St. Joseph with the Infant Jesus, by Guido Reni

Hymns for Saint Joseph

Pope Francis declared 2021 to be the year of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mother and foster father of Our Lord.

Below are several traditional hymns and chants dedicated to Saint Joseph. About half of the songs are from the Divine OFfice or the Mass, and about half are devotional hymns.

Te Joseph Celebrant

The Liber Hymnarius attributes authorship to Hieronymus Casanate. Mode 1, Liber Usualis, 1961, p. 1447. This hymn is used for Vespers on March 19th, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and May 1st, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Te, Joseph, celebrent agmina caelitum,
te cuncti resonent Christiadum chori,
qui, clarus meritis, iunctus es inclitae,
casto foedere Virgini.

Almo cum tumidam germine coniugem
admirans dubio tangeris anxius,
afflatu superi Flaminis, Angelus
conceptum puerum docet.

Tu natum Dominum stringis, ad exteras
Aegypti profugum tu sequeris plagas;
amissum Solymis quaeris et invenis,
miscens gaudia fletibus.

Electos reliquos mors pia consecrati
palmamque emeritos gloria suscipit;
tu vivens, Superis par, frueris Deo,
mira sorte beatior.

Nobis, summa Trias, parce precantibus;
da Ioseph meritis sidera scandere,
ut tandem liceat nos tibi perpetim
gratum promere canticum. Amen.

Caelitum, Joseph, decus

Written by Fr. Juan Escollar (d. 1700), this hymn was formerly used at Matins for the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19). It is still used for this feast, but for Lauds instead. It is also the hymn for Lauds for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.

Caelitum, Ioseph, decus, atque nostrae
certa spes vitae, columenque mundi,
quas tibi laeti canimus, benignus
suscipe laudes.

Te, satum David, statuit Creator
Virginis sponsum, voluitque Verbi
te patrem dici, dedit et ministrum
esse salutis.

Tu, Redemptorem stabulo iacentem,
quem chorus vatum cecinit futurum,
aspicis gaudens, sociusque matris
primus adoras.

Rex Deus regum, dominator orbis,
cuius ad nutum tremit infernorum
turba, cui pronus famulatur aether,
se tibi subdit.

Laus sit excelsae Triadi perennis,
quae, tibi insignes tribuens honores,
et tuis nobis meritis beatae
gaudia vitae.

Iste, quem laeti

Written by Fr. Juan Escollar (d. 1700), this hymn was formerly used at Lauds for the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19). It is still used for this feast, but for the Office of the Readings. It is also the hymn for the Office of the Readings for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.

Iste, quem laeti colimus, fideles
cuius excelsos canimus triumphos,
hac die Ioseph meruit perennis
gaudia vitae.

O nimis felix, nimis o beatus,
cuius extremam vigiles ad horam
Christus et Virgo simul astiterunt
ore sereno.

Iustus insignis, laqueo solutus
carnis, ad sedes placido sopore
migrat aeternas, rutilisque cingit
tempora sertis.

Ergo regnantem, flagitemus omnes,
adsit ut nobis, veniamque nostris
obtinens culpis, tribuat supernae
munera pacis.

Sint tibi plausus, tibi sint honores,
Trine qui regnas Deus, et coronas
aureas servo tribuis fideli
omne per aevum. Amen.

Magne Joseph, Fili David

This hymn is from the medieval Little Office of St. Joseph.

Magne Joseph, Fili David,
custos date Virginis,
quem et Virgo nuncupavit
patrem Christi Domini;

Qui fidelis Servus Dei
datus es familiae,
precor velis curam mei
tamquam Pater gerere.

Joseph, fili David

This is the (possibly medieval) Communion chant for March 19th in the Latin Mass.

Joseph, fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam
conjugem tuam quod enim in ea natum est de Spiritu Sancto est.

Salve Joseph, custos pie

Salve, Joseph, custos pie,
Sponse Virginis Mariae,
Educator oplimé.

Tua prece salus data
Sit et culpa condonata
Peccatricis animae.

Per te cuncti liberemur
Omni poena, quam meremur
Nostris pro criminibus.

Per te nobis impertita
omnis gratia expedita
Sit, et salus animae.

Te precante, vita functi
Simus Angelis conjuncti
In coelesti Patria.

Sint et omnes tribulati
Te pre cante liberati
cunctis ab angustiis.

loseph fili David Regis
Recordare Christi gregis
ln die judicii

Salvatorem deprecare
Ut nos velit liberare
Nostrae mortis tempore

Salve Pater Salvatoris

This is a 14th century hymn attributed to Adam of St. Victor.

Salve, pater Salvatoris, Joseph ter amabilis.
Salve, custos Redemptoris, Joseph ter mirabilis.
Salve, sponsa Matris Dei, Joseph vir angelice.
Salve, hospes Jesu mei, Vir Joseph seraphice.

