In the previous installment we discovered that no human tongue can reproduce the celestial words and conversations of the most Holy Mary and the Blessed Joseph.
Now we contemplate aspects of the blessed home enjoyed by Joseph and Mary:
The humble but blessed house of Joseph contained three rooms, which occupied nearly all its space and formed the exclusive dwelling place of the two spouses;
for they kept neither a man- nor a maid-servant.
In one of the rooms Saint Joseph slept, in another he worked and kept the tools of his trade of carpentering;
the third was ordinarily occupied by the Queen of Heaven and was also her sleeping room.
It contained a couch made by the hands of Saint Joseph.
This arrangement they had observed since their espousal and from the day on which they had come to this, their dwelling.
Before knowing the dignity of his Spouse and Lady, Saint Joseph rarely went to see Her; for while She kept her retirement he was engaged in his work, unless some affair made it absolutely necessary to consult Her.
But after he was informed of his good fortune, the holy man was more solicitous for Her welfare, and in order to renew the joy of his heart he began to come often to the retreat of the sovereign Lady, visiting Her and receiving Her commands.
But, he always approached Her with extreme humility and reverential fear, and before he spoke to Her, he was careful to note in what She was engaged.
Many times he saw Her in ecstasy raised from the earth and resplendent with most brilliant light;
at other times in the company of Her angels holding celestial intercourse with them;
and at other times, he found Her prostrate upon the earth in the form of a cross, speaking to the Lord.
“And at… times, Saint Joseph found the Virgin Mary prostrate upon the earth in the form of a cross, speaking to the Lord.”
“… prostrate upon the earth in the form of a cross, speaking to the Lord.”
How many times have we prayed to the Lord while prostrate on the ground in the form of a cross?
This would be a worthy reverential habit to develop when we have the opportunity to pray in private with only our Guardian Angel watching along with Jesus and Mary and the spirits of heaven.
Her most fortunate spouse was a participator in these favors.
But, whenever he found the great Lady in these occupations and postures, he would presume no farther than to look upon Her with profound reverence; and thereby he merited sometimes to hear the sweetest harmony of the celestial music, with which the angels regaled their Queen, and perceived a wonderful fragrancy which comforted him and filled him entirely with jubilation and joy of spirit.
“Jesus, Mary and Joseph I love Thee profoundly, please bless and protect me, and my loved ones, and please save souls. Amen.”
The two holy spouses lived alone in their house for as I have said, they had no servants of any kind, not only on account of their humility, but in order more fittingly to hide from any witnesses the wonders, which passed between them and which were not to be communicated to outsiders.
Likewise, the Princess of Heaven did not leave Her dwelling, except for very urgent causes in the service of God or Her fellow-men.
Whenever anything was necessary She asked that fortunate neighbor, who as I have said had served Saint Joseph during the absence of Mary in the house of Zacharias.
This woman received such a good return from Mary, that not only shed herself became most holy and perfect, but her whole household and family was blessed by the help of the Queen and Mistress of the world.
She was visited by most Holy Mary in some of her sicknesses and with her family was copiously enriched by the blessings of Heaven.
Let us return our focus on Saint Joseph and his relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary…
Never did Saint Joseph see his heavenly Spouse asleep,
nor did he, of his own experience, know whether She ever slept, although he besought Her to take some rest, especially during the time of Her sacred pregnancy.
The resting-place of the Princess was the low couch, which I said had been constructed by Saint Joseph; and on it were the coverings which served Her during Her brief and holy sleep.
Her undergarment was a sort of tunic made of cotton, but softer than the ordinary or common cloth.
This tunic She never changed from the time since She left the temple, nor did it wear out or grow old or soiled, and no person ever saw it, nor did Saint Joseph know that She wore that kind of a garment; for he never saw any other part of her clothing except the outside garments, which were open to the view of other persons.
Those were of a gray color… and these only and her head-coverings were the garments, which the Queen changed now and then; not because they were soiled, but because, being visible to all, She wished to avoid notice by such strange sameness of outward appearance.
Nothing that She wore upon Her most pure and virginal body became soiled or worn; for She neither perspired, nor was She subject to the punishments, which are laid upon the sin-impregnated bodies of the children of Adam.
She was in all respects most pure and the works of Her hands were like crystal ornaments; and with the same purity She cared for the clothes and other necessities of Saint Joseph.
The food of which She partook, was most limited in kind and quantity;
but She partook of some every day and in company of Her spouse; she never ate meat, although he did, and She prepared it for him.
Her sustenance was fruit, fishes, and ordinarily bread and cooked vegetables;
but of all these She partook in exact measure and weight, only so much as was necessary for the nourishment of the body and the maintaining of the natural warmth without any superfluities that could pass over into excess of harmful corruption; the same rule She observed in regard to drink, although Her fervent acts of love often caused superabundance of preternatural ardor.
This rule, as to the quantity of Her nourishment, She followed during Her whole life, although as to the kind of food she adapted Herself to the various circumstances demanding a change, as I shall relate further on.
From Sections 422 to 424 of Book II, Chapter V of The Incarnation contained within “The Mystical City of God” of Mother Mary of Agreda.
- Prayer To Saint Joseph (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
- Good Fortune And Happiness Of Saint Joseph (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
- The Holy Humiliation Suffered By Saint Joseph (credointhecommunionofsaints.wordpress.com)
- Five Important Lessons from Saint Joseph (integratedcatholiclife.org)
- Saint Joseph of Nazareth: Exemplary model of kindness and humility (catholicglasses.com)
- Coming to a Mass near you: St. Joseph (religionnews.com)