Devotion in Honor of the Seven Sorrows and Joys of Saint Joseph

The prayers of this devotion were composed by Blessed Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, one of the first members of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, founded by Saint Alphonsus Liguori in 1732. This devoted client of Saint Joseph was penetrated by the spirit of God and an indefatigable zeal for souls. He died in the reputation of eminent sanctity in the year 1744.

Holy Church has approved this devotion and enriched it with the following indulgences —

1. An indulgence of 100 days, once a day.

2. An indulgence of 300 days on every Wednesday of the year, and on every day of the two novenas preceding the feasts of Saint Joseph, viz.: his principal feast on March 19th, and the feast of his Solemnity on the Wednesday after the second Sunday after Easter.

3. A plenary indulgence on these two feasts to all who say these prayers and worthily receive the sacraments of penance and Holy Eucharist.

4. A plenary indulgence, once a month, on any day of Holy Communion, to those who have performed this devotion daily during the month. (Pope Pius VII, 9 December 1819)

5. A plenary indulgence, applicable to the souls in purgatory, on each Sunday of any seven consecutive Sundays of the year, to all the faithful, who, having received Holy Communion, recite the prayers of the Seven Sorrows and Joys of Saint Joseph. Conditions: — Visit to a public oratory and prayer according to the intention of the Holy Father. (Pope Pius IX, 1 February 1847)

Those who cannot read can gain this indulgence by saying seven times the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father, after having fulfilled the other conditions. (Pope Pius IX, 22 March 1847)


1. O glorious Saint Joseph, pure spouse of the most holy Mary, as the trouble and anguish of thy heart was great in the perplexity of abandoning thy most chaste and stainless Spouse, so too, unspeakable was thy delight when the angel revealed to thee the sovereign Mystery of the Incarnation.

Through this sorrow and this joy of thine, we pray thee, now and in our last agony, to comfort our souls with the joy of a good life and of a holy death, like unto thine between Jesus and Mary.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

2. O glorious Saint Joseph, most blessed patriarch, who wast selected for the office of reputed father of the Word-made-man, the grief which thou didst feel at seeing the Child Jesus born in such great poverty was suddenly changed into heavenly exultation at hearing the angelical harmony, and seeing the glories of that resplendent night.

Through this sorrow and this joy of thine we beseech thee to obtain for us, that, after the journey of this life is over, we may pass hence to hear the angelic praises, and to enjoy the splendor of the glory of heaven.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

3. O glorious Saint Joseph, who didst fulfill most obediently all God’s commands: the most Precious Blood which the Child Redeemer shed in the circumcision struck death into thy heart, but the Name of Jesus revived it, and filled it with joy.

Through this sorrow and this joy of thine, obtain for us, that having been cleansed from all vices during life, we may expire in exultation with the most holy Name of Jesus in our hearts and upon our lips.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

4. O most glorious Saint Joseph, most faithful saint, thou who wast a partaker in the mysteries of our Redemption, if Simeon’s prophecy of what Jesus and Mary were to suffer caused thee a mortal pang, thou wast filled with a blessed joy at the thought of the salvation and glorious resurrection of innumerable souls, which he at the same time foretold would thence proceed.

By this sorrow and this joy of thine, obtain for us to be of the number of those who, through the merits of Jesus and the intercession of His Virgin Mother, are to rise again in glory.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

5. O glorious Saint Joseph, most watchful guardian and faithful attendant of the Incarnate Son of God, how much didst thou suffer in supporting and in serving the Son of the most High, particularly in thy flight with Him into Egypt! But how much, again, didst thou rejoice at having always with thee that same God, and seeing the idols of Egypt fall to the earth!

By this sorrow and this joy of thine, obtain for us, that by keeping far from us hell’s tyrant, especially by flying from dangerous occasions, every idol of earthly affections may fall from our heart and that, wholly occupied with the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live for them alone and die a happy death.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

6. O glorious Saint Joseph, angel of earth, thou who didst marvel at beholding the King of heaven subject to thy commands, if thy consolation at bringing Him back from Egypt was disturbed by the fear of Archelaus, yet, when reassured by the angel, thou didst dwell in joy with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth.

By this sorrow and this joy of thine, obtain for us that, undisturbed by hurtful fears, we may enjoy peace of conscience and securely live in union with Jesus and Mary, to whom we commend our soul now and at the moment of our death.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

7. O glorious Saint Joseph, model of all holiness, through no fault of thine didst thou lose the Child Jesus, whom for three days thou soughtest sorrowing until, with a most joyful heart, thou didst find Him in the temple among the doctors.

Through this sorrow and this joy of thine, we fervently supplicate thee to interpose in our behalf, that it may never befall us to lose Jesus by mortal sin; but, if unhappily we ever should lose Him, we may seek Him again with unwearied sorrow, until we find His favor once more, and so pass to the enjoyment of Him in heaven, there with thee to sing His mercies for all eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be…

Antiphon. Jesus was beginning about the age of thirty years, being (as it was supposed) the son of Joseph!

V. Pray for us, Saint Joseph!

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray –

O God, who by Thy ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph for the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, grant, we beseech Thee, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in heaven. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

– Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration