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Venerable María de Jesús Agreda: "The Blessed Mary and St. Joseph ... [&] the always Invincible Humility of the August Virgin"

"The admirable life of the glorious patriarch Saint Joseph : taken from the cité mystique de Dieu (The mystical city of God)"texts

The admirable life of the glorious patriarch Saint Joseph : taken from the cité mystique de Dieu (The mystical city of God)

María de Jesús, de Agreda, sor, 1602-1665Olier, Jean-Jacques, 1608-1657
The holy evangelists made no mention of these

The faithful St. Joseph, after having been made 
aware of the dignity of his spouse, and the 
mystery of the incarnation, conceived so lofty 
an esteem for her, that, although he had been al- 
ways pure and perfect in his life, he now became 
as a new man. He resolved henceforth to 
change his conduct, and to redouble his ven- 

* Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you: but you 

cannot bear them now.”—St. John, xvi. 12. 



eration towards our blessed Lady. This was in 
comformity with the wisdom of the saint, and 
due to the excellence of his spouse, for he was 
servant, and she mistress of the universe. St 
Joseph knew all this by divine illumination. 
Now, to satisfy the desire he had to honor het 
in whom he recognized the Mother of God, 
when he spoke to her, or passed before her, if 
alone together, he bent the knee. He would not 
suffer her to wait on him, nor that she should 
occupy herself in other humble offices, such as 
sweeping the house, cleansing the vessels, and 
many other things which he thought derogatory 
from the dignity of our queen. 

But our saintly Lady, who was the humblest 
of the humble, and whose humility was not to 
be overcome, prayed St. Joseph not to pay her 
such honors as to bow the knee to her. This 
veneration, she said, was doubtless due to the 
Lord, whom she bore in her bosom; but while 
He remained there, the person of Christ could 
not be distinguished from her own. The saint, 
yielding to her humble desires, rendered this 
worship to the Lord, who was in the bosom of 
Mary, and to her as His mother, only when un- 
perceived by her. 

They had also humble disputes respecting! 
their servile employments. St. Joseph could 


not consent to allow our amiable Mistress to 
perform them, and strove to prevent it On her 
part, she did what she could, but waile she was 
retired in her oratory the saint found time to do 
many things, and thus our sweet Lady was frus- 
trated in her desires to be the servant. At these 
times she addressed her meek complaints to the 
Lord, and prayed him to oblige her spouse not 
to hinder her in the exercise of humility. 

This virtue is so agreeable at the tribunal of 
God, that we ask for no common grace whea 
we pray for it; for humility imparts a cer 
tain greatness to all things, and inclines God to 
clemency. The Divine Majesty hearkened to 
the request of our blessed Lady, and his guar- 
dian angel said, interiorly, to the blessed St 
Joseph, “ Do not frustrate the humble desires of © 
her who is above all creatures in heaven or on 
earth. Permit her to serve you in external 
things, and preserve for her in your interior the 
greatest reverence. Render to the Word made 
man, in all times and in all places, the homage 
that is due to Him. You can, meanwhile, assist 
his Mother, and honor ee the Lord of the 
universe who is within her.” 

Having received these orders from ‘the Most 
High, St. Joseph no longer refused her humble 
exercises to our sweet Lady. Thus both offered 


to God the sacrifice of their will. The most 
pure Mary, in practising her profound humility, 
and faithful obedience to her spouse; and St. 
Joseph, by obedience to the Most High, with a 
holy confusion to see himself served by her 
whom he recognized as mistress of the universe 
and mother of the Creator, 

Thus our saint was compensated for the hu- 
mility which he could not exervise; for to see 
himself served as he was humiliated him far 
more, and obliged him to abase himself still 
more profoundly in contempt of himself. In 
these dispositions St. Joseph meditated upon the 
Lord, whom the august Mary bore in her chaste 
bosom, adoring and rendering to Him honor and 
glory. Then, in recompense for his sanctity 
. and his respect, mingled with fear, the Infant 
God, made man, sometimes manifested himself - 
in an admirable manner. He saw Him in the 
bosom of His most pure Mother, as through a 
luminous crystal. Afterwards, our incomparable 
Lady conversed more familiarly with her blessed 
spouse upon the mysteries of the incarnation, 
for she knew that he was now informed of the 
secrets of the hypostatic union of the two natures, 
divine and human, within her virginal bosom. 

No tongue can relate the celestial discourses 
that were held between the blessed Virgin and 


St. Joseph.- And who can describe the effects 
produced on the gentle and pious heart of this 
holy man, on finding himself the spouse of her 
who was the veritable motber of his Creator, 
and to see her performing for him the duties 
of a simple servant ? 

If the Almighty enriched the house and the 
person of Obed-Edom with such plenteous bene- 
dictions for having received the ark of the Old 
Testament, what benedictions would He not 
bestow upon St. Joseph, to whom He had eon- 
fided the true ark, and the Legislator himself 
who was enclosed within it? 

The happiness and the fidelity of this saint 
were incomparable, not only because the living 
Ark of the New Testament abode in his house, 
but because he guarded it like a faithful and 
prudent servant. The Lord placed him over 
His family, also, that he should provide for it 
according to its necessities as a faithful admin- 
istrator. Let all nations acknowledge him, 
bless him, and publish his praises, since the 
Most High has never done for any other what 
He has done for this incomparable saint. In 
view of mysteries so august, I will glorify this 
adorable Lord, and confess Him as holy, just, 
merciful, wise and admirable in all His won. 
drous works. 


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