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Devotees of St. Joseph honor him in prayer remembering in particular these seven sorrows and joys. These make for special prayerful meditations.

Referencing "St. Joseph in Liturgy" by Fr. Larry M. Toschi, he tells us that St. John Chrysostom described the life of St. Joseph in terms of "sorrows and joys."  Fr. Toschi relates that in 1536, Fr. John da Fano wrote about St. Joseph appearing to two shipwrecked monks that the Saint had saved off the coast of Flanders.  St. Joseph instructed the two monks to recite daily seven Our Fathers and seven Hail Marys in honor of his sorrows.

Fr. Toshci's work tell us that the "Seven Sorrows and Joys" of St. Joseph in its original form were attributed to Ven. Gennaro Sarnelli.  Several popes have granted indulgences for these prayers.  The seven Sundays preceding St. Joseph's March 19th feastday has now become the traditional time of the year to honor St. Joseph's Sorrows and Joys. (Of course, anytime of the year is quite acceptable!) 

As you reflect on the Sorrows and Joys, you may wish to honor each by a simple Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be.  Participating at Mass on the seven Sundays, praying a novena, doing anything in honor of St. Joseph's Sorrows and Joys will be most pleasing to him. 

The Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph

The sorrows of St. Joseph

1. St. Joseph's doubts about Mary
2. St. Joseph's pain at the lowly poverty of Jesus' birthplace.
3. St. Joseph watching the Circumcision, Jesus' first blood spilt for us.
4. St. Joseph listening to the painful prophetic message from Simeon.
5. St. Joseph having to take the Holy Family into exile.
6. The hard trip back from Egypt.
7. The loss of Jesus for three days.

The joys of St. Joseph

1. The angel's message of joy.
2. The Savior's birth.
3. Having the honor of naming Jesus.
4. Knowing the effects of Jesus' redemtive work.
5. The idols of Egypt fell to Jesus' feet.
6. Holy life with Jesus and Mary.
7. Finding Jesus after three days.