestined to so noble an alliance by the Almighty, who adorned him with all the virtues required for so glorious a destiny.
He was a virgin, and his virginity became the faithful copy of Mary because, like her, he had made the vow of chastity.
He was the cherub to whom was confided the guard of the new terrestrial paradise, of the true propitiatory which contains the price of the reconciliation of Heaven with earth.
Blessed Joseph, thou, whom the august Trinity has chosen to be the spouse of the Mother of God, art worthy that angels and men should honor, revere, and congratulate thee on the incomparable dignity that thou possesseth among all the inhabitants of Heaven and earth. I am the most unworthy of all creatures; notwithstanding, I venture to offer to-day, at thy feet, all the affectionate sentiments of my heart, and repeat, with the angels and saints : Long live the worthy spouse of Mary! Live the lily of virginity, inseparably united to the mystical rose to the incorruptible rose. Live the cherub, faithful guardian of the Paradise in which the Word Incarnate found his delights! O Most Chaste and happy spouse, obtain for me, I beseech thee, the grace to imitate thy love of purity, and the strength to vanquish all the temptations from which thou hast been preserved by the privilege of thy election, by the sublimity of thy virtues.