Instructed by this command of the Most High, Saint Joseph permitted the heavenly Princess to exercise her humility and so both of them were enabled to make an offering of their will to God: most holy Mary, by exercising the deepest humility and obedience toward her spouse in all her acts of virtue which She performed without failing in the least point of perfection; and Saint Joseph by obeying the Almighty with a holy and prudent embarrassment, which was occasioned by seeing himself waited upon and served by Her, whom he had recognized as his Mistress and that of the world, and as the Mother of his God and Creator.
No human tongue can reproduce the celestial words and conversations of the most holy Mary and the blessed Joseph. I will adduce some of them as far as I know how. Yet, who can declare the effects wrought in the sweet and devout heart of this Saint in seeing himself not only constituted the husband of Her who was the true Mother of his Creator, but in finding himself also served by Her as if She was the humblest slave, while at the same time he beheld Her raised in sanctity and dignity above the highest Seraphim and inferior only to God? If the Divine right hand enriched with blessings the house of Obededom for having sheltered for a few months the figurative ark of the old Testament (1 Par. 13, 4), what blessings did He not shower upon Saint Joseph, to whom He entrusted the true ark and the Lawgiver Himself enshrined in Her? Incomparable was the good fortune and happiness of this Saint! Not only because he had with him in his house the living and true ark of the new Testament, the altar, the sacrifice, and the temple, all left in his charge; but also because he cared for them worthily and as a faithful servant (Matt. 24, 45), constituted by the Lord Himself over his family to provide for all their necessities in the right time as a most faithful dispenser (Os. 14, 20). Let all generations and peoples acknowledge and bless him, let them extol his merits; since the Most High has favored none other in the same degree. I, an unworthy and poor worm, in the light of such venerable sacraments, exalt and magnify this Lord God, confessing Him as holy, just, merciful, wise and admirable in the disposition of all His great works.
but blessed house of Joseph contained three rooms, which occupied
all its space and formed the exclusive dwelling place of the two
for they kept neither a man-nor a maid-servant. In one of the rooms
Joseph slept, in another he worked and kept the tools of his trade of
the third was ordinarily occupied by the Queen of Heaven and was also
sleeping room. It contained a couch made by the hands of Saint Joseph.
This arrangement they had observed since their espousal and from the
on which they had come to this, their dwelling. Before knowing the
of his Spouse and Lady, Saint Joseph rarely went to see Her; for while
She kept her retirement he was engaged in his work, unless some affair
made it absolutely necessary to consult Her. But after he was informed
of his good fortune, the holy man was more solicitous for her welfare,
and in order to renew the joy of his heart he began to come often to
retreat of the sovereign Lady, visiting Her and receiving her commands.
But he always approached Her with extreme humility and reverential
and before he spoke to Her, he was careful to note in what She was
Many times he saw Her in ecstasy raised from the earth and resplendent
with most brilliant light; at other times in the company of her Angels
holding celestial intercourse with them; and at other times, he found
upon the earth in the form of a cross, speaking
to the Lord. Her most fortunate spouse was a participator in these
But whenever he found the great Lady in these occupations and postures,
he would presume no farther than to look upon Her with profound
and thereby he merited sometimes to hear the sweetest harmony of the
music, with which the Angels regaled their Queen, and perceived a
fragrancy which comforted him and filled him entirely with jubilation
joy of spirit.
The two holy spouses lived alone in their house, for as I have said, they had no servants of any kind, not only on account of their humility, but in order more fittingly to hide from any witnesses the wonders, which passed between them and which were not to be communicated to outsiders.
Likewise the Princess of Heaven did not leave her dwelling, except for very urgent causes in the service of God or her fellowmen. Whenever anything was necessary She asked that fortunate neighbor, who as I have said had served Saint Joseph during the absence of Mary in the house of Zacharias. This woman received such a good return from Mary, that not only she herself became most holy and perfect, but her whole household and family was blessed by the help of the Queen and Mistress of the world. She was visited by most holy Mary in some of her sicknesses and with her family was continuously enriched by the blessings of Heaven.
Never did Saint Joseph see his heavenly Spouse asleep, nor did he of his own experience know whether She ever slept, although he besought Her to take some rest, especially during the time of her sacred pregnancy. The resting-place of the Princess was the low couch, which I said had been constructed by Saint Joseph; and on it were the coverings which served Her during her brief and holy sleep. Her undergarment was a sort of tunic made of cotton, but softer than the ordinary or common cloth. This tunic She never changed from the time since She left the temple, nor did it wear out or grow old or soiled, and no person ever saw it, nor did Saint Joseph know that She wore that kind of a garment; for he never saw any other part of her clothing except the outside garments, which were open to the view of other persons. Those were of a gray color, and these only and her head-coverings were the garments, which the Queen changed now and then; not because they were soiled, but because, being visible to all, She wished to avoid notice by such strange sameness of outward appearance. Nothing that She wore upon her most pure and virginal body became soiled or worn; for She neither perspired, nor was She subject to the punishments, which are laid upon the sin-impregnated bodies of the children of Adam. She was in all respects most pure and the works of her hands were like crystal ornaments; and with the same purity She cared for the clothes and other necessities of Saint Joseph. The food of which She partook, was most limited in kind and quantity; but She partook of some every day and in company of her spouse; she never ate meat, although he did, and She prepared it for him. Her sustenance was fruit, fishes, and ordinarily bread and cooked vegetables; but of all these She partook in exact measure and weight, only so much as was necessary for the nourishment of the body and the maintaining of the natural warmth without any superfluities that could pass over into excess of harmful corruption; the same rule She observed in regard to drink, although Her fervent acts of love often caused a superabundance of preternatural ardor. This rule, as to the quantity of her nourishment, She followed during her whole life, although as to the kind of food She adapted Herself to the various circumstances demanding a change . . .
WORDS OF THE QUEEN
I My daughter, in the school of humility, which my whole life affords thee, I wish that thou be studious and diligent; and this should be thy first and principal care, if thou wishest to enjoy the sweet embraces of the Lord, assure thyself of His favor and possess the treasures of light, which are hidden to the proud (Matt. 11, 25). For without the trusty foundation of humility such treasures cannot be confided to any man. Let all thy ambition be to humble thyself in thy own estimation and thought, so that in thy exterior actions thou mayest truly exhibit this humility of thy interior. It must be a subject of confusion and a spur of humility for thee and for all the souls to have the Lord as their Father and Spouse, to see, that the presumption and pride of worldly wisdom is more powerful in its devotees, than humility and true self-knowledge is in the children of light. Consider the watchfulness, the untiring study and care of ambitious and aspiring men. Look upon their struggle to be esteemed in the world, their strivings never at rest, though so vain and worthless; how they conduct themselves outwardly according to the false notions which they have of themselves; how they pretend to be what they are not, and how they exert themselves to obtain through these false pretenses the treasures, which, though only earthly, they do not deserve.
Hence it should be a cause of confusion
shame to the good, that deceit should urge on the sons of perdition
greater force than truth urges the elect; that the number of those, who
in the world are anxious to strive in the service of their God and
should be so small in comparison with the number of those who serve
that there should be so few of the elect, though all are called (Matt.