About the Seven Sorrows and Joys of St Joseph Image

The seven sorrows and joys of St. Joseph are an old devotion that meditates on the sufferings of St. Joseph and the corresponding joys of his life. It arose from two Franciscans who were saved from a shipwreck off Flanders by St. Joseph’s intercession.

Read the full Seven Sorrows and Joys of St Joseph novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

What is the Story of the Seven Sorrows and Joys of St Joseph?

This is the story of how St. Joseph revealed his seven sorrows and joys to the world.

Two Franciscan priests were sailing along the coast of Flanders (Belgium), when a storm arose and sank their ship, which was carrying 300 people.

The two priests grabbed a floating piece of wood from the wrecked ship, and for three days and three nights they desperately held on.

All the while, they begged St Joseph to come to their aid, and he did so.

St Joseph appeared to them as a young man, very handsome, and he commended them to continue to trust to his prayers for help. He led them, still hanging onto their makeshift life raft, to shore in a harbor.

They asked him who he was, and he told them that he was Saint Joseph, and that they should pray the Our Father and Hail Mary seven times each day, in honor of his seven sorrows and joys. Then he disappeared from their sight.

The devotion has grown to where there’s a little prayer for each sorrow and joy, and the faithful are encouraged to pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each one.