The distinctive badge worn by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephite Emblem) has its origin in tradition, and is symbolic of the devotions that were special to Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods.
In the early days, the Sisters wore a monogram of blue braid on the front of their brown habits. The shape of the monogram was the A of ‘Ave’ and the M of ‘Maria’.
Inside the blue monogram, the Sisters embroidered three J’s to remind them of the importance of Jesus, Joseph and John the Baptist in their lives.
When the Sisters of St Joseph began to wear more modern dress rather than the brown habit, the design chosen for their emblem featured the traditional monogram and a cross.
The Josephite Emblem symbolises the devotions that were most dear to Mary MacKillop and Julian Tenison Woods:
The Cross, Mary called herself ‘Mary of the Cross’ and was called on to bear the cross many times throughout her life.
Ave Maria, ‘Hail Mary’ is a popular prayer to Mary the Mother of God.
Jesus was the one to whom Mary gave her life.
Joseph was Mary’s special patron to whom she prayed often and most fervently.
John the Baptist was the one who prepared the way for Jesus as Mary MacKillop wanted her Sisters to do.