Saturday, January 23, 2016

#Espousal of Mary and Joseph and Novena Prayer - Feast January 23


(DESPONSATIO BEATÆ MARIÆ VIRGINIS) A feast of the Latin Church. It is certain that a real matrimony was contracted by Joseph and Mary. Still Mary is called "espoused" to Joseph ("his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph", Matthew 1:18) because the matrimony was never consummated. The term spouse is applied to married people until their marriage is consummated (Colvenerius, Cal. Marian., 23 Jan.). Peter d'Ailly, chancellor of the University of Paris. (died 1420), and his famous disciple, Jean Charlier, called Gerson, were the first energetic propagators of the devotion in honour of St. Joseph. Gerson worked many years to effect the institution of a special votive feast (Thursday of ember week in Advent), the object of which should be the virginal espousal of Mary and Joseph. Gerson's friend, Henry Chicoti, canon of the cathedral chapter of Chartres, had bequeathed a certain sum for the celebration in the cathedral of this votive feast, for which Gerson had composed a proper Office. It seems that Gerson carried out the will of his friend, but tradition does not tell us on what day the feast was celebrated.  (Text from Catholic Encyclopedia) 

NOVENA PRAYER for Espousal of Mary and Joseph

Hail to our patrons, happy songs we tender,
As we observe the day of their chaste wedding,
Anew the faithful enjoy the holy splendor
Shining about them,
How beautiful thou art, O Virgin Mary,
The trinity has covered thee with graces
The lavish godhead splendidly adorns thee
As thou art married.
O blessed Joseph, to thee also we sing,
Thy virtue raises thee to highest summits
Thy sanctity is a mirror reflecting,
Thy saintly Mary.
Jesus was happy to be known as your Son
How much He loved you, parents of such virtue
From your belov’d arms to the world His mission
Already is started.
O Blessed couple, Light of earth and heaven,
Continue to inspire us with your blessing,
While the renown of your names we may leaven
By our devotion.
Eternal praise be to the mighty Godhead
Who, by the gift of Mary and Saint Joseph,
To our poor lives have, by their merits, added,
Gifts of Divine peace. Amen.
In preparation for the Feast of the holy espousals of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Saint Joseph
Dear brothers, we shall attentively and devoutly meditate upon the wonderful virtues practiced by the Blessed Virgin Mary in company with Saint Joseph, her most chaste Spouse, and in their memory we shall humbly beg to imitate them, by saying:
1. Most holy Virgin, by those virginal Espousals you did celebrate with Saint Joseph, your most chaste Spouse, grant that my soul may be spiritually espoused to Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
2. O spotless Virgin, by that intact Virginity you did keep with Saint Joseph, your most pure Spouse, grant that my soul may with a pure heart serve Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
3. Most amiable, Virgin, by that tender affection you showed to Saint Joseph, your most dear Spouse, grant that my soul may incessantly love Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
4. Most glorious Virgin, by that perfect obedience you showed to Saint Joseph, your most prudent Spouse, grant that my soul may perfectly obey Jesus, Your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
5. Most merciful Virgin, by that strict poverty you practice with Saint Joseph, your most resigned Spouse, grant that my soul may renounce all things for the love of Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
6. Most humble Virgin, by that deepest humility you practiced with Saint Joseph, your most meek Spouse, grant that my soul may be subject to all for the love of Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
7. O most holy Virgin, by that fullness of virtues you acquired with Saint Joseph, your most praiseworthy Spouse, grant that my soul may be enamored with all the virtues, so that it may ever be more pleasing to Jesus, your Son and my Lord. Hail Mary…
V. Pray for us holy Spouses Mary and Joseph:
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Prayer: As in the Proper

The first definite knowledge of a feast in honour of the espousals of Mary dates from 29 Aug., 1517, when with nine other Masses in honour of Mary, it was granted by Leo X to the Nuns of the Annunciation, founded by Sainte Jeanne de Valois. This feast was celebrated on 22 October as a double of the second class. Its Mass, however, honoured the Blessed Virgin exclusively; it hardly mentioned St. Joseph and therefore did not correspond to the idea of Gerson. Also purely as a feast of Mary it appears in the Missal of the Franciscans, to whom it was granted 21 Aug., 1537, for 7 March (double major). About the same time the Servites obtained the feast for 8 March. The Office of the Nativity of Mary was recited, changing the word Nativilas to Desponsatio. After the religious orders, among the dioceses which adopted the feast of the Espousals of Mary, Arras takes the lead. It has been kept there since 23 Jan., 1556. The first proper Office was composed by Pierre Doré, O. P. (died 1569), confessor of Duke Claude of Lorraine. This Office followed the outlines given by Gerson and commemorated both Joseph and Mary. Pierre Doré in 1546 unsuccessfully petitioned Paul III to extend the feast of the Desponsatio B. M. V. to the Universal Church. But even without the recommendation of the Apostolic See, the feast was adopted by many Churches. In Moravia it was in the sixteenth century kept on 18. July. 
In subsequent times Rome did not favour any further extension of the feast, but after it had been refused (1655) to the King of Spain, it was granted to the German Emperor for Austria, 27 Jan., 1678 (23. Jan.); in 1680 it was conceded to Spain, but transferred (13 July, 1682) to 26 Nov., because in Spain the feast of St. Ildephonsus or St. Raymond is kept 23. Jan. In 1680 it was extended to the entire German Empire, 1689 to the Holy Land (double, second class), 1702 to the Cistercians (20 Feb.), 1720 to Tuscany, and 1725 to the Pontifical States. In our days it is kept in nearly the entire Latin Church on 23 Jan., in the Spanish-speaking countries on 26 Nov., but it has never been extended to the Universal Church. Since Pius V abolished the Office of Pierre Doré and introduced the modern Office, it is again a feast of Mary. The commemoration of St. Joseph in Mass, Vespers, Lauds (decree 5 May, 1736) can only be made by a special privilege.  (Text Catholic Encyclopedia - Images shared from Google Images)

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