Mary and Joseph’s long, cold and difficult journey

Holy Family with the Holy Spirit

Joseph and Mary’s hardships would have begun more than a week before the birth of their son, when the couple had to leave their home in Nazareth, in the northern highlands of Galilee, to register for a Roman census.They had to travel 90 miles to the city of Joseph’s ancestors: south along the flat lands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem. Travelling by Donkeys, walking and walking. And the trip through the Judean desert would have taken place during the winter. It’s nasty, miserable. And at night it would be freezing. We have no idea how difficult it was.

The woman is nine months pregnant. When they finally reach their destination after an arduous journey, there is no place to stay. The woman gives birth in a stable. It is widely agreed that Jesus was born in a cave used for housing animals.We can imagine the noisy and dirty conditions under which Jesus was born.

A few days after the birth of Jesus, Joseph is told (in a dream) to flee to Egypt. He is informed of this because Herod the Great will soon issue a command that all male children two years old and younger, in and around Bethlehem, are to be put to death.Their journey from Bethlehem to what is Egyptian-controlled territory (which was outside the jurisdiction of Herod) was at least 65 kilometres (40 miles). Again travelling by Donkeys and walking in difficult terrain. Finally, the travels of Mary and Joseph from Egyptian territory all the way north to Nazareth is a journey of at least 106 miles (170 kilometres).




Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph, dates to year 50 AD.

Saint Joseph with the Flowering Rod. Conveys the unexpected wonder of the moment with the lighting from above.

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.

Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

The Promise associated with this Prayer:

This old postscript is commonly included with this prayer:

"This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or be burned in any fire or be overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you desire. It has never been known to fail."