7 Sundays of St. Joseph: 4th Sunday

"And when the time had come for purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to
Jerusalem, to present him before the Lord there. It is written in God’s law, that whatever male offspring
opens the womb is to be reckoned sacred to the Lord; and so they must offer in sacrifice for him, as
God’s law commanded, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. At this time there was a man
named Simeon living in Jerusalem, an upright man of careful observance, who waited patiently for
comfort to be brought to Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him; and by the Holy Spirit it had been
revealed to him that he was not to meet death, until he had seen that Christ whom the Lord had
anointed. He now came, led by the Spirit, into the temple; and when the child Jesus was brought in by
his parents, to perform the custom which the law enjoined concerning him, Simeon too was able to take
him in his arms. And he said, blessing God:

Ruler of all, now do you let your servant go in peace, according to your word; for my own eyes
have seen that saving power of yours which you have prepared in the sight of all nations. This is
the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles, this is the glory of your people Israel.

The father and mother of the child were still wondering over all that was said of him, when Simeon
blessed them, and said to his mother Mary,

Behold, this child is destined to bring about the fall of many and the rise of many in Israel; to be
a sign which men will refuse to acknowledge; and so the thoughts of many hearts shall be made

~ Luke (2:22-35)

Simeon tells them that Jesus will be a sign of contradiction, a standard which people will either follow or
oppose. And he adds that the Son's sufferings will be intimately connected with his Mother's sorrows.

The sorrows of Jesus and Mary are made known. This revelation enables St. Joseph to glimpse more clearly the
mystery of the Son's cross. It is impossible to guess the depth of his suffering. He always wanted to protect the
child whom he loved with the greatest of fatherly love, for, as St. Pius X says, he is "the virgin father of Jesus."
Now he understands with new insight all the Old Testament prophecies related to Christ's passion.

St. Joseph's mind and heart have been marked by the cross. As Mary offered her Son on the cross, so did St.
Joseph. This offering constitutes the holy patriarch's greatest act of generosity. "It took all the generosity of his
love to offer Jesus and Mary to God. It was his supreme sacrifice since he loved them immeasurably more than
his own life."

Prayer: O glorious St. Joseph, model of faithful fulfillment of God's plans, the prophecy of Simeon about the
future sufferings of Jesus and Mary brought mortal fear to you but at the same time filled you with blessed joy
for the salvation and glorious resurrection which he prophesied would follow for numberless souls.

By this sorrow and this by obtain for us that we may be among those who through the merits of Jesus and the
intercession of the Virgin Mother are to rise in glory.

Deepen your relationship with and devotion to St. Joseph

Download the free booklet on Devotion to St. Joseph

This Booklet Contains

  • The Seven Sundays Devotion to St. Joseph.
  • The Litany of St. Joseph.
  • Quamquam Pluries: Encyclical letter of His Holiness Leo XIII on the Holy Rosary and the Patronage of St. Joseph.
  • Patris Corde: Apostolic Letter of the Holy Father Pope Francis on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as patron of the universal church.