Great Saint Joseph, Son of David

The Year of Saint Joseph lasts until December 8, 2021.

As we continue this special year, I want to share a hymn in honor of St. Joseph called Great Saint Joseph, Son of David.

GodSongs.net explains:

This hymn about St Joseph was originally written in German. Some sources say it was called Du aus David’s Stamm, was written by A.Gereon Stein and first published in 1852. However a 1988 recording of a number of German hymns suggests that the original title was Du Aus David’s Stamm Gehoren (translated as “Thou From David’s Line Descended”).

Most sources agree that it was translated by English Roman Catholic priest and later bishop Louis Charles Casartelli (1851-ca. 1909).

With meter 87.87 D, tunes it has been set to include:

  • An unnamed tune from a Slovak hymnal in the St Gregory Hymn book, 1920
  • An unnamed tune in the Westminister Hymnal, 1912 and A Treasury of Catholic Song, 1915

Some websites suggest that there are two additional verses. However these have not been found in any early publications, and one of them seems to overlap with the current 2nd verse. So they have not been included here (below).

Click here for a priest singing the hymn.

Let us continue to honor St. Joseph, the spiritual father of all Christians, during his special year.

Great Saint Joseph,
Son of David

Great Saint Joseph, Son of David,
Foster father of our Lord,
Spouse of Mary ever virgin,
Keeping o’er them watch and ward!
In the stable thou didst guard them
With a father’s loving care;
Thou by God’s command didst save them
From the cruel Herod’s snare.

Three long days in grief and anguish
With His Mother sweet and mild,
Mary Virgin, didst thou wander
Seeking the beloved Child.
In the temple thou didst find Him:
Oh! What joy then filled thy heart!
In thy sorrows, in thy gladness
Grant us, Joseph, to have a part.

Clasped in Jesus’ arms and Mary’s,
When death gently came at last,
Thy pure spirit sweetly sighing
From its earthly dwelling passed.
Dear Saint Joseph! By that passing
May our death be like to thine;
And with Jesus, Mary, Joseph,
May our souls forever shine.

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