42. The Death of Saint Joseph.

5th February 1944, 1:30 p.m. prev home next

This vision appears to me imperiously, while I am busy correcting the copy-book, and precisely the dictation on pseudo-religions of present days. I will write it as I see it.

I see the inside of a carpenter's workshop. It looks as if two of the walls are formed by rocks, as if the builders had taken advantage of natural grottos converting them into rooms of a house. Here the northern and western walls are indeed the rocky ones, whereas the other two walls, the southern and eastern ones, are plastered, just like ours.

On the northern side, in the recess of the rock, they have built a rustic fireplace, on which there is a little pot with some paint or glue, I do not know exactly which. The wall there is so black that it seems to be covered with tar, because of the firewood which has been burnt there for many years. A hole in the wall, with a big large tile on top of it, takes the place of a chimney for letting out the smoke. But it must have performed its duty very badly, because the other walls have also been blackened by the smoke, and even now there is a smoky mist all over the room.

Jesus is working at a large carpentry bench. He is planing some boards which He then rests against the wall behind Him. He then takes a kind of stool, clamped on two sides by a vice, He frees it from the vice, and He looks to see whether the job is perfect, He examines it from every angle, He then goes to the chimney, takes the little pot and stirs the contents with a little stick or brush, I am not sure; I can only see the part protruding from the pot and which is like a little stick.

Jesus is wearing a rather short tunic, the color of which is dark hazelnut: the sleeves are rolled up to His elbows, and He is wearing a kind of apron on which He wipes His fingers after touching the little pot.

He is by Himself. He works diligently, but peacefully. No abrupt or impatient movement. He is precise and constant in His work. Nothing annoys Him: neither a knot in the wood which will not be planed, nor a screwdriver (I think it is a screwdriver) which falls twice from the bench, nor the smoke floating in the room which must irritate His eyes.

Now and again He raises His head and looks towards the southern wall, where there is a closed door, and He listens. At a certain moment He opens a door which is on the eastern side and opens on to the road, and He looks out. I can see a small portion of the dusty little road. He seems to be waiting for someone. He then goes back to His work. He is not sad, but very serious. He closes the door again and goes back to work.

While He is busy making something, which I think is part of a wheel, His Mother comes in. She comes in by the southern door. She rushes towards Jesus. She is dressed in dark blue and is bareheaded. Her simple tunic is held tight at Her waist by a cord of the same color. She is worried when She calls Her Son, and leans with both Her hands on His arm in an attitude of prayer and sorrow. Jesus caresses Her, passing His arm over Her shoulder and comforts Her. He leaves His work, takes His apron off and goes out with Her.

I suppose you would like to know the exact words they said. Very few were spoken by Mary: « Oh! Jesus! Come, come. He is very ill! » They are uttered with trembling lips and tears shining in Her reddened and tired eyes. Jesus says only: « Mother! » but that word means everything.

They go into the adjoining room, full of bright sunshine coming from a door open onto the little kitchen garden, which is also full of light and green, and where doves are fluttering around near the clothes hanging out to dry and blowing in the wind. The room is poor but tidy. There is a low bed, covered with small mattresses, (I say mattresses because they are thick and soft things, but the bed is not like ours). On it leaning on many cushions, there is Joseph. He is dying. It is obvious from the livid paleness of his face, his lifeless eyes, his panting chest, and the total relaxation of all his body.

Mary goes to his left-hand side, takes his wrinkled hand now livid near its nails, rubs it, caresses it, kisses it, She dries with a small piece of cloth the perspiration that forms shiny lines at his temples; She wipes a glassy tear in the comer of his eye; She moistens his lips with a piece of linen dipped into a liquid which I think is white wine.

Jesus goes to his right-hand side. He lifts quickly and carefully the body which has sunk, He straightens him onto the cushions which He then adjusts together with Mary. He caresses the forehead of the dying man and endeavors to encourage him.

Mary is weeping softly, without any noise, but She is weeping. Her large tears run down Her pale cheeks, right down to Her dark blue dress, and they look like bright sapphires.

Joseph recovers somewhat, and stares at Jesus, he takes His hand as if he wanted to say something and also to receive strength, for the last trial, from the divine contact. Jesus bends over that hand and kisses it. Joseph smiles. He then turns round and with his eyes he looks for Mary and smiles also at Her. Mary kneels down near the bed endeavoring to smile. But She does not succeed and She bends Her head. Joseph lays his hand on Her head with a chaste caress that looks like a blessing.