St. Joseph honored from above

A 2012 hymn to the tune of Jesu, Dulcis Memoria, by Genevieve Glen, OSB.

A just man honored from above,
A silent man, a man of love,
Saint Joseph served the Lord alone
On exile's road, in fam'ly home.

A man who acted on the word,
He carried out what he had heard:
He took the Mother and her Child
From scorner's stone and tyrant wild.

A man of faith, a man of trust,
He bore whatever loss he must
To keep the Mother and her Son
Until his life's great work was done.

We praise you, God of majesty,
One holy threefold Mystery;
Be Father, Son, and Spirit blest
By all who share in evening's rest.

Dear Husband Of Mary! Dear Nurse Of Her Child!

A 19th century hymn of Father Frederick W. Faber.

Dear Husband of Mary! dear Nurse of her Child!
Life’s ways are full weary, the desert is wild;
Bleak sands are all round us, no home can we see;
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! we lean upon thee.

For thou to the pilgrim art Father and Guide,
And Jesus and Mary felt safe by thy side;
Ah! blessed Saint Joseph! how safe should I be,
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! if thou wert with me!

O blessed Saint Joseph! how great was thy worth,
The one chosen shadow of God upon earth,
The Father of Jesus—ah! then wilt thou be,
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! a father to me?

Thou hast not forgotten the long dreary road,
When Mary took turns with thee, bearing thy God;
Yet light was that burden, none lighter could be:
Sweet Spouse of our Lady ! O canst thou bear me?

A cold thankless heart and a mean love of ease,
What weights, blessed Patron! more galling than these?
My life, my past life, thy clear vision may see;
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! O canst thou love me?

Ah! give me thy Burden to bear for a while;
Let me kiss His warm lips, and adore His sweet smile;
With her Babe in my arms, surely Mary will be,
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! my pleader with thee!

When the treasures of God were unsheltered on earth,
Safe keeping was found for them both in thy worth;
O Father of Jesus! be father to me,
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! and I will love thee.

God chose thee for Jesus and Mary—wilt thou
Forgive a poor exile for choosing thee now?
There is no Saint in Heaven I worship like thee,
Sweet Spouse of our Lady! O deign to love me!

Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!

A 19th century hymn of Father Frederick W. Faber.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Chaste spouse of Mary hail!
Pure as the lily flow'r
In Eden's peaceful vale.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Prince of the house of God!
May His best graces be
By thy sweet hands bestowed.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Comrade of Angels, hail!
Cheer thou the hearts that faint,
And guide the steps that fail.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
God's choice wert thou alone!
To thee the Word made flesh,
Was subject as a Son.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Teach us our flesh to tame,
And, Mary, keep the hearts
That love thy husband's name.

Mother of Jesus! bless,
And bless, ye saints on high,
All meek and simple souls
That to Saint Joseph cry.

O blessed St. Joseph

A 19th century hymn of Father Frederick W. Faber.

O blessed Saint Joseph, how great was thy worth,
The one chosen shadow of God upon earth,
The father of Jesus! Ah then, wilt thou be,
Sweet spouse of our Lady! A father to me?

For thou to the pilgrim art father and guide,
And Jesus and Mary felt safe by thy side;
Ah, blessed Saint Joseph, how safe I should be,
Sweet spouse of our Lady! If thou wert with me!

When the treasures of God where unsheltered on earth,
Safe keeping was found them both in thy worth;
O father of Jesus, be father to me,
Sweet spouse of our Lady! And I will love thee.

Dear Saint Joseph, pure and gentle

An early 20th century hymn.

Dear St Joseph, pure and gentle,
guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading, with the virgin mother,
Egypt’s deserts rough and wild.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die.

He who rested on thy bosoms
is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in his presence
sing hosannahs to their Lord.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Now to thee, no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
give to us a father’s care.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Dear St Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through earth’s toils and sorrows,
Safely to the distant land.

Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Holy Joseph, dearest Father

A 19th century hymn of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Chorus:

Holy Joseph, dearest father,
To thy children’s prayer incline,
Whilst we sing Thy joys and sorrows,
And the glories which are thine.

How to praise thee, how to thank thee,
Blessed Saint, we cannot tell,
Favours countless hast thou given,
Can we choose but love thee well?

Chorus.

Near to Jesus, near to Mary,
And, kind Father, near to thee,
Keep us while on earth we wander,
And in death our helper be.

Chorus.

We have prayed and thou hast answered
We have asked and thou hast given,
Need we marvel, Jesus tells us,
Joseph has the stores of heaven?

Chorus.

One more favour we will ask thee,
Thou of all canst grant it best,
When we die be thou still near us,
Bring us safe to endless rest.

Chorus.

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