2 Christmas Poems About Our Lady and St. Joseph
Since 2006 I've written seven Christmas poems of a narrative nature: four of them recounting different persons' (or angels’) experience on the first Christmas: Simeon (2006), the Blessed Virgin Mary (2008), our Lord Jesus (2009), the shepherds (2010), St. Joseph (2013), and the angels (2015). The seventh was a diversion from the Christmas morning/biblical theme, but still narrative in form: about St. Nicholas (2012).
It has become a literary tradition (first-person, Bible- or Catholic tradition-based poems) within a personal creative custom (my own Christmas poems, now numbering 14 altogether) within a Christian liturgical celebration (Advent and Christmas). It’s always a great joy and pleasure to write a new Christmas poem.
I'd like to present two of these: about the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing all of these poems, and Merry Christmas to one and all!
I was just a young, poor girl from Nazareth in Galilee;
To Joseph betrothed; descended from King David's line.
Obedient to Moses' and Yahweh's holy laws were we;
Seeking in all our ways and acts to follow the Will Divine.
The glorious angel Gabriel suddenly one day appeared;
Speaking solemnly in troubling and confusing ways.
With words causing great awe, confusion, even fear:
Why hail me as “O favored one” and “full of grace”?
I was told that I was chosen to bear a special Son,
A great man: the righteous “Son of the Most High.”
Inheritor of David's throne and higher than everyone;
Reigning over Jacob, with His Father's kingdom nigh.
The Holy Spirit was to “overshadow” me like a cloud;
My precious child was all-holy; God's only begotten.
“What did that mean?”, I wondered; yet not out loud;
Trembling, pondering a message not soon forgotten.
To Gabriel I said I was the lowly “handmaid of the Lord”;
Whatever God wanted, I was happy and willing to do.
I resolved to “let it be to me according to your word”;
I embraced the luminous vision of God's holy gospel anew.
I visited my kinswoman Elizabeth, in Judaean hills far away;
The prophet John the Baptist did leap for joy in her womb.
He would prepare the way for Jesus on that wonderful Day:
The healer of the blind, Who raised the dead from the tomb.
Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, praised this lowly maid;
Calling me blessed among women, carrying a blessed child.
I was even the mother of her “Lord,” -- is what she said;
I kept these things in my heart, astonished all the while.
Then my soul praised God: magnifying His name and deeds,
Rejoicing that He saved me by grace from a certain fate.
Marveling at how He had always filled His people's needs,
From generation to generation: Abraham up to that date.
The night I bore my Lord Jesus is always clear in my mind;
No inn or house in sight; just a cold, dusty (but dry) cave.
Even the beasts “understood”, and were so gentle and kind;
The Lord of Lords was now with us, to seek and to save.
Angels sang of glad tidings; curious shepherds came to see --
After hearing loud heavenly choruses of great peace and joy --
The King of kings, David's heir, and carpenter's son of Galilee.
God had become man: the eternal Creator was a baby boy!
Then I quietly meditated on the divine mission my child had;
Though my soul be pierced; by His death we'd reach heaven.
But I accepted this: God's love and mercy made me so glad;
For this divine plan my body and soul I have joyfully given.
[For the biblical background, see: Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-20,35]
My name is Joseph, descendant of King David and father of the savior of the world;
From Nazareth, a town in Galilee, from which, it was said, nothing good ever came!
I was betrothed to sweet, lovely Mary, serious and ever holy, even as a young girl;
Joyously awaiting marriage, we never imagined what an angel would soon proclaim.
Glorious Gabriel suddenly appeared to my beloved, and at first she was quite afraid;
Hailing Mary as “full of grace” and thus confirming her exceptionally favored state.
Speaking of a wondrous child, born of God the Holy Spirit, in her womb to be made;
“Second Eve” was overshadowed by God and Jesus took flesh: at conception great.
Not knowing this at first, I was greatly distressed to find my betrothed with child,
And resolved to divorce her quietly, so as to spare her any public scandal or shame.
But then an angel spoke to me in a dream, affirming Mary’s innocence all the while;
The Holy Spirit had indeed conceived “God with us”: He who would heal the lame.
Later that year, we journeyed to David’s Bethlehem: for a census to be signed by all;
Even though Mary, riding a donkey, was great with child: a mother very soon to be.
Seeking a warm inn as the time drew nigh, we found no lodging but an animal’s stall.
There newborn baby Jesus lay in a manger; adored by parents and shepherds, was He.
We escaped to Egypt to flee Herod’s wrath; the Messiah he had determined to shun;
Mary and I found Jesus, at twelve years old, teaching in the temple, warning of hell.
He was our pride and joy, and what a privilege: our many years with God the Son!
As Jesus grew, I taught Him the carpenter’s trade; from Him I learned much as well.
Happy and wonderful!: the blessed time we spent with our Lord who was yet our son;
Peace filled our hearts as Jesus told us of God’s gospel and kingdom message wise.
Though I would not live to see Him preaching, healing in Galilee: sinners to be won,
I’ll never forget my son’s birth, with glowing angels and the star lighting up the skies.