Joseph went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea,
to the city of David that is called Bethlehem…
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child…
there was no room for them in the inn. Lk. 2:4, 5 & 7
Mary and Joseph waited peacefully in Nazareth the happy completion of their common desires (Baby Jesus’ birth), when an edict of the Emperor Augustus, dictated only by human motives, but secretly directed by Divine Wisdom, forced both saints spouses to go to Bethlehem; where David's family had its origin. Heir to his throne, it was there that the Messiah was to be born, as foretold the prophet Micah: «And you, Bethlehem, you're not the smallest of the cities of Judah, because of you will come the leader who will lead the people of Israel.»
Because they were poor and they did not have to live any other way that the fruits of their labor, this trip was very painful to them. But it was in Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph had especially to experience the effects of poverty. Tired from the long journey, no less exhausted by the various penalties that they have endured, they were looking where to stay. They had no relatives or friends there; it is to the hostelries they are forced to contact. They went knocking on every door, and all remain closed to them; from everywhere they were repelled, there was no place for them; they were too poor. Unfortunate inhabitants of Bethlehem, do you know who is the one you want to deny some hay to rest? Do you know which is the fruit she carries in her womb? If the wife of Emperor Augustus came down to you, she would not lack for a place to stay; and you dare to dismiss the daughter of the King of kings, the future Mother of the Messiah!...
And you, poor Mary, how many troubles you endured, because you saw the little charity of your countrymen! Your heart must grieved not upon yourself, because you like poverty and you also love refusals which are commonly the result of poverty; but upon this Divine Child you knew the birth was near, and that you would see deprived of all the most necessary care...
Silence of the Blessed Virgin in respect of St. Joseph.
Joseph… decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him… Mt 1:19.20
Filled of the highest and most sublime favors, the Blessed Virgin had always about herself the most humble feelings.Her virtue does not stop there;Mary was not satisfied with to despise herself, she wants to be despised by others:she agrees to be taken like a great sinner, and in the eyes of Joseph, O my God! The husband she loved so much; the love of whom precisely she had so much reason to hold.
Mary spent three months in Hebron. On her return to Nazareth, Joseph could not help seeing her condition.He conceives suspicions mixed with extreme affliction.After many thoughts and worries, he is determined to return Mary to her parents... Mary saw her holy husband's anxiety; she could say only one word for he to fall at her feet:word she did not say it;and if the Lord had not taken up the cause of her chaste maid, if an angel had not come from Him to instruct Joseph about the operations of the Holy Spirit, they would have seen the Mother of the Son of God submitted to the most disgraceful humiliation ever.
Blessed Virgin you even perceive this humiliation, and you wait it calmly.Oh! How much reason has the Church to name you Queen of all saints!Who else but you could carry so far the love of humility? ...Let us honor Mary especially since she fled honors and accepted humiliations with the greater courage.
What was the occupation of the Blessed Virgin during the three months she spent with her pious relative? We can say that all her moments were shared between external charities and inside exercise of divine love: she was devoted to prayer all times that were not absorbed with her tender attentions to St. Elizabeth. Who could imagine the fervor of Mary? How vivid were her sighs for her Beloved? What holy ardor in her conversations with Him! All helped her to lift her soul towards the object of her love: she saw Him in everything and everywhere; each of her actions, even the most indifferent, was an elevation of the soul to the Author of all things, and therefore a prayer. Her immaculate heart was like that golden altar of which speaks Apocalypse, where the incense of fervent adoration burned continuously in the presence of the Lord; or rather, she herself was the holocaust that her own passions consumed without destroying it. This is how Mary gave us in her person the most perfect model of all souls devoted to the pursuit of perfection.