Fifth Sunday :: Catholic News Agency
Fifth Sunday

His sorrow when he had to flee to Egypt;
his joy in being always with Jesus and Mary.

Introductory Prayer

O most watchful guardian of the Son of God,
glorious Saint Joseph,
great was your toil in supporting
and waiting upon the Son of God,
especially during the flight into Egypt!
Yet, how you rejoiced
to have God himself always near you.

By this sorrow and this joy,
obtain for us the grace that would keep us safe
from the devil,
especially the help we need to flee
from dangerous situations.
May we serve Jesus and Mary,
and for them alone may we live and happily die.

Reading Mt 2:13-15

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son."


"Herod learned from the magi, who came from the East, about the birth of the ‘king of the Jews' (Mt 2:2).

And when the magi departed, he ‘sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under' (Mt 2:16). By killing them all, he wished to kill the newborn ‘king of the Jews,' whom he had heard about."12

"The Church deeply venerates this Family and proposes it as the model of all families. Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. And in this mystery, as in the Incarnation, one finds a true fatherhood: the human form of the family of the Son of God, a true human family, formed by the divine mystery. In this family, Joseph is the father: his fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring, but neither is it an ‘apparent' or merely ‘substitute' fatherhood. Rather, it is one that fully shares in authentic human fatherhood and the mission of a father in the family. This is a consequence of the hypostatic union: humanity taken up into the unity of the Divine Person of the Word-Son, Jesus Christ. Together with human nature, all that is human, and especially the family-as the first dimension of man's existence in the world-is also taken up in Christ. Within this context, Joseph's human fatherhood was also ‘taken up' in the mystery of Christ's Incarnation."13

Here the Litany of St. Joseph (p. 543 f.) may be prayed, as a conclusion. Or the following prayer may be said.

Concluding Prayer

V. Pray for us, blessed Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Almighty God,
in your infinite wisdom and love
you chose Joseph to be the husband of Mary,
the mother of your Son.
As we enjoy his protection on earth,
may we have the help of his prayers in heaven.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

12. GR, 14.
13. GR, 21.

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