Some people have suggested that it was written by James Quinn (1919-2010), but this reference to it being sung in Australia prior to 1945 suggests that it is likely older - and inclusion in the 1900 Catholic School and Sodality Hymnal confirms the matter.
Tunes it is set to include:
- An unnamed tune attributed to F.S.C in the The De La Salle Hymnal: for Catholic schools and choirs (1913).
Instrumnental version - organ:
LyricsDear St. Joseph, pure and gentle,
Guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading with the virgin mother,
Egypt's deserts rough and wild.
Hail, St. Joseph, spouse of Mary,
Blessed above all saints on high,
When the death-shades round us gather,
Teach, oh, teach us how to die.
He who rested on thy bosom
Is by countless saints adored;
Prostrate angels in His presence
Sing hosannas to their Lord.
Now to thee no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
Give to us a father's care.
Dear St. Joseph, kind and loving,
Stretch to us a helping hand;
Guide us through life's toils and sorrows
Safely to the distant land.
In the strife of life be near us,
And in death, oh, hover nigh,
Let our souls on thy sweet bosom
To their home of gladness fly.
Thou hast known a pilgrim's sorrows,
But thy day of toil is o'er;
Help us while we journey onward
Lead us to the peaceful shore.
Hail St. Joseph, just and holy,
Loving children breathe thy name;
Here below, through toil and danger,
Love and care from thee we claim.