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Heart of Joseph ad te beate ioseph.jpg


by José Rodrigues, author of THE BOOK OF JOSEPH


Hail, Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, beating with love for the God who created you! Hail, Virginal Heart, lover of the Immaculate Heart of Mary! Hail, Paternal Heart, whose beating comforts the Sacred Heart of Jesus! Hail, you who are the Reflection of God the Father, Guardian of God the Son, Friend of God the Holy Spirit, and Spouse of the Immaculate Handmaiden!

Most Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, beloved by God and His angels, I consecrate this day to your honor! In you I confide my joys and my sorrows, my pains and my pleasures. I know that you are always delighted to pour forth your graces to those who ask for them with confidence.

Therefore, confident in your goodness, I entrust myself, and the following person(s) to your care: name(s). I ask that you please grant us the graces we need in order to become faithful reflections of you. I pray that you shower upon us all the graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare. And I pray that you grant the Holy Catholic Church, our Mother, every available grace to bring about Her glorious triumph! All for love of the two greatest treasures entrusted to your care: The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. + Amen.


St. Joseph, we offer you our hearts. Unite them to yours and to that of Jesus and Mary, asking them to grant that this union be inviolable and eternal! - St. John Eudes

Though not liturgically venerated in the Church, private devotion to the Chaste / Pure Heart of St. Joseph has been around for centuries, as was the case with the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary before their own approval.

Private devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an offshoot of the Holy Wounds devotion, began as early as the 11th century, but was not granted a liturgical feast day until 1670, for select seminaries. Over time, and little by little, the Church allowed for more places to celebrate this private feast day of the Sacred Heart. It was not until 1856 that Pope Pius IX established the Feast of the Sacred Heart as obligatory for the whole Church.

​As with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary was being venerated as early as the 11th century. It was not until 1855 that the Congregation of Rites approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary without, however, imposing them upon the Universal Church. After centuries of private devotion, the Immaculate Heart of Mary finally received its official feast day in 1944, granted by Pope Pius XII.


It is natural, and worthy, that devotion to the Heart of St. Joseph follow the same path as those Hearts which were entrusted to his care. Taking from the example of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, it is acceptable to also practice a private devotion to the Heart of St. Joseph.

Though modern-day apparitions (alleged or approved) support devotion to the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph, one may be confident in this devotion by reflecting on the closeness of the marital and virginal hearts of Joseph and Mary. As given to us in the Book of Genesis and in the Gospel of St. Matthew, when a man and wife are brought together in marriage, their hearts become one:

Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

Therefore, now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (St. Matthew 19:6).

Throughout their holy and virginal marriage, the hearts of Joseph and Mary were ever united in the life they shared. Since these hearts became as one, it is right that we should honour them both, neither excluding one or the other, as they both loved, nurtured, upheld, and suffered for, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in unison.

Though private devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary began long before, it was in the late 1600’s that the Heart of Joseph, united to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, began to emerge in the piety of the faithful and in works of art.

In 1668, Fr. Bartolomeu do Quental, founder of the Oratorians in Portugal, began propagating devotion to the three Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, after he settled in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

In 1744, a brotherhood was formed in Seville, Spain, under the banner: “Slaves of the Heart of St. Joseph”. Their emblem featured the Heart of Joseph with flames issuing from its top and encircled with lilies. The heart is crossed with his flowering staff and a sword, while the monogram of St. Joseph is seen in the center. The brotherhood was permitted to privately celebrate the feast of the Heart of Joseph on September 18.

In 1843 a certain Carmelite Father, Elia of the Three Hearts, is said to have actively promoted devotion to the Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, with the approval of Pope Gregory XVI throughout Italy and France. Traces of this devotion are found in the form of medals and prayer cards depicting the three Hearts, which began to surface.

In 1846, Fr. Michele Rocco, an Oblate of the Virgin Mary, established the Pious Union of the Most Pure Heart of St. Joseph in Italy.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, there have been alleged apparitions of St. Joseph, notably in the United States and in Brazil, in which he implores the faithful to have recourse to his Heart.

In 2021, the Year of St. Joseph as declared by Rome, devotion to St. Joseph has finally begun to flourish on a global scale, and, as a result, there has been a renaissance in Josephite art – including depictions of his most Chaste Heart.

Aside from St. Joseph’s liturgical feast days, Wednesday is the traditional day of the week on which we are to honour St. Joseph in some way (Benedict XV, Bonum Sane 1920). Because of this, it would be pious for us to celebrate (privately) a feast day of the Chaste Heart of St. Joseph on the Wednesday after the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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