Chaste Nuptial of Our Lady and Saint Joseph
The celebration of the virginal marriage of Our Lady to Saint Joseph has been kept for a long time as a festival in Sens and in other counties of France in particular.
Their marriage took place on Mount Sion. Mary wore a beautiful blue wedding dress which had been prepared for her by her relatives. Saint Joseph in utter simplicity wore a long cloak and a robe of grey material. Many friends were at the wedding feast; also some of Mary’s Temple teachers and school companions.
When the celebration was over, Mary and Joseph left for their home in Nazareth; this home had been given to Mary by her parents as a part of her inheritance. Those who had not been able to attend the feast welcomed the new couple home.
When these had departed, Mary was for the first time alone with Joseph. In deep humility Joseph spoke to Mary, somewhat like this:
“My dear spouse, although I am unworthy of you, I thank God that he has chosen me for your betrothed husband. Consider me your servant; tell me what you want and I will do it.”
To this Mary may have said,
“My master I am fortunate that God has given me you as a husband, but I must tell you what is in my heart.”
Joseph urged Mary to speak freely so she did.
“Our Creator has manifested His mercy in planning that we serve Him together. I beg you, Joseph, help me fulfill the vow of chastity which I made to God. In all other things I will be your servant. Make a similar resolution, so God will give us the eternal rewards for which we yearn.”
With a look of joy, Joseph listened to Mary’s words; for unknown to her, he, too, had promised God to live chastely; then he also spoke freely:
“Mary, my heart is glad to hear your feelings on this subject. When I was twelve years old, I made a like promise to God to serve Him in perpetual virginity. With His grace, I will be your faithful companion; I beg you to consider me a brother, chaste and pure.”
Then, filled with joy, Mary and Joseph dedicated their lives to God, their supreme Master, and discussed earthly important matters. Ann and Joachim had left Mary an inheritance, which had been in the custody of the Temple until then, but after the wedding it belonged to her. She and Joseph planned – they assigned 1/3 to their needs, 1/3 to the Temple, and the last third to the poor. Then turning to Mary, Joseph asked:
“Is it your wish, my lady, that I continue my work as a carpenter?”
Mary answered: “Yes, Joseph; this is God’s desire, too, that we be humble people. I will obey you, Joseph, for God in His infinite wisdom decreed that men be the natural head of the family, the house and the home. Let us ever live in accordance with the wishes of God.”
Joseph replied: “May God’s will be done by us, Mary, my beloved, in whatever we do or say.”
Each year Mary and Joseph renewed these promises and spent the anniversary day in prayer and recollection as much as they could. What a commemoration it must have been on the twenty-fourth of December, the eve of Christ’s birth! Only Mary and Joseph could personally tell us of this, and they will certainly do so when we see them in Heaven.