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Such a life could not close save by a death that was worthy of so great a Saint. The time came for Jesus to quit the obscurity of Nazareth, and show himself to the world. His own works were henceforth to bear testimony to his divine origin; the ministry of Joseph, therefore, was no longer needed. It was time for him to leave this world, and wait, in Abraham's bosom, the arrival of that day, when heaven's gates were to be opened to the just. As Joseph lay on his bed of death, there was watching by his side He that is the master of life, and that had often called this his humble creature, Father. His last breath was received by the glorious Virgin Mother, whom he had, by a just right, called his Spouse. It was thus, with Jesus and Mary by his side, caring and caressing him, that Joseph sweetly slept in peace. The Spouse of Mary, the FosterFather of Jesus, now reigns in heaven with a glory which, though inferior to that of Mary, is marked with certain prerogatives which no other inhabitant of heaven can have.
From heaven, he exercises a powerful protection over those that invoke him. In a few weeks from this time, the Church will show us the whole magnificence of this protection; we shall be having a special Feast in honour of the Patronage of St. Joseph. What the Liturgy proposes to us to-day, are his glories and privileges. Let us unite with the Faithful throughout the world, and offer the Spouse of Mary the Hymns, which are this day sung in his praise.
May the heavenly host praise thee, O Joseph May the choirs of Christendom resound with thy name, for great are
Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina Cœlitum, cuncti resonent Christiadum chori,
Qui clarus meritis junctus es inclytæ
Casto fœdere Virgini. Almo cum tumidam germine Conjugem Admirans, dubio tangeris anxius, Afflatu superi Flaminis Angelus
Conceptum puerum docet. Tu natum Dominum stringis; ad exteras Ægypti profugum tu sequeris plagas: Amissum Solymis quæris, et invenis, Miscens gaudia fletibus.
Post mortem reliquos mors pia consecrat, Palmamque emeritos gloria suscipit; Tu vivens, Superis par, frueris Deo, Mira sorte beatior.
Nobis, summa Trias, parce precantibus, Da Joseph meritis sidera scandere : Ut tandem liceat, nos tibi perpetim, Gratum promere canticum. Amen.
thy merits, who wast united by a chaste alliance to the Holy Virgin.
Seeing that thy Spouse was soon to be a Mother, a cruel doubt afflicts thy heart; but an Angel visits thee, telling thee that she had conceived of the Holy Ghost the Child she bore in her womb.
When Jesus was born, thou hadst to take him in thine arms, and go with the little fugitive to Egypt's distant land. When he was lost in Jerusalem, thou didst seek after him; and having found him, thy tears were mingled with joy.
Other Saints receive their beatitude after death, when a holy death has crowned their life; they receive their glory, when they have won the palm: but thou, by a strangely happy lot, hadst, even during life, what the Blessed have in heaven, thou hadst the sweet society of thy God.
O Sovereign Trinity! have mercy on us thy suppliants, and may the intercession of Joseph aid us to reach heaven; that there we may sing to thee our eternal hymn of grateful love. Amen.
Coelitum Joseph decus, atque nostræ Certa spes vitæ, columenque mundi, Quas tibi læti canimus, benignus Suscipe laudes.
O Joseph, thou that art the delight of the Blessed, the sure hope of our life, and the pillar of the world!-receive, in thy kind love the praises we now joyfully sing to thee.
The Creator appointed thee the Spouse of the Holy Virgin; willed thee to be called the Father of the Word; and gave thee to be an instrument of our salvation.
Thou didst fix thy glad gaze on the Redeemer lying in the stable, Him that the Prophets had foretold was to come; and seeing him, thou didst humbly adore the new-born King.
He that is King, the God of Kings, the Lord of the earth, at whose bidding hell trembles, and before whom heaven prostrates ready to do his will,yea, even He makes himself subject to thee.
Praise eternal be to the Most High Trinity! May He that has conferred such high honours upon thee, grant us through the merits of thine intercession, to come to the joys of heavenly life. Amen.
Tu Redemptorem stabulo jacentem,
Quem chorus Vatum cecinit futurum, Aspicis gaudens, humilisque natum Numen adoras. Rex, Deus regum, Dominator orbis,
Cujus ad nutum tremit inferorum
Turba, cui pronus famulatur æther,
Se tibi subdit.
Laus sit excelsæ Triadi
Quæ tibi præbens superos
The Greek Liturgy, which honours St. Joseph on the Sunday following the Feast of Christmas, thus hymns his praise in the Menæa.
(Dominica post Natale Domini.)
Prophetarum prædicationes evidenter adimpletas vidit Joseph sponsus, qui ad singularem designatus desponsationem, revelationes accepit ab Angelis clamantibus; Gloria Domino, quia pacem terræ largitus
Annuntia, Joseph, Davidi Dei parenti prodigia: Virginem vidisti puerum in sinu habentem; una cum Magis adorasti, cum pastoribus gloriam Deo dedisti, ab Angelo præmonitus. De
Joseph, the Spouse, saw with his own eyes the fulfilment of what the Prophets had foretold. He was destined for an espousal, such as no other mortal had, and he received the revelation from Angels, saying: Glory be to the Lord, for he hath given peace to the earth!
Tell, O Joseph, to David, the ancestor of God our Saviour, the prodigies thou hast seen. Thou hast seen the Virgin holding the Infant in her arms; thou didst adore with the Magi; thou didst unite with
the Shepherds in giving glory to God, according to the word of the Angels. Do thou beseech Christ our Lord, that he save us.
The infinite God, before whom the powers of heaven tremble, Him, O Joseph, didst thou receive into thy arms, when he was born of the Virgin. Thou wast consecrated by the holy contact; therefore do we honour thee.
Thy spirit was one that was obedient to the divine commands, and thy purity was without reproach; therefore, O blessed Joseph, didst thou receive as thy Spouse Her that was pure and immaculate among women. Thou wast the guardian of the chaste Virgin, when she became the worthy tabernacle of the Creator.
To Gabriel alone in heaven, and to thee alone, O blessed Joseph, most worthy of praise, was intrusted, after the spot. less Virgin, that great and venerable mystery, which brought the downfall of the cruel prince of darkness.
Thou, O Joseph, the minister of the incomprehensible mystery in order that the darkness of idolatry might be dispelled, didst lead from the city of David into Egypt the pure Mother, who, like a mysterious cloud, held the Sun hidden in her bosom.
O prudent Joseph! thou, angel-like, didst minister to the Incarnate God when he had reached the age of boyhood. His spiritual rays came
precare Christum Deum, ut animæ nostræ salventur.
Quem supernæ Deum incircumscriptum tremunt potestates, tu, Joseph, natum ex Virgine in manibus tuis accipis consecratus venerando contactu; ideo te honorificamus.
Spiritum divinis mandatis obedientem habens, et purus omnino factus, solam in mulieribus puram et immaculatam tu, beate Joseph, in sponsam accepisti, Virginem castam custodiens, ut Creatoris tabernaculum effici mereretur.
Soli Gabrieli in cœlis, et tibi soli, celeberrime, post solam Virginem intactam, mysterium creditum est, maximum et venerandum, beate Joseph, mysterium quod perniciosum principem tenebrarum dejiceret.
Ut divinam nubem, solam castam, in sinu suo Solem absconditum habentem, in Ægyptum ex civitate David perduxisti, ut ejusdem idofolatriæ fugares tenebras, Joseph, incomprehensibilis mysterii minister.
Astitisti, sapiens Joseph, Deo in carne puerascenti ministrans, sicut Angelus; et immediate ab illo illustratus es radios ejus spiri