Only the fluttering and cooing of the doves, the rustling of the leaves, the warbling of the water can be heard outside, and the breathing of the dying man in the room.

Jesus goes round the bed, takes a stool and makes Mary sit on it, once again calling Her simply: « Mother ». He then goes back to His place and takes Joseph's hand into His own once again. The scene is so real that I can't help crying because of Mary's pain.

Then Jesus bending over the dying man, whispers a psalm. I know it is a psalm, but just now I cannot tell which one. It begins thus:

« “Look after me, o Lord, because I hoped in You…

In favor of his friends who live on his earth

he has accomplished all my wishes in a wonderful way…

I will bless the Lord Who is my advisor…

The Lord is always before me.

He is on my right-hand side that I may not fall.

Therefore my heart exults and my tongue rejoices

and also my body will rest in hope.

Because You will not abandon my soul

in the dwelling place of the dead,

neither will You allow Your friend to see corruption.

You will reveal the path of light to me

and will fill me with joy showing me Your face.” »

Joseph cheers up a little and with a more lively look he smiles at Jesus and presses His fingers. Jesus replies to the smile with a smile of His own and to the pressure on His fingers with a caress. And still bending over His putative father, He goes on softly:

« “How I love your Tabernacles, o Lord.

My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord.

Also the sparrow has found a home

and the little dove a nest for its young.

I am longing for your Altars, Lord.

Happy those who live in Your house…

happy the man who finds his strength in You.

He inspired into his heart the ascents

from the valley of tears to the chosen place.

O Lord hear my prayer…

O God, turn Your eyes and look at the face of Your Anointed…” »

Joseph sobbing, looks at Jesus and makes an effort to speak as if to bless Him. But he cannot. He obviously understands, but has an impediment in his speech. But he is happy and looks at his Jesus with liveliness and trust. « “Oh! Lord” », goes on Jesus.

« “You have favored Your own country,

You brought back the captives of Jacob…

Show us, o Lord, Your mercy and bring us back Your Savior.

I want to listen to what the Lord is saying to me.

He will certainly speak of peace to His people,

for His friends and for those who convert their hearts to Him.

Yes, His saving help is near…

and the glory will live in our country.

Love and loyalty have now met,

righteousness and peace have now embraced.

Loyalty reaches up from the earth

and righteousness leans down from Heaven.

Yes, the Lord Himself bestows happiness

and our soil gives its harvest.

Righteousness will always precede Him

and will leave its footprints on the path.”

You have seen that hour, father and you have worked for it. You have cooperated in the formation of this hour and the Lord will reward you for it. I am telling you » adds Jesus, wiping a tear of joy which slowly runs down Joseph's cheek.

He then resumes: « “O Lord, remember David and all his kindness.

How he swore to the Lord: I will not enter my house,

nor climb into the bed of my rest, nor allow my eyes to sleep,

nor give rest to my eyelids, nor peace to my temples

until I have found a place for the Lord, a home for the God of Jacob…

Rise, o Lord and come to Your resting place,

You and Your Ark of holiness

(Mary understands, and She bursts into tears).

May Your priests vest in virtue and Your devote shout for joy.

For the sake of Your servant David,

do not deprive us of the face of Your Anointed.

The Lord swore to David and will remain true to His word:

'I will put on your throne the fruit of your womb'.

The Lord has chosen His home…

I will make a horn sprout for David,

I will trim a lamp for My Anointed.”

Thank you, My father on My-behalf and on behalf of My Mother. You have been a Just father to Me and the Eternal Father chose you as the guardian of His Christ and of His Ark. You have been the lamp trimmed for Him and for the Fruit of the holy womb you have had a loving heart. Go in peace, father. Your Widow will not be helpless. God has arranged that She must not be alone. Go peacefully to your rest. I tell You. »

Mary is crying with Her face bent down on the blankets (they look like mantles) which are stretched on Joseph's body, which is now getting cold. Jesus hastens to comfort him because he is breathing with great difficulty and his eyes are growing dim once again.

« “Happy the man who fears the Lord

and joyfully keeps His commandments…

His righteousness will last forever.

For the upright He shines like a lamp in the dark,

He is merciful, tender-hearted, virtuous…

The just man will be remembered forever.

