Carissimi; Today’s Mass: Feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-father of Jesus Christ

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Feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-father of Jesus Christ: Missa “Justus ut palma florebit”

The Church always honors St. Joseph with Mary and Jesus, especially during the Christmas solemnities. This day’s Gospel is indeed that of December 24th. A Coptic calendar tells us that St. Joseph was liturgically honored in a special way on July 20th, from the eight century. At the end of the fifteenth century his feast was kept on March 19th and in 1621 Gregory XV extended it to the whole Church. In 1870 Pius IX proclaimed St. Joseph protector of the universal Church.

This Saint “of the royal race of David” was a just man (Gospel). As by his marriage with the Blessed Virgin, St. Joseph has certain rights over the blessed fruit of the virginal womb of his spouse a moral affinity exists between him and Jesus. He exercised over the Child-God a certain paternal authority, which the Preface of St. joseph delicately alludes to as that of a foster-father. Without having begotten Jesus, St. Joseph by the bonds which unite him to Mary, is legally and morally the Father of the Son of the Blessed Virgin.

It follows that we must honor by a special homage this dignity of supernatural excellence of St. Joseph. “In the family of Nazareth”, says Cornelius a Lapide, “were the three greatest and most excellent persons in the world. Wherefore to Christ is due the divine worship, to the Virgin a higher worship than to Saint’s and to St Joseph the full worship due to Saints” God revealed to him the mystery of the Incarnation (ibid) and “chose him among all (Epistle) to commit to his care the Incarnate Word and the Virginity of Mary.”

The hymn of Lauds says that : “Christ and the Virgin were with him at his last hour and watched by him their faces gleaming with sweet serenity.” St. Joseph went to heaven for ever to enjoy the beatific vision of the Word whose humanity he had so long and so closely contemplated on earth. This Saint is therefore justly considered the patron and model of interior and contemplative souls. And in the heavenly home St. Joseph has a powerful influence over the heart of the Son of his most blessed Spouse (Collect).

Let us imitate at this holy season the purity, humility, the spirit of prayer and meditation of Joseph at Nazareth. Every parish priest celebrates Mass for the people of his parish.

INTROIT: Psalm 91: 13, 14

The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the cedar of Lebanon. They that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of the house of our God. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat In the midst of the Church…

COLLECT

We beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be helped by the merits of the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother, so that we cannot obtain of ourselves, may be given to us through his intercession. Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Tertia infra Hebdomadam Passionis
May our fasting be acceptable to You, we beseech You, O Lord; may it be atonement for our sins, make us worthy of Your grace, and lead us to the everlasting remedy of the life to come. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

EPISTLE: Ecclesiasticus 45: 1-6

Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. Beloved of God and men, whose memory is in benediction. He made him like the saints in glory, and magnified him in the fear of his enemies, and with his words he made prodigies to cease. He glorified him in the sight of kings, and gave him commandments in the sight of his people, and showed him His glory. He sanctified him in his faith and meekness, and chose him out of all flesh. For He heard him and his voice, and brought him into a cloud. And He gave him commandments before His face, and a law of life and instruction.

GRADUAL: Psalm 20: 4, 5

For thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness: thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. V. He asked life of thee: and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.

TRACT Psalm 111:1-3

A blessed man is he who fears the Lord, bearing all love to his commandments. V. Children of his shall win renown in their own country: ever the sons of the just shall find a blessing. V. Esteem dwells with such a man and great prosperity: fame shall record his gracious deeds eternally.

GOSPEL: Matthew 1: 18-21

Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for That Which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He shall save His people from their sins.

OFFERTORY: Psalm 88: 25

My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My name shall his horn be exalted.

SECRET

We render Thee, O Lord, the debt of our service, humbly entreating that Thou wouldst preserve Thy gifts within us through the intercession of blessed Joseph, the Spouse of the Mother of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; on whose holy festival we offer to Thee the sacrifice of praise. Through the same Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever. R.Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Tertia infra Hebdomadam Passionis
O Lord, we bring You the gifts for sacrifice, as tokens of consolation in this life, so that we may not despair of Your eternal promises. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

PREFACE of Saint Joseph

It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty and everlasting God; and magnify Thee with due praise, bless and proclaim Thee blessed Joseph; who, as a just man, was given by Thee to be the spouse of the Virgin Mother of God, and as a faithful and prudent servant, was set over Thy family, that with fatherly care he might guard Thine only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. Through whom the angels praise Thy majesty, the dominions worship it, the powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts with the blessed seraphim join together in celebrating their joy. With these we pray Thee join our voices also, while saying with lowly praise: HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

COMMUNION: Matthew 1: 20

But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

POSTCOMMUNION

Come to our assistance, we beseech Thee, O merciful God; and through the intercession of blessed Joseph Thy confessor, graciously preserve Thy gifts about us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.

Commemoratio Feria Tertia infra Hebdomadam Passionis
Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God that by constantly performing these holy acts, we may be worthy to come closer to the gifts of heaven. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

PROPER LAST GOSPEL John 7:1-13

At that time, Jesus went about in Galilee, for He did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were seeking to put Him to death. Now the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said to Him, Leave here and go into Judea that Your disciples also may see the works that You do; for no one does a thing in secret if he wants to be publicly known. If You do these things, manifest yourself to the world. For not even His brethren believed in Him. Jesus therefore said to them, My time has not yet come, but your time is always at hand. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I bear witness concerning it, that its works are evil. As for you, go up to the feast, but I do not go up to this feast, for My time is not yet fulfilled. When He had said these things He stayed on in Galilee. But as soon as His brethren had gone up to the feast, then He also went up, not publicly, but as it were privately. The Jews therefore were looking for Him at the feast, and were saying, Where is He? And there was much whispered comment among the crowd concerning Him. For some were saying, He is a good man. But others were saying, No, rather He seduces the crowd. Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of Him.