Madame Joseph on the Feast of St Joseph


The patronage of St Joseph goes a long way, symbolic of fathers and workers, noble male figures and fidelity to the Church.

It lends me to notice the significance of the saint’s presence in the life of Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houët. Apart from expressing her devotion to the Holy Family countlessly in her writings, she called herself and was known as Madame Joseph, the wife and widow of the Viscount Joseph de Bonnault d’Houët.

Not unlike the Mary and Joseph we know from tradition, Marie Madeleine and her young husband, Joseph, would faithfully lend their gifts to others’ service. It was through dutiful labour in tending to the sick that Monsieur de Bonnault caught illness and died early in their marriage.

Despite this, Marie Madeleine carried on in similar fashion, I am sure, with her husband never far from her thoughts.

On this day of St Joseph, let us recall not only the consecrated life of Marie Madeleine as a Faithful Companion of Jesus, but also as a wife.

May the example of steadfastness and loyalty of St Joseph continue to show through in our lives.

6 thoughts on “Madame Joseph on the Feast of St Joseph

  1. Many thanks for this beautiful reflection reminding us that Marie Madeleine was first a wife and a mother. A lovely reflection for the feast day!

  2. Great to remind us of Marie Madeleine’s devotion to the Holy Family, Geralyn. Thanks!
    Some may be unaware of the reason she was known in Amiens as Madame Joseph.
    As the young widow of Joseph de Bonnault D’Houet,who died almost 3 months before their son, Eugene was born, Marie Madeleine often called herself Madame d’Houet,,since this was the name of lesser importance than the noble name of de Bonnault or her own maiden name of de Bengy. One of her grandson’s was also called Joseph.

  3. Geralyn, thank you for this reflection. You go to endless trouble to link the feast with Marie Madeline and for this I thank you. It is just such great reminder thanks to you.


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