The Holy Spouses Rosary is based upon the venerable Marian Rosary. It complements and extends this devotion in a way that includes Saint Joseph, Mary’s husband and Jesus’ earthly (though not biological) father. It is prayed using the same beads, but the “Hail Mary” is substituted by a prayer patterned after it in a way that includes Joseph and is thus directed to the “Holy Spouses” together, rather than to Mary alone. St. Joseph is an integral part of proper reflection on the Joyful mysteries, which are here extended from five to ten in the Holy Spouses Mysteries of the Incarnation and the Hidden Life.
The Holy Spouses prayer, repeated ten times for each mystery, is patterned after the “Hail, Mary”, but including St. Joseph, using his biblical title and that given him by the Church. While Mary and Joseph are honored, the child Jesus is eternally praised: he is the center of their family, and his name remains at the very center of this prayer, as it should for every prayer. Each mystery has a particular messianic title added to the name of Jesus, which also aids appreciation of the Christo-centric significance of that mystery. Mary and Joseph are invoked together as “Holy Spouses” and their prayers are sought not simply for ourselves as individuals, but also for our families and communities.
The purpose of this devotion is to allow you to focus on Christ through the lens of the two people who were closest to him on earth and who remain closest to him in heaven. Together these Holy Spouses are teachers at whose school we learn “to contemplate the beauty on the face of Christ and to experience the depth of his love.” This devotion is totally Christ-centered, as were their lives.
Mary and Joseph are models of contemplation, marveling together at the Son of God from the womb unto adulthood. By together contemplating God Incarnate, Mary and Joseph shared a bond that no one else could ever match. By entering into familiar conversation with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and by meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Spouses Rosary and living in communion with the Holy Family, we can learn to imitate these supreme models “of humility, poverty, hiddenness, patience, and perfection.” In the Holy Spouses Rosary we go to and pray with the two most powerful intercessors of all times.
One might recite mysteries one through five on Mondays and mysteries six through ten on Saturdays. However, individuals, couples, families, and communities may also pray them whenever most suited to them. One might also give special attention to the 23rd of each month, since the Feast of the Holy Spouses is usually celebrated on January 23.