Venerable Sister Mary of Jesus (Superioress of the convent of the Immaculate Conception of the town of Agrada in Spain) was chosen by God to record the Divine History And Life Of The Virgin Mother Of God for new enlightenment of the world, for rejoicing of the Catholic Church and the encouragement of men.
These Divine Manifestations were published in the Mystical City of God¹.
Let us consider the virtues and trials of the Blessed Virgin’s husband: the chaste and pure Saint Joseph.
Ponder Saint Joseph’s internal disquiet and his great anguish in discovering the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary:
The divine pregnancy of the Princess of Heaven had advanced to its fifth month when the most chaste Joseph,
commenced to notice the condition of the Virgin;
for on account of the natural elegance and perfection of her virginal body… any change could not long remain concealed and would so much the sooner be discovered.
One day, when Saint Joseph was full of anxious doubts and saw Her coming out of her oratory, he noticed more particularly this evident change, without being able to explain away what he saw so clearly with his eyes.
The man of God was wounded to his inmost heart by an arrow of grief, unable to ward off the force of evidence, which at the same time wounded his soul.
The principal cause of his grief was the most chaste, and therefore the most intense love with which he cherished his most faithful Spouse, and in which he had from the beginning given over to Her his whole heart.
Moreover, her charming graces and incomparable holiness had captured and bound to Her his inmost soul.
As She was so perfect and accomplished in her modesty and humble reticence, Saint Joseph, besides his anxious solicitude to serve Her, naturally entertained the loving desire of meeting a response of his love from his Spouse.
This was so ordained by the Lord, in order that by the desire for this interchange of affection he might be incited to love and serve Her more faithfully.
Saint Joseph fulfilled this obligation as a most faithful spouse and as the guardian of the sacrament, which as yet was concealed from him.
In proportion as he was solicitous in serving and venerating his Spouse, and loving Her with a most pure, chaste, holy and just love, in so far also increased his desire of finding a response to his affection and service.
He never manifested or spoke of this desire, as well on account of the reverence elicited by the humble majesty of his Spouse as also because the more than angelic purity, conversation and intercourse of the Virgin with him had given him no apprehension in this regard.
But when he found himself thus unexpectedly in the face of this disclosure, where the clear evidence of his sense allowed no denial, his soul was torn asunder by sorrowful surprise.
Yet, though overwhelmed by the evidence of this change in his Spouse, he gave his thoughts no greater liberty than to admit what his eyes could not fail to perceive. For, being a holy and just man (Gospel of St. Matthew Chapter 1 Verse 19), although he saw the effect, he withheld his judgment as to the cause.
Without doubt, if the Saint had believed his Spouse had any guilt in causing this condition, he would have died of sorrow.
Besides all this was the certainty of his not having any part in this pregnancy, the effects of which were before his eyes;
and there was the inevitable dishonor which would follow as soon as it would become public.
This thought caused so much the greater anxiety in him, as he was of a most noble and honorable disposition and in his great foresight he knew how to weigh the disgrace and shame of himself and his Spouse in each circumstances.
The third and most intimate cause of his sorrow, and which gave him the deepest pain, was the dread of being obliged to deliver over his Spouse to the authorities to be stoned (The Book Of Leviticus Chapter 20 Verse 10), for this was the punishment of an adulteress convicted of the crime.
¹Imprimatur: † Edwin V. Byrne, D.D., Archbishop of Santa Fe, 9 February 1949 A.D.
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