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Reflecting on the Year of St Joseph

Music inspired by St Joseph


A hymn, in two parts, composed by Rev. John Joseph Therry (1790-1864)—the so-called ‘Founder of the Catholic Church in Australia’—for the Festival of St. Joseph in Hobart, 1844. Though “more at ease in the pulpit than in the poet’s chair,” Father Therry composed various hymns throughout his life, often for children, in which he sought to condense, in several verses, the various tenets of Church teaching.* With admiration for his humility, righteousness, and paternal affection, Father Therry speaks of St. Joseph towards the end of his Josephian Hymn, addressing the following words to Our Lady:


Next, after thine, his aid we claim,
Whom wishing to be unknown to fame,
The Spirit of Love the “Just” did name;
Who caress’d and cherish’d on his knee,
Bethl’em’s sweet babe that was born of thee.




Josephian Hymn, words by John Joseph Therry, music arranged by Joseph Gautrot, 1844.


*Eris O’Brien, Life and Letters of Archpriest John Joseph Therry: Founder of the Catholic Church in Australia (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1922), 291.