Patron Saint of the Community of Hope
Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, Jan 23
Feast of St. Joseph, March 19
Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, May 1
Prayers to Saint Joseph
Sources. The chief sources of information on the life of St. Joseph are the first chapters of our first and third Gospels; they are practically also the only reliable sources, for, whilst, on the holy patriarch's life, as on many other points connected with the Saviour's history which are left untouched by the canonical writings, the apocryphal literature is full of details, the non-admittance of these works into the Canon of the Sacred Books casts a strong suspicion upon their contents; and, even granted that some of the facts recorded by them may be founded on trustworthy traditions, it is in most instances next to impossible to discern and sift these particles of true history from the fancies with which they are associated. Among these apocryphal productions dealing more or less extensively with some episodes of St. Joseph's life may be noted the so-called "Gospel of James", the "Pseudo-Matthew", the "Gospel of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary", the "Story of Joseph the Carpenter", and the "Life of the Virgin and Death of Joseph".
Genealogy. St. Matthew (1:16) calls St. Joseph the son of Jacob; according to St. Luke (3:23), Heli was his father. This is not the place to recite the many and most various endeavours to solve the vexing questions arising from the divergences between both genealogies; nor is it necessary to point out the explanation which meets best all the requirements of the problem; suffice it to remind the reader that, contrary to what was once advocated, most modern writers readily admit that in both documents we possess the genealogy of Joseph, and that it is quite possible to reconcile their data.
Residence. At any rate, Bethlehem, the city of David and his descendants, appears to have been the birth-place of Joseph. When, however, the Gospel history opens, namely, a few months before the Annunciation, Joseph was settled at Nazareth. Why and when he forsook his home-place to betake himself to Galilee is not ascertained; some suppose -- and the supposition is by no means improbable -- that the then moderate circumstances of the family and the necessity of earning a living may have brought about the change. St. Joseph, indeed, was a tekton, as we learn from Matthew 13:55, and Mark 6:3. The word means both mechanic in general and carpenter in particular; St. Justin vouches for the latter sense (Dial. cum Tryph., lxxxviii, in P.G., VI, 688), and tradition has accepted this interpretation, which is followed in the English Bible.
Marriage. It is probably at Nazareth that Joseph betrothed and married her who was to become the Mother of God. When the marriage took place, whether before or after the Incarnation, is no easy matter to settle, and on this point the masters of exegesis have at all times been at variance. Most modern commentators, following the footsteps of St. Thomas, understand that, at the epoch of the Annunciation, the Blessed Virgin was only affianced to Joseph; as St. Thomas notices, this interpretation suits better all the evangelical data.
It will not be without interest to recall here, unreliable though they are, the lengthy stories concerning St. Joseph's marriage contained in the apocryphal writings. When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age, Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place. These dreams, as St. Jerome styles them, from which many a Christian artist has drawn his inspiration (see, for instance, Raphael's "Espousals of the Virgin"), are void of authority; they nevertheless acquired in the course of ages some popularity; in them some ecclesiastical writers sought the answer to the well-known difficulty arising from the mention in the Gospel of "the Lord's brothers"; from them also popular credulity has, contrary to all probability, as well as to the tradition witnessed by old works of art, retained the belief that St. Joseph was an old man at the time of marriage with the Mother of God.
The Incarnation. This marriage, true and complete, was, in the intention of the spouses, to be virgin marriage (cf. St. Aug., "De cons. Evang.", II, i in P.L. XXXIV, 1071-72; "Cont. Julian.", V, xii, 45 in P.L.. XLIV, 810; St. Thomas, III:28; III:29:2). But soon was, the faith of Joseph in his spouse to be sorely tried: she was with child. However painful the discovery must have been for him, unaware as he was of the mystery of the Incarnation, his delicate feelings forbade him to defame his affianced, and he resolved "to put her away privately; but while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. . . And Joseph, rising from his sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife" (Matthew 1:19, 20, 24).
The Nativity and the Flight to Egypt. A few months later, the time came for Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem, to be enrolled, according to the decree issued by Caesar Augustus: a new source of anxiety for Joseph, for "her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered", and "there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7). What must have been the thoughts of the holy man at the birth of the Saviour, the coming of the shepherds and of the wise men, and at the events which occurred at the time of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, we can merely guess; St. Luke tells only that he was "wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him" (2:33). New trials were soon to follow. The news that a king of the Jews was born could not but kindle in the wicked heart of the old and bloody tyrant, Herod, the fire of jealousy. Again "an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee" (Matthew 2:13).
