St Joseph’s is the Chapel of the Daughters of Wisdom of the La Sagesse order.The parish is fortunate to have had the use of the Chapel for regular Mass and other services over many years.
The history of the Catholic Parish of St Joseph’s, Romsey, has to be connected with the story of the La Sagesse Convent at Abbey House. St Joseph’s Chapel is situated in the grounds, which for many centuries belonged to the old Benedictine Order of nuns and stands almost within the shadow of the Abbey Church, which is all that remains of that ancient foundation.
The La Sagesse Sisters (Daughters of Wisdom) had been founded in Brittany, France, in 1703, to care for the needs of the sick, the poor and orphans, as well as to educate the young. St Louis Marie de Montfort, their founder, also established a company of priests and brothers – the Montfort Missionaries. Both of these orders continued to be linked with Romsey in our time by Abbey House and Montfort College (now closed).
The Parish and the Daughters of Wisdom continue to work closely together over the development of St Joseph’s to the benefit of the Catholic community in Romsey.
St Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mother and was betrothed to Mary at the time of Jesus’ birth. All that is known of him for certain is contained in the accounts of the birth and early life of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
He was of David’s line and was a carpenter in Nazareth where he lived with Mary and Jesus during Jesus’ early life. Devotion to him developed over the years particularly with the increasing popularity of representations of the Holy Family.
Pope Pius IX declared him Patron of the Universal Church at the close of the First Vatican Council in 1870. His feast-day is 19th March.