Saint Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is the foster-father of Jesus Christ. At the same time, Pope Pius XII established an additional Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker”, to be celebrated on 1 May, in order to coincide with the celebration of International Workers’ Day (May Day) in many countries.
ST. JOSEPH of the royal blood of David, was a mechanic [carpenter] in Nazareth of Galilee, where he was espoused to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The gospel praises him very highly, calling him a just man, chosen by God from among men to be the foster-father of Christ who was subject to him as He was to His blessed Mother. The history of his childhood and youth has not been preserved, and of it, as of the rest of his life, we know only that which is related by the Evangelists. As we do not read that he was present at the marriage in Cana, it is supposed that before the commencement of Christ’s ministry he died a happy death in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
St. Alphonsus Liguori writes that the example of Christ who so highly venerated St. Joseph while on earth, and who during his whole life was obedient to him, should suffice to inspire all hearts with devotion to this great saint; and he, whom the King of kings placed so high, indeed deserves especial veneration from man.
To encourage this veneration, St. Teresa of Avila wrote:
“I do not remember that I ever prayed to St. Joseph for anything which he did not procure for me; the great graces God has given me through him, and the many dangers of body and soul from which he has preserved me, are indeed truly wonderful. It seems as if God has given to other saints the grace to assist in some special manner those who seek their intercession; but of this glorious saint my experience is that he assists in every need. The Lord appears to show by this, that as He was subject to him on earth, so in heaven he does every thing which St. Joseph requests of Him. Others, whom I have advised to have recourse to him, have experienced the same thing. I would gladly so advise every one.”
“I have a great devotion to this saint,” continues St. Alphonsus, “because I have so often experienced that he can obtain so much from God. For many years I have been accustomed to ask a special grace on his festival, and my prayer is always answered. As we must all die, we should all have a special devotion to St. Joseph, for all Catholics consider him as the patron of the dying, who assists in the hour of death those who have venerated him, and this for three reasons: because Jesus loves Him, not only as a friend, but as His father, on which account he is a more powerful intercessor than any other saint; because St. Joseph has a special power against evil spirits who attack us in the hour of death; for since he freed our Saviour from the snares of Herod, God has given him the power to guard the dying from the attacks of the devil; lastly the assistance which Jesus and Mary rendered him in the hour of death, gives him the right to procure a sweet and holy death for his servants. If they, therefore, invoke him in the hour of death, he will not only aid them himself, but procure aid for them from Jesus and Mary.”
Should not these words of so great a saint encourage us daily to honor Saint Joseph? Should not this hope of being assisted in the hour of death by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, move us to devotion to the foster-father of Christ?
Ref: “The Church’s Year” by Leonard Goffiné. Leonard Goffiné (1648 – 1719) was a German Catholic priest who wrote devotional texts which remained influential in his country for two centuries afterward.
CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH
O, my beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation,
watch over me day and night, preserve me from the occasion of sin, obtain
for me purity of soul and body! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant
me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial, a burning love for
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet tender love for Mary, my
Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a
favorable judgment from Jesus, my merciful Savior.
PRAYERS FOR SAINT JOSEPH’s INTERCESSION
O St. Joseph, Mary’s pure bridegroom,
who because of thy purity and love of justice
wast chosen for the foster-father of Jesus Christ,
do not leave me, I beseech thee,
in my necessities and cares;
ask for me the grace to live a just and pure life like thine,
and grant, that I may obtain the happiness of dying,
like thee, in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Prayer to St. Joseph (over 1900 years old)
O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph,
do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son
all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord;
so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power
I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me,
and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.
Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail. This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whosoever reads this prayer or hears it or carries it, will never die a sudden death, nor be drowned, nor will poison take effect on them. They will not fall into the hands of the enemy nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle. Make this prayer known everywhere.
Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons
Courageous Joseph, advised by an angel,
you confront your fears of the unknown.
Your light shines brightly, penetrating the
dark corners of your being. Your fears dispersed,
you rediscover your true face, and actively
participate in the divine project reuniting
mother and Child, and the people with their God.
Together with Mary and Jesus, you dwell in the love
Help us to rediscover the united core of our identities,
beyond all internal fears.
Counsel us so we may build a better world to welcome
the coming Kingdom.
Shed your light on our inner lives that, freed from the
grip of our fears, our decisions may be founded in Love.
May the face of God shine on us!
Saint Joseph, our Solage in Suffering
Compassionate Joseph, one with us in our human condition,
together with Mary and Jesus you experience exile, hunger
and violence. Refusing vengeance, you choose mercy.
Your forgiveness breaks the circle of violence.
Through your goodness, God’s hope for our humanity is preserved.
Joy is yours, for the Kingdom of God is your inheritance.
Open our compassionate hands in times of war, famine and exile.
Keep us from developing a victim’s mentality, and make our pain a source of growth.
Sustain us in fulfilling our responsibility of cultivating inner peace, joy and serenity.
In your wisdom, counsel us to close all doors to bitterness, so that, watched
over by God, we may dance for joy.
To St. Joseph for Protection
Gracious St. Joseph, protect me and my family
from all evil as you did the Holy Family.
Kindly keep us ever united in the love of Christ,
ever fervent in the imitation of the virtue of our Blessed Lady,
your sinless spouse, and always faithful in devotion to you.
Prayer to St. Joseph in Latin: Oratio ad Sanctum Iosephum
|Ad te beate Ioseph, in tribulatione nostra confugimus, atque, implorato Sponsae tuae sanctissimae auxilio, patrocinium quoque tuum fidenter exposcimus.||To you, O blessed Joseph, do we fly in our tribulation, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.|
|Per eam, quaesumus quae te cum immaculata Virgine Dei Genetrice coniunxit, caritatem, perque paternum, quo Puerum Iesum amplexus es, amorem, supplices deprecamur, ut ad hereditatem, quam Iesus Christus acquisivit Sanguine suo, benignus respicias, ac necessitatibus nostris tua virtute et ope succurras.||Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beseech you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by His Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.|
|Tuere, o Custos providentissime divinae Familiae, Iesu Christi sobolem electam; prohibe a nobis, amantissime Pater, omnem errorum ac corruptelarum luem; propitius nobis, sospitator noster fortissime, in hoc cum potestate tenebrarum certamine e caelo adesto; et sicut olim Puerum Iesum e summo eripuisti vitae discrimine, ita nunc Ecclesiam sanctam Dei ab hostilibus insidiis atque ab omni adversitate defende: nosque singulos perpetuo tege patrocinio, ut ad tui exemplar et ope tua suffulti, sancte vivere, pie emori, sempiternamque in caelis beatitudinem assequi possimus. Amen.||O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven, assist us in this struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen|
31-Day St. Joseph Daily Reflection
Originally composed by St. Alphonsus Liguori, the 31-Day St. Joseph Daily Reflection (Download PDF to print) was adapted by Hugh J. O’Connell, C.SS.R. Printed with an Imprimatur in 1962, it is now difficult to find. The booklet is composed of 31 short but fervent devotions to St. Joseph, arranged for each day in the month. Every line bears testimony to the respect, confidence, and love which St. Alphonsus felt for the foster father of Jesus.
Find more prayers from the Votive Chapel at Saint-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal.
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