The Doctor of the Church, St. Teresa of Jesus (also known as St. Teresa of Avila) nurtured a profound devotion to St. Joseph – indeed she attributed her miraculous cure from a near-fatal illness to his patronage. In each and every monastery of the Order of Discalced Carmelites that St. Teresa of Jesus established, she shared her immense devotion to the saint who bears the distinction of being the foster-father of Jesus the Christ Child, and also the distinction of being the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Teresa expressly promoted the celebration of the Feast of St. Joseph, which in the Western Church occurs on March 19. St. Teresa urged the members of her Discalced Carmelite Community to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph with the “highest solemnity,” and is quoted as saying that St. Joseph had never refused her any request on his feast. She would often direct, “Go to Joseph!”
In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared St. Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church. This strong and silent saint, to whom alone God the Father entrusted the guardianship of the Holy Family, is known under many titles. Having died in the arms of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus, St. Joseph is often invoked as the patron of a good or happy death. The good St. Joseph is well known as the patron of families and of workers or carpenters. In a meaningful way, St. Joseph is also venerated as the preeminent patron of fathers and foster-fathers. In this present age, during which the institutions of marriage and family have been denigrated and the very role of fatherhood is under attack; an age which has deprived so many virtual orphans of the experience of the love of an authentic father, St. Joseph stands as powerful a model and witness as he is an intercessor. St. Joseph, Please pray for us!
Please join me in praying the Novena to St. Joseph; most especially entrusting to him the concerns of all fathers and families, as well as the needs of the Universal Church.
Novena to St. Joseph (often prayed in anticipation of his feast from March 10-19)
Memorare of St. Joseph:
Remember, O most illustrious Patriarch St. Joseph, on the testimony of St. Teresa of Jesus, your devoted client, never has it been heard that anyone who invoked your protection or sought your mediation has not obtained relief. In this confidence I come before you, my loving protector, chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Foster-Father of the Savior and dispenser of the treasures of His Sacred Heart. Despise not my earnest prayer, but graciously hear and obtain my petition. . . . (here, mention your petition).
Let us pray. . .
O God, Who by Your ineffable Providence, You chose St. Joseph to be the spouse of Your Holy Mother, grant, we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on Earth may also be our intercessor in Heaven. We ask this though He Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.