“Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the Lord delivers him” (Ps 34:20). Suffering is described as great tribulation, distress, troubles, misery, pain, sorrow and torment. At present, there probably is not a person who does not suffer. The Apostolic Letter “Patris corde” mentioned above arose just from the suffering that the whole world is experiencing right now: the Coronavirus pandemic. In it, Pope Francis writes, “Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble.”
Martin Luther King said an interesting thought: If the world looks back to the last century, it will cry. Not because there was a lot of suffering, but because good people were silent. Among those good people also belong a righteous man, St. Joseph, and a suffering woman, Alphonse Marie. Although they both suffered a lot, they did not complain, they were silent. Father Dominic De Domenico, O.P., in his book “True Devotion to St. Joseph and the Church” says that Joseph offered his sorrows for the sins of the world in union with the sufferings of Jesus and Mary. Thus, he cooperated in the work of redemption. Since God had required his cooperation in the work of redemption, He necessarily required the suffering that was inseparable from that cooperation.
Alphonse Marie also was ready to participate in the mission of the Redeemer by participating in His suffering and thus she responded to God’s love. She offered her sufferings for the conversion of sinners and for the salvation of the immortal souls. The Redeemer Himself asked her to do so and participate in the redemption of the world from slavery of sin.
Let us see what these two co-workers of God have endured in the work of redemption.
Father De Domenico writes that the Gospels ‘speak’ about seven sorrows of St. Joseph (cf. DE DOMENICO, D.: True Devotion to St. Joseph and the Church, p. 73-79).