Sorrows and Joys of Saint Joseph

This ancient devotion accompanies Saint Joseph in the consideration of the 7 main pains and joys that happened in the development of his life, from his knowledge of the mystery of the Incarnation to the episode of Jesus lost and found in the temple, passing through the Birth in Bethlehem, the Circumcision, the Presentation in the Temple, the flight to Egypt and the return to Nazareth. This devotion, together with the 7 Sundays before his feast, has a long tradition of three centuries in the Church. It can also be practiced at any time of the year.

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Sorrow: when he was willing to repudiate his immaculate wife.

Joy: when the Archangel revealed to him the sublime mystery of the incarnation.

Pure husband of most holy Mary, glorious St. Joseph, great was the travail and anguish of thy heart when, in sore perplexity, thou didst feel inclined to put away thy stainless spouse; but unspeakable was thy joy when the angel revealed to thee the high mystery of the Incarnation.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, we pray thee, comfort our souls now and in their dying agony, with the sweet consolation of a well-spent life, and a death like unto thine own, in the embrace of Jesus and of Mary.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: to see the baby Jesus born in poverty.

Joy: by listening to the harmony of the choir of the angels and observing the glory of that night.

Most happy patriarch, glorious St. Joseph, chosen to be the foster-father of the Word made man! The pain thou didst feel when thou didst see the infant Jesus born in so great poverty was suddenly changed into heavenly joy, when thou didst hear the harmony of the angel choirs and behold the glory of that refulgent night.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, we pray thee, obtain for us that, when the journey of our life is over, we too, may pass to that blessed land where we shall hear the angelic chants, and enjoy the brightness of celestial glory.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: when the blood of the Savior boy was shed on his circumcision.

Joy: given with the name of Jesus.

O thou who wast ever most obedient in fulfilling the laws of God, glorious St. Joseph! When, at His circumcision, the Infant Savior’s precious Blood was shed, thy heart was pierced through and through; but with the name of Jesus came again to thee new life and heavenly joy.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, obtain for us that, freed in life from the vile yoke of sin, we may die with joy, with the most holy name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: the prophecy of Simeon, by predicting the sufferings of Jesus and Mary.

Joy: the prediction of the salvation and glorious resurrection of innumerable souls.

O most Faithful saint, who wast admitted to take part in man’s redemption, glorious St. Joseph! Simeon’s prophecy of the coming woes of Jesus and of Mary filled thy soul with agony like death: but thy soul was filled with blessedness when he foretold salvation and glorious resurrection to innumerable souls.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, help us with thy prayers to be of those who, by the merits of Jesus, and the intercession of His Virgin Mother, shall be partakers of the glorious resurrection.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: in his eagerness to educate and serve the Son of the Most High, especially on the trip to Egypt.

Joy: having always with him God himself, and seeing the fall of the idols of Egypt.

O most watchful guardian, bosom friend of the Incarnate Son of God, glorious St. Joseph! How didst thou toil to nurture and to serve the Son of the Most High, especially in the flight into Egypt; but far greater was thy joy in having with thee God Himself, and in seeing Egypt’s idols fall to the earth!

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, obtain for us to keep aloof from the infernal tyrant, especially by quitting all dangerous occasions, that all earthly idols may be cast out from our hearts, and that, wholly employed in the service of Jesus and Mary, we may ever live for them alone, and with them calmly die.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: to return to his Nazareth for the fear of Arquelao.

Joy: upon returning with Jesus from Egypt to Nazareth and the trust established by the Angel.

O Angel on earth, glorious St. Joseph! Who didst marvel at seeing the King of heaven obedient to thy bidding! Thy joy, when thou didst bring Him back from Egypt, mingled with fear of the tyrant Archelaus; but, reassured by the angel, thou didst dwell at Nazareth with glad heart in the sweet company of Jesus and Mary.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, obtain for us that, with hearts set free from every hurtful fear, we too may taste the quiet of a tranquil conscience, safely dwelling with Jesus and with Mary, and one day die in their loving arms.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


Sorrow: when without guilt he loses Jesus, and looks for him with anguish for three days.

Joy: to find him in the middle of the doctors in the Temple.

O pattern of all holiness, glorious St. Joseph! Without fault of thine, thou didst lose the holy Child Jesus, and for three days, to thy great sorrow, didst seek for him, until, with joy unspeakable, thou didst find thy Life amid the Doctors in the Temple.

By this thy sorrow and thy joy, we pray thee with all our heart, stand between as and danger, that we may never lose Jesus by mortal sin; but if, to our shame and disgrace, we lose him, may we seek him with such ceaseless grief that we may find him propitious to us, especially at the hour of our death, and thus go to enjoy Him in heaven, and there with thee sing His divine mercy for ever.

Our Father, Hail Maria and Glory.


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