Contents Officium Parvum de Sancto Ioseph
Little Office of Saint Joseph

A late medieval office in honor of St. Joseph. The Latin text below is taken from a 1741 edition of the Coeleste Palmetum.

Start of all the Hours
Salve Patriarcharum decus, et Ecclesiae sanctae Dei Oeconome, cui panem vitae et frumentum Electorum conservasti. Hail, glory of the Patriarchs, steward of God's holy Church, who didst preserve the Bread of Life and the Wheat of the Elect.
Ad Matutinum At Matins only
V. Domine labia mea aperies.
R. Et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
V. O Lord, open my lips.
R. And my mouth will announce Thy praise.
Ad Completorium At Compline only
V. Converte nos, Deus salutaris noster.
R. Et averte iram tuam a nobis.
V. Convert us, O God our Savior.
R. And turn away Thy wrath from us.
Ad Horas Omnes At all the Hours
V. Deus in adiutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.
V. O God, come to my aid.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Alleluia*.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Alleluia*.
*A Septuagesima usque ad Pascha, loco Alleluia, dicitur *During Lent until Easter, instead of the alleluia the following is said
Laus tibi, Domine, Rex aeternae gloriae. Praise to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.
Ad Matutinum
At Matins, the start of the Day
Initium Start
MAGNE Ioseph, Fili David,
custos date Virginis,
quem et Virgo nuncupavit
patrem Christi Domini;
MIGHTY Joseph, son of David!
High and glorious is thy state-
of our Lord the Foster-father,
Mary's spouse Immaculate.
Qui fidelis Servus Dei
datus es familiae,
precor velis curam mei
tamquam Pater gerere.
The Almighty's faithful servant,
of the Holy Family,
head and father. Oh! I pray thee
be a father unto me.
Ant: Constituit eum Dominum Domus suae, et Principem omnis possessionis suae. (Psalmus 104) Ant: He made him master of his house, and ruler over all his possessions. (Psalm 104)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Primam
At Prime, the first hour of the day
Initium Start
CUM ferentem castam Matrem,
conspexisses uterum,
et nescires tamen Patrem,
cor gerebas anxium;
SORELY was thy bosom troubled
till the mystery was revealed
which the Lord had wrought in Mary,
who in patience all concealed.
Sed de caelo mox instructus,
posuisti dubium.
Fac ut omnis meus luctus
Transeat in Gaudium.
But an angel soon from heaven
bids thy loving doubts to cease.
So may every care and trial
turn for me to joy and peace.
Ant: Ioseph fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam coniugem tuam, quod enim in ea natum est, de Spiritu Sancto est. (Mt 1:20) Ant: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary as thy spouse, for what is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (Mt 1:20)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Tertiam
At Terce, the third hour of the day 9:00 am
Initium Start
DUM in Bethlehem profecturus,
pergeres cum Virgine,
Deus nobis par futurus,
natus est in tempore.
WITH the Virgin, young and tender
in the winter-time forlorn,
thou to Bethlehem didst journey
that our Lord might there be born.
Quem in faeno collocatum,
coluisti graviter:
nunc in caelo elevatum:
ora pro me iugiter.
As thy God thou didst adore Him,
while He in the manger lay,
now is He in heaven exalted-
turn to Him for us and pray!
Ant: Ascendit Ioseph a Galilaea de Nazareth, in Iudaeam in civitatem David, quae vocatur Bethlehem, cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore praegnante. (Lc 2:4) Ant: Joseph went up out of Galilee from Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, with Mary his espoused wife who was with child. (Lk 2:4)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Sextam
At Sext, the sixth hour of the day, noon
Initium Start
VIM Herodis evasisti,
monitus ab Angelo,
in Aegyptum cum duxisti
Virginem cum parvulo.
FLEEING at the angel's warning,
far from Herod's fury wild,
long in Egypt didst thou tarry
with the Virgin and the Child.
Per moerorem, quem tulisti,
isto in exilio,
cum gravabor hora tristis
mihi sis auxilio.
By thy toil, and pain, and sadness,
In that exile dark and drear,
Help me in the cares and sorrows
Which may be my portion here.
