Happy, blessed feast of St. Joseph! This feast brings a welcome burst of celebration to the somber season of Lent, and is extra special to us for two reasons. First, St. Joseph is our beloved Father and Provider, as he was for the Holy Family; the entire month is brightened by our devotions in his honor. Second, the feast of St. Joseph is the patronal feastday of our Prioress, Mother Mary Joseph. The weeks preceding his feast find us all hard at work (secretly of course!) preparing feastday gifts. A few years ago, one of the Sisters’ wrote the following poem to present to Mother.
Ode to St. Joseph
Remember, son of Adam: when Adam sinned and fell,
God promised a Redeemer, whose mighty strength would quell
The jealousy of Satan, the curse of toil and pain –
An Adam born of woman’s seed would crush to naught our shame.
Remember, son of Jacob, by name as well as race,
The Hebrews were in bondage till Moses saw God’s face;
He led them, bore them gently, and fed them by His hand
Till out of Egypt’s desert waste they reached the Promised Land.
Remember, son of David, the promise of a king
To reunite the tribal realm, forever triumphing:
Though David’s son by lineage, yet also David’s Lord:
“A Virgin shall bear God-with-us”: this was the Prophet’s word.
The Maker of creation formed Adam out of clay;
A man Himself becoming, reverse this first way:
Though Eve was formed of Adam, and knew him as his wife,
Of Virgin Woman’s bone and flesh was born the Virgin Christ.
The real liberator frees all mankind from sin;
The greatest Legislator inscribes our hearts within.
The real Bread from heaven, the Manna from on high,
Is He Who on the tortured Cross was lifted up to die.
When Gabriel came to Mary, the promise was fulfilled:
For David’s Son, triumphant, a lasting temple built:
It is His risen Body, not made by human hands;
His living stones, His building, we – not founded on mere sand.
O Joseph! Happy witness of all the prophets told,
Who guarded God’s two treasures more faithfully than gold,
Obtain for us the graces to live and die as you –
Through Mary, close to Jesus in everything we do.