Everything in Jesus’ life was a sign of the mystery of redemption. His humanity appeared as a sacrament of his divinity and of the salvation he brings.16 God’s love is manifest in “Christ’s whole earthly life – his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed his manner of being and speaking.” The mystery of redemption that culminates in the cross was prepared for in advance by God’s providence. It was at work in Jesus’ entire life, including the mysteries of his infancy and hidden life. The paschal mystery of his dying and rising was already present in the sorrows and joys that he experienced in the presence of Mary and Joseph. More than anyone else the Holy Spouses help us gaze upon the mysteries of the first 30 years of the life of the Redeemer.
It is likely that Mary and Joseph alone shared the secret of the virginal conception of Jesus, a secret that is never mentioned throughout the public ministry. Even though Jesus clearly proclaims himself the Son of God, nowhere is it recorded that he revealed the manner of his Incarnation. He was presumed to be the son of Joseph through the normal manner of conception. It is likely that Mary would not feel free to reveal the mystery of conception by the Holy Spirit to anyone except Joseph, who accepted her word through faith and subsequently had his own annunciation confirming that word. Only after the resurrection, the ascension, and the coming of the same Holy Spirit upon the apostles at Pentecost, would Mary share this mystery with the apostles. This would be the source for the virginal conception being reported in the infancy narratives of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and nowhere else in the New Testament. Mary and Joseph therefore provide the only lens through which to view firsthand the mysteries of the Incarnation and hidden life of the Son of God.
More completely than the traditional five joyful mysteries of the rosary, the following ten mysteries of the Holy Spouses Rosary prepare us for the relatively new luminous mysteries, and the traditional sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the Marian rosary, in which Joseph is no longer present. For the Holy Spouses Rosary, the Mysteries of the Incarnation and Hidden Life are as follows:
- The Betrothal (Mt 1:18a, Lk 1:26-27, 2:4-5a).
- The Annunciation to Mary (Lk 1:28-38).
- The Annunciation to Joseph (Mt 1:18b-23).
- The Visitation (Lk 1:39-56).
- The Birth of Jesus (Lk 2:6-16).
- The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus (Lk 2:21).
- The Presentation of Jesus (Lk 2:22-35).
- The Flight to and Return from Egypt (Mt 2:13-15).
- The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (Lk 2:41-50).
- The Hidden Life at Nazareth (Lk 2:51-52; 3:23).