St. Joseph Foster-Father of Jesus, Pray for Us!

St. Joseph, Foster-father of Jesus, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Foster-father of Jesus, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

The month of March has traditionally been reserved in honor of St. Joseph, the righteous and virtuous spouse of the Sinless, Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph, the Just Man, is the Patron of the Universal Church. God Himself entrusted the protection of The Christ-Child and His Beloved Mother – the Most Holy Theotokos – to St. Joseph. He cared for their bodily and spiritual welfare. St. Joseph protected them from every peril– including the slaughter of the innocents as well as the dangers which lurked on the flight into Egypt, the spiritual dangers of exile in a pagan land, and the subsequent return of the Holy Family to Nazareth. It was Joseph, who with Mary, searched for the adolescent Jesus, finding Him after three days teaching the elders in the Temple of Jerusalem. Likewise, it was Joseph whose gentle and fatherly care allowed the Christ-Child to grow in “Wisdom and age and favor before God and man (Luke 3:52).”

St. Teresa of Avila, the Carmelite Mystic and Doctor of the Church, frequently directed her sisters to “go to St. Joseph.” In her autobiography, St. Teresa declared:

“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good.”

St. Joseph’s intercession is powerful. Not only is St. Joseph the patron of the Universal Church, but he is also the patron of fathers, carpenters, woodworkers, cabinet makers, laborers, bakers, confectioners, and pastry-makers. As a father and laborer, St. Joseph’s intercession is often sought by those fathers who are unemployed or under employed. Sacred Tradition also holds that Joseph was blessed to die with Jesus and Mary at his side, and as such is invoked as the patron of a happy death.

St. Joseph, Patron of a Holy Death, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com 2013

St. Joseph, Patron of a Holy Death, Please Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com 2013

No less than ten countries have officially named St. Joseph as their patron, including: Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, Canada, China, Croatia, Korea, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam. Likewise, St. Joseph is proclaimed as patron of hundreds of cities and towns, and innumerable hospitals, schools, churches, convents, monasteries and oratories are dedicated to his protection and thus bear his holy name.

The Just Man Shall Blossom Like a Lily © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013 EA photo

The Just Man Shall Blossom Like a Lily © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013 EA photo

Among Catholic devotions, the novena is a powerful method of prayer. The following Thirty-Day Novena is very old, and may be initiated at any time. However, as we begin this month dedicated to the honor of St. Joseph, perhaps it is a fitting time to devote ourselves to seek the intercession of this powerful Saint.

Thirty Day St. Joseph Novena

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.

Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the Eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the Holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.

I ask it by the infinite mercy of the Eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.

I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His Holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.

I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt. I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.

I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country. I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you did meet with so many joys and sorrows.

I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus. I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.

I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary. I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.

I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.

O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.
(make your request)

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Amen.

St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Guardian of the Holy Family, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2013.

St. Joseph, Foster-Father of Jesus, Holy Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, powerful intercessor and patron, Please Pray for us!

In Christ,

M.A. JMJ

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