Return to Nazareth. The summons to go back to Palestine came only after a few years, and the Holy Family settled again at Nazareth. St. Joseph's was henceforth the simple and uneventful life of an humble Jew, supporting himself and his family by his work, and faithful to the religious practices commanded by the Law or observed by pious Israelites. The only noteworthy incident recorded by the Gospel is the loss of, and anxious quest for, Jesus, then twelve years of old, when He had strayed during the yearly pilgrimage to the Holy City (Luke 2:42-51).
Death. This is the last we hear of St. Joseph in the sacred writings, and we may well suppose that Jesus's foster-father died before the beginning of Savior's public life. In several circumstances, indeed, the Gospels speak of the latter's mother and brothers (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; John 7:3), but never do they speak of His father in connection with the rest of the family; they tell us only that Our Lord, during His public life was referred to as the son of Joseph (John 1:45; 6:42; Luke 4:22) the carpenter (Matthew 13:55). Would Jesus, moreover, when about die on the Cross, have entrusted His mother to John's care, had St. Joseph been still alive? According to the apocryphal "Story of Joseph the Carpenter", the holy man reached his hundred and eleventh year when he died, on 20 July (A. D. 18 or 19). St. Epiphanius gives him ninety years of age at the time of his demise; and if we are to believe the Venerable Bede, he was buried in the Valley of Josaphat. In truth we do not know when St. Joseph died; it is most unlikely that he attained the ripe old age spoken of by the "Story of Joseph" and St. Epiphanius. The probability is that he died and was buried at Nazareth.
DEVOTION TO SAINT JOSEPH
Joseph was "a just man". This praise bestowed by the Holy Ghost, and the privilege of having been chosen by God to be the foster-father of Jesus and the Spouse of the Virgin Mother, are the foundations of the honour paid to St. Joseph by the Church. So well-grounded are these foundations that it is not a little surprising that the cult of St. Joseph was so slow in winning recognition. Foremost among the causes of this is the fact that "during the first centuries of the Church's existence, it was only the martyrs who enjoyed veneration" (Kellner). Far from being ignored or passed over in silence during the early Christian ages, St. Joseph's prerogatives were occasionally descanted upon by the Fathers; even such eulogies as cannot be attributed to the writers among whose works they found admittance bear witness that the ideas and devotion therein expressed were familiar, not only to the theologians and preachers, and must have been readily welcomed by the people. The earliest traces of public recognition of the sanctity of St. Joseph are to be found in the East. His feast, if we may trust the assertions of Papebroch, was kept by the Copts as early as the beginning of the fourth century. Nicephorus Callistus tells likewise -- on what authority we do not know -- that in the great basilica erected at Bethlehem by St. Helena, there was a gorgeous oratory dedicated to the honour of our saint. Certain it is, at all events, that the feast of "Joseph the Carpenter" is entered, on 20 July, in one of the old Coptic Calendars in our possession, as also in a Synazarium of the eighth and nineth century published by Cardinal Mai (Script. Vet. Nova Coll., IV, 15 sqq.). Greek menologies of a later date at least mention St. Joseph on 25 or 26 December, and a twofold commemoration of him along with other saints was made on the two Sundays next before and after Christmas.
In the West the name of the foster-father of Our Lord (Nutritor Domini) appears in local martyrologies of the ninth and tenth centuries, and we find in 1129, for the first time, a church dedicated to his honour at Bologna. The devotion, then merely private, as it seems, gained a great impetus owing to the influence and zeal of such saintly persons as St. Bernard, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Gertrude (d. 1310), and St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373). According to Benedict XIV (De Serv. Dei beatif., I, iv, n. 11; xx, n. 17), "the general opinion of the learned is that the Fathers of Carmel were the first to import from the East into the West the laudable practice of giving the fullest cultus to St. Joseph". His feast, introduced towards the end shortly afterwards, into the Dominican Calendar, gradually gained a foothold in various dioceses of Western Europe. Among the most zealous promoters of the devotion at epoch, St. Vincent Ferrer (d. 1419), Peter d'Ailly (d. 1420), St. Bernadine of Siena (d. 1444), and Jehan Charlier Gerson (d. 1429) deserve an especial mention. Gerson, who had, in 1400, composed an Office of the Espousals of Joseph particularly at the Council of Constance (1414), in promoting the public recognition of the cult of St. Joseph. Only under the pontificate of Sixtus IV (1471-84), were the efforts of these holy men rewarded by Roman Calendar (19 March). From that time the devotion acquired greater and greater popularity, the dignity of the feast keeping pace with this steady growth. At first only a festum simplex, it was soon elevated to a double rite by Innocent VIII (1484-92), declared by Gregory XV, in 1621, a festival of obligation, at the instance of the Emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I and of King Charles II of Spain, and raised to the rank of a double of the second class by Clement XI (1700-21). Further, Benedict XIII, in 1726, inserted the name into the Litany of the Saints.
