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Honoring Saint Joseph, Foster Father of Our Savior




Feastday March 19


O St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus Christ
and true spouse of the Virgin Mary,
pray for us and for the suffering and dying of today.

We celebrate two feast days for Joseph:
March 19 for Saint Joseph the Husband of Mary
May 1 for Saint Joseph the Worker.


Everything we can definitively know about the husband
of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus
comes from Holy Scripture.

We know Joseph was a carpenter, a working man,
for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus,
"Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55).
He was poor, for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised
and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves
or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb. (Luke 2:24)

Despite his humble work and means, Joseph came from a royal lineage. Luke and Matthew mark his descent from David, the greatest king of Israel (Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38). The angel who first tells Joseph about Jesus greets him as "son of David," a royal title used also for Jesus.

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God
asked of him without knowing the outcome.
When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth
about the child Mary was carrying,
Joseph immediately and without question took Mary as his wife.
When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger,
he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends,
and fled to a strange country with his holy spouse and the Child.
He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe
 to go back. (Matthew 2:13-23)

We know Joseph loved Jesus. His one concern
was for the safety of this Child entrusted to him.
Not only did he leave his home to protect Jesus,
but upon his return settled in the obscure town of Nazareth
out of fear for his life.
When Jesus stayed in the Temple we are told Joseph (along with Mary) searched with great anxiety for three days for him (Luke 2:48).
We also know that Joseph treated Jesus as his own son
for many times people of Nazareth say of Jesus,
"Is this not the son of Joseph?" (Luke 4:22)


Saint Joseph is Patron of the Universal Church,
of fathers, carpenters, workers, and patron of departing souls.

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus' public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him,
the way we all would like to leave this earth.



O glorious St. Joseph, you were chosen by God
to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary ever Virgin, and the head of the holy family.
You have been chosen by Christ's Vicar as the heavenly patron
and protector of the Church founded by Christ.
Therefore it is with great confidence that I implore your powerful assistance for the whole Church on earth.
Protect in a special manner, with true fatherly love, the Pope
and all bishops and priests in communion with the See of Peter.
Be the protector of all who labor for souls
amid the trials and tribulations of this life,
and grant that all peoples of the world may follow Christ
and the Church He founded.


Saint Joseph the Worker - Feastday May 1 

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor,
obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance
for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously,
putting the call of duty above my inclinations;

to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor
to employ and develop, by means of labor,
the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation
and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties;
to work, above all, with purity of intention, and with detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account which I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted,
of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph.
Such shall be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.




O Glorious St. Joseph, behold I choose thee today
for my special patron in life and at the hour of my death.
Preserve and increase in me the spirit of prayer and fervor
in the service of God.
Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my death
may not come upon me unawares,
but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally
and to bewail them with a most perfect understanding
and a most sincere and perfect contrition,
in order that I may breathe forth my soul
into the hands of Jesus and Mary. Amen

O Blessed Joseph, who yielded up thy last breath
in the arms of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me this grace,
O holy Joseph, that I may breathe forth my soul in praise,
saying in spirit, if I am unable to do so in words:
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give Thee my heart and my soul."




O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great,
so strong, so prompt before the throne of God,
I place in thee all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession
and obtain for me from thy divine foster Son, Jesus Christ,
all spiritual blessings.
So that having experienced thy heavenly power here below,
I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers.
O St. Joseph, I never grow weary of conteplating thee
and Jesus asleep in thine arms.
I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart.
Hold Him close 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.




 Novena to St. Joseph
Say once a day for nine days, especially beginning
on 10 March and ending on 18 March,
the eve of the Feast of St. Joseph

O glorious descendant of the kings of Judah,
Inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs.
Just and happy St. Joseph, listen to my prayer.
Thou art my glorious protector, and shall ever be,
after Jesus and Mary the object of my most profound
veneration and confidence.
Thou art the most hidden, though the greatest Saint,
and art particularly the patron of those who serve God
with the greatest purity and fervor.
In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee
I now dedicate myself to thy service; beseeching thee,
for the sake of Jesus Christ,
who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son,
to become a father to me; and to obtain for me the filial respect, confidence and love of a child towards thee.

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession,
as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail,
deign to intercede for me now, and to implore for me
the particular intention of this Novena.
(Mention your intentions here)
Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.

Present me O great Saint to the adorable Trinity,
with Whom thou hadst so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that I may never efface by sin the Sacred Image
according to the likeness of which, I was created.
Beg for me that my divine Redeemer would enkindle in my heart
and in all hearts, the fire of His Love, and infuse therein
the virtues of His adorable infancy,
His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility.

Obtain for me likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse,
and protect me so powerfully in life and death,
that I may have the happiness of dying as thou didst,
in the friendship of my Creator, and under the immediate protection
of the Mother of God. Amen.