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Seven Sorrows of St Joseph Devotional

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Devotion to Saint Joseph is important in the year of Saint Joseph


Devotion to St Joseph that will assist greatly

We are already 50 days into the Year of St Joseph promulgated by Pope Francis on 8 December 2020 and, as happens so very often in our busy lives, we find a whole year can pass without having taken advantage of the graces on offer.

Fortunately, there is a little known devotion to St Joseph that will assist greatly in coming to know this great saint and which, in its completion, will honour him greatly in this important year dedicated to him.

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Customary for participants to pray for a specific intention during this devotion

The Seven Sundays of Saint Joseph devotion consists of meditating on the seven sorrows and seven joys of St Joseph over the seven Sundays preceding his feast day on 19 March.

Guido Reni’s depiction of St Joseph and the young Jesus. Devotion to Jesus’s foster father was regarded as powerful by no less a saint than St Theresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church.

The first Sunday of these meditations is, in fact, this coming Sunday the 31st of January.

It is customary for participants to pray for a specific intention during this devotion having trust in St Joseph’s powerful intercession and remembering the words of St Teresa of Avila who said: “I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant.

St Joseph’s powerful intercession

“My experience is that St Joseph helps us in them all; also that the Lord wishes to teach us that, as he was himself subject on earth to St. Joseph, so in heaven he now does all that Joseph asks.”

Following are the joys and sorrows of St Joseph as set out in this particular prayer.
In praying this devotion, participants should consider how St Joseph would have felt and acted in each situation having first read the accompanying verse of Scripture. They can then meditate on what the joy and sorrow teaches them about St Joseph and how this can then be applied to the living out of their own life.

St Joseph and the Christ Child are depicted in a stained-glass window at Immaculate Conception Church in Westhampton Beach, N.Y. PHOTO: CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz

Families and individuals who take St Joseph for their patron, will find that he is a loving father who will most assuredly come to their assistance in their time of need.

The Joys and Sorrows of St Joseph:

  • 31 January: Sorrow – Deciding to leave the Blessed Virgin; Joy – Knowledge of the Incarnation
  • 7 February: Sorrow – Seeing Jesus born in poverty; Joy – The angels announcing Jesus’ birth
  • 14 February: Sorrow – Jesus’ blood shed in the circumcision; Joy – Naming the Child Jesus
  • 21 February: Sorrow – Simeon’s prophecy; Joy – Salvation that Jesus will bring
  • 28 February: Sorrow – Flight to Egypt; Joy – In the company of Jesus and Mary
  • 7 March: Sorrow – The return from Egypt; Joy – Told by the angel to go to Nazareth
  • 14 March: Sorrow – Losing the Child Jesus; Joy – Finding Jesus in the Temple

Steve Buhagiar is Team Leader of the Archdiocesan Life, Marriage and Family Office.


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