The Cord of Saint Joseph
The devotion to the Cord of St. Joseph took its rise in
the town of Antwerp, Belgium, in 1637, in consequence of a miraculous
cure effected by the wearing of this precious girdle. At that
time there lived there an Augustinian nun of great piety, named
Sr. Elizabeth, who had suffered for three years excruciating pains
occasioned by a cruel distemper. She had reached such a stage
that the doctors, seeing no possible recourse, declared her death
to be inevitable and imminent. Sr. Elizabeth turned to Heaven,
and having always been particularly devoted to St. Joseph, she
asked him to intercede to Our Lord for her recovery. At the same
time she had a cord blessed in the Saint's honor, girded herself
with it, a few days after, as she prayed before st. Joseph's image,
she felt herself suddenly free of the pain. Those who were acquainted
with her illness declared her recovery miraculous; an act of authenticity
was drawn up with a public notary and the doctor, who happened
to be a Protestant, concurred. The miracle was recorded and published
at Verona and Rome between 1810-42. During the month of March
of the latter year, the Devotion to the Cord came into existence.
Cords were blessed in the Church of St. Nicholas, Verona, for
The chapel in the church is dedicated to St. Joseph. Numerous
special graces were obtained and the devotion spread to France,
all parts of Italy and even to America and Asia. The cord was
invoked, not merely as a remedy against physical ailments, but
also as a preservative of the virtue of purity.
The Bishop of Verona became aware of the necessity of addressing
a supplication to the Congregation of Rites, which he did by letter
on January 14, 1859. After a mature examination the Sacred Congregation,
in accordance with the request, approved on September 19 of that
year, the new formula of blessing and permitted its solemn and
private use. Finally the Bishop obtained for the Association of
the Cord the privilege of being declared 'primarie," and
at the same time His Holiness, Pope Pius IX enriched it with special
GRACES ATTACHED TO THE WEARING OF THE CORD
Graces precious to the piety of St. Joseph's servants are attached
wearing of this cord. They are:
1. St. Joseph's special protection;
2. Purity of soul;
3. The grace of chastity;
4. Final perseverance;
5. Particular assistance at the hour of death.
NATURE OF THE ST JOSEPH CORD AND THE MANNER OF WEARING IT
The Cord of St. Joseph should be of thread or cotton, ending
at one extremity
in seven knots, indicative of the Seven Joys and Sorrows of St.
Joseph. It is worn as a girdle for purity or chastity and humility
and around the shoulders for obedience. It ought to be blessed
by a priest with the faculties for this blessing. Pius IX approved
a special formula for the blessing of the cord of St. Joseph.
[See a copy 1964 Roman Ritual-----we do not have one here, sorry].
WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR CORD, IT WILL BE A LONG CORD WITH A KNOT
AT EACH END.
AT ONE END YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE 6 KNOTS TO ADD TO THE ONE ALREADY
THERE. THIS IS THE PART OF THE CORD THAT HANGS FREE AFTER TYING
ABOUT THE WAIST OR SHOULDER.
CONDITIONS FOR GAINING THE INDULGENCES
1. Be truly contrite, confess and communicate the day of
investiture or wearing it for the first time.
2. If possible visit the church of the Association or an
other oratory, if not, and to pray for peace between Christian
princes or rulers, the extirpation of heresies, and the exaltation
of Holy Mother Church.
3. Must be affiliated with the Church of San Rocco at Rome.
We do not know how binding this is for Americans or how to contact
them. We have provided a link to the Company that distributes
the Cord in the U.S. Someone one there may know how to contact
All the indulgences are applicable to the Holy Souls.
THE PRAYERS AND SPECIAL INDULGENCES
OF THE ST. JOSEPH'S CORD
RECITE DAILY SEVEN TIMES THE GLORY BE, TOGETHER WITH THE
FOLLOWING PRAYER, WHICH IS THE PRAYER FOR PURITY
O GUARDIAN of Virgins and holy Father St. Joseph, into
whose faithful keeping were entrusted Christ Jesus, Innocence
Itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, I pray and beseech thee by
dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness,
I may with spotless mind, pure heart and chaste body, ever serve
Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life. Amen.
YOU ARE ALSO ENCOURAGED TO MEDITATE ON THE SEVEN SORROWS AND JOYS,
ADDING AN OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, AND GLORY BE AFTER EACH MEDITATION.
PLENARY INDULGENCES ATTACHED TO THE CORD OF ST. JOSEPH
1. On the day of entrance into the Association.
2. On the day of the Feast of the Espousals of the Blessed
Virgin and St. Joseph [Jan. 23].
3. On the 19th of March, the Feast of St. Joseph, and on
one of the seven days which immediately follow.
4. On the Feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph [3rd Sunday
5. Upon death for members of the Association who are truly
penitent, have confessed their sins and received Holy viaticum;
or not being able to do, having invoked by mouth or in the heart,
the Name of Jesus.
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