His justice is eternal and his power will rise and become a glory…”

You, father, will have that glory. I will soon come to take you, with the Patriarchs who have preceded you, to the glory which is waiting for you. May your spirit rejoice in My word.

“Who lives in the shelter of the Most High,

lives under the protection of the God of Heaven.”

You live there, o father.

“He rescued me from the snares of fowlers and from rough words.

He will cover you with His wings

and under His feathers you will find shelter.

His truth will protect you like a shield

and you need not fear the terrors of night…

No evil will come near you because

He ordered His angels to guard you wherever you go.

They will support you on their hands

so that you may not hurt your foot against stones.

You will tread on lions and adders,

you will trample on savage lions and dragons.

Because you have hoped in the Lord,

He says to you, o father, that He will free you and protect you.

Because you have lifted your voice to Him, He will hear you,

He will be with you in your last affliction,

He will glorify you after this life,

showing you even now His Salvation.”

And in future life, He will let you enter, because of the Savior Who is now comforting you and Who very soon, oh! I repeat it, He will come very soon and hold you in His divine embrace and take you, at the head of all the Patriarchs, where the dwelling place has been prepared for the Just man of God who was My blessed father.

Go before Me and tell the Patriarchs that the Savior is in the world and the Kingdom of Heaven will soon be opened to them. Go, father. May My blessing accompany you. »

Jesus has raised His voice to reach the heart of Joseph, who is sinking into the mists of death. His end is impending. He is panting very painfully. Mary caresses him, Jesus sits on the edge of the little bed, embraces him and draws to Himself the dying man, who collapses, and passes away peacefully.

The scene is full of a solemn peace. Jesus lays the Patriarch down again and embraces Mary, Who at the last moment, broken-hearted, had gone near Jesus.

Jesus says:

« I exhort all wives who are tortured by pain, to imitate Mary in Her widowhood: to be united to Jesus. Those who think that Mary's heart did not suffer any afflictions are mistaken. My Mother did suffer. Let that be known. She suffered in a holy way, because everything in Her was holy, but She suffered bitterly.

Those who think that Mary did not love Joseph deeply, only because he was the spouse of Her soul and not of Her flesh, are also mistaken. Mary did love Joseph deeply, and She devoted thirty years of faithful life to him. Joseph was Her father, Her spouse, Her brother, Her friend, Her protector.

Now She felt as lonely as the shoot of a vine when the tree to which it is tied is cut down. It was as if Her house had been struck by thunder. It was splitting. Before it was a unit in which the members supported one another. Now the main wall was missing and that was the first blow to the Family and a sign of the impending parting of Her beloved Jesus.

The will of the Eternal Father Who had asked Her to be a spouse and a Mother, was now imposing upon Her widowhood and separation from Her Creature. But Mary utters, shedding tears, one of Her most sublime remarks: “Yes. Yes, Lord, let it be done to Me according to Your word.”

And to have enough strength for that hour, She drew close to Me. Mary was always united to God in the gravest hours of Her life: in the Temple, when She was asked to marry, at Nazareth when She was called to Maternity, again at Nazareth when shedding the tears of a widow, at Nazareth in the dreadful separation of Her Son, on Calvary in the torture of seeing Me dying.

Learn, you who are crying. Learn, you who are dying. Learn, you who are living to die. Endeavor to deserve the words I said to Joseph. They will be your peace in the struggle of death. Learn, you who are dying, to deserve to have Jesus near you, comforting you. And if you have not deserved it, dare just the same, and call Me near you. I will come. With My hands full of graces and consolation, My Heart full of forgiveness and love, My lips full of words of absolution and encouragement.

Death loses its bitterness if it takes place between My arms. Believe Me. I cannot abolish death, but I can make it sweet for those who die trusting in Me.

Christ, on His Cross, said on behalf of you all: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He said that in His agony, thinking of your agonies, your terrors, your errors, your fears, your desire for forgiveness. He said it with His Heart pierced by extreme torture, before being pierced by the lance, a torture that was more spiritual than physical, so that the agonies of those who die thinking of Him might be relieved by the Lord and their spirits might pass from death to eternal Life, from sorrow to joy, forever.

This, My little John, is your lesson for today. Be good and do not be afraid. My peace will always flow into you, through My words and through contemplation. Come. Just think that you are Joseph who has Jesus' chest as a cushion, and Mary as a nurse. Rest between us, like a child in his cradle. »

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