Ant: Surge, et accipe Puerum et Matrem eius, et fuge in Aegyptum, et esto ibi usque dum dicam tibi; futurum est enim, ut Herodes quaerat Puerum ad perdendum Eum. (Mt 2:13) Ant: Rise and take the Child and his Mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I tell thee; for it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him. (Mt 2:13)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Nonam
At Nones, the ninth hour of the day 3:00 pm
Initium Start
EX Aegypto cum defessus,
Galilaeam peteres,
es in Nazareth digressus,
ut securus degeres.
HOME from Egypt's land returning
thou wouldst rest in Galilee,
but to Nazareth art bidden,
that the Child secure may be.
In florentis hortum mentis,
amas Iesum ducere:
da, florescat et mitescat,
hortus animae.
Souls retiring, sweet, and humble,
thou dost still for Jesus seek:
that my heart may be his garden,
make it humble, pure and meek.
Ant: Et consurgens ex Aegypto, accepit Puerum et Matrem eius, et venit in terram Israel, et habitavit in civitate, quae vocatur Nazareth. (Mt 2:23) Ant: And rising up out of Egypt, he took the Child and his Mother and came into the land of Israel, and he dwelt in a city which is called Nazareth. (Mt 2:23)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Vesperas
At Vespers, evening prayer 6:00 pm
Initium Start
QUAM dolebas, cum quaerebas,
doudennem Iesulum!
Sed inventus et retentus,
auxit illi gaudium.
THOU didst search with loving anguish
For the little Jesus lost,
But, in finding Him, what rapture
Purchased at that sorrow's cost!
Iesum, Lumen oculorum,
fac me nunquam perdere:
semper puritate morum,
menti adsit integrae.
Thee, my light, my life, my Jesus,
May I never lose by sin!
May my heart be pure and simple,
So that thou may'st rest therein.
Ant: Fili! quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce Pater tuus et ego dolentes quaerebamus Te. (Lc 2:48) Ant: Son, why hast Thou done this to us? Behold, Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. (Lk 2:48)
Conclusio Conclusion
Ad Completorium
At Compline, night time prayer before sleep
Initium Start
INTER Iesu et Mariae
manus integerrimas,
spiritum emittis pie,
hinc ad sedes superas.
JESUS, Mary, hung above thee,
on that sad, but happy day
when, with their fond arms around thee,
passed thy gentle soul away.
Eia Iesu et Maria,
te coniunge tertium,
quando me suprema die
mors citabit anxium.
Oh! when death shall come to take me,
all its terrors I'll defy,
if, with Jesus and with Mary,
thou, dear Joseph, wilt be nigh.
Ant: In pace in idipsum dormiam et requiescam: quoniam Tu, Domine, singulariter in spe constituisti me. (Psalmus 4:9) Ant: I will sleep in peace, and I will rest, for Thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope. (Psalm 4:9)
Conclusio Conclusion
Conclusio Horae
Conclusion of the above Hours
V. Ora pro nobis beatissime Ioseph.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.
V. Pray for us, most blessed Joseph.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Sanctissimae Genetricis tuae sponsi, quaesumus, Domine, meritis adiuvemur, ut quod possibilitas nostra non obtinet, eius nobis intercessione donetur. Qui vivis et regnas Deus per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Let us pray
O Lord, we beseech Thee, may we be assisted by the merits of the Spouse of thy most holy Mother, that what of ourselves we cannot possibly obtain, may through his intercession be granted to us by Thee, who livest and reignest God for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
V. Lord, hear my prayer,
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. Benedicamus Domino.
R. Deo gratias.
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. Fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.
V. May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.
Commendation, recited at the end of Compline
CLIENS tibi dedicatus,
solvit hoc Officium,
eius votis tu vocatus,
redde beneficium;
THUS, O glorious saint, my homage
I thy grateful client pay.
Hear my prayer and smile upon me,
Guide and guard me on my way.
Ut post huius vitae metam,
tuo patrocinio,
tecum vivam vitam laetam
caeli in palatio.
May I 'neath thy kind protection
Safely reach my journey's close,
And with thee in heaven's bright palace
Through eternity repose.

Latin is from the Coeleste Palmetum, 1741. English translation graciously donated by the Saint Joseph Site.

<- Prev

©copyrighted by Michael Martin