One festival in the year, however, was not deemed enough to satisfy the piety of the people. The feast of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, so strenuously advocated by Gerson, and permitted first by Paul III to the Franciscans, then to other religious orders and individual dioceses, was, in 1725, granted to all countries that solicited it, a proper Office, compiled by the Dominican Pierto Aurato, being assigned, and the day appointed being 23 January. Nor was this all, for the reformed Order of Carmelites, into which St. Teresa had infused her great devotion to the foster-father of Jesus, chose him, in 1621, for their patron, and in 1689, were allowed to celebrate the feast of his Patronage on the third Sunday after Easter. This feast, soon, adopted throughout the Spanish Kingdom, was later on extended to all states and dioceses which asked for the privilege. No devotion, perhaps, has grown so universal, none seems to have appealed so forcibly to the heart of the Christian people, and particularly of the labouring classes, during the nineteenth century, as that of St. Joseph.
This wonderful and unprecedented increase of popularity called for a new lustre to be added to the cult of the saint. Accordingly, one of the first acts of the pontificate of Pius IX, himself singularly devoted to St. Joseph, was to extend to the whole Church the feast of the Patronage (1847), and in December, 1870, according to the wishes of the bishops and of all the faithful, he solemnly declared the Holy Patriarch Joseph, patron of the Catholic Church, and enjoined that his feast (19 March) should henceforth be celebrated as a double of the first class (but without octave, on account of Lent). Following the footsteps of their predecessor, Leo XIII and Pius X have shown an equal desire to add their own jewel to the crown of St. Joseph: the former, by permitting on certain days the reading of the votive Office of the saint; and the latter by approving, on 18 March, 1909, a litany in honour of him whose name he had received in baptism.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910, Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York
Prayers to Saint Joseph
NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH
O glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to thee do we raise our hearts and hands to implore thy powerful intercession in obtaining
from the benign Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special favor we now implore (state your petition).
O Guardian of the Word Incarnate, we have confidence that thy prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
(Then say the following seven times in honor of the seven sorrows and joys of St. Joseph.)
V. O Glorious St. Joseph! Through thy love for Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name,
R. Hear our prayers and obtain our petitions.
V. Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
R. Assist us!
Memorare to Saint Joseph
Remember, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, our beloved patron, never was it known that anyone invoked your protection and sought your aid without being comforted. Inspired with this confidence, I come to you and commend myself to you. Do not despise my petition, dear foster father of our Redeemer, but accept them graciously and pray for me to your adopted Son, Our Lord.
Another Memorare to Saint Joseph
Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession was left unassisted. Full of confidence in your power I fly unto you and beg your protection. Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me.
Prayer to Obtain a Special Favor through Saint Joseph
O Blessed Saint Joseph, tenderhearted father, faithful guardian of Jesus, chaste spouse of the Mother of God, we pray and beseech thee to offer to God the Father His Divine Son, bathed in blood on the Cross for sinners, and through the thrice-holy Name of Jese, obtain for us from the Eternal Father the favor we implore. (Name your request.)
Appease the Divine anger so justly inflamed by our crimes, beg of Jesus mercy for thy children. Amid the splendors of eternity, forget not the sorrows of those who suffer, those who pray, those who weep; stay the Almighty arm which smites us, that by thy prayers and those of thy most holy spouse, the Heart of Jesus may be moved to pity and to pardon. Amen.
St Joseph, Pray for us.
Thirty Days' Prayer to St. Joseph
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 favor I ask.
(Here make your request)
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 place 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 loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.
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 into 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 met 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. (Here name your petitions or think of them.)
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
"A blameless life, S t. Joseph, May we lead, By your kind patronage, From danger freed."
Prayer to Saint Joseph for Purity
O GUARDIAN of Virgins and holy Father St. Joseph, into
whose faithful keeping were entrusted Christ Jesus, Innocence
Itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, I pray and beseech thee by these
dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness,
I may with spotless mind, pure heart and chaste body,
ever serve Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life.
Prayer to St. Joseph the Workman
Composed by Pope St. Pius X
O Glorious St. Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations, to work with gratitude and joy, in a spirit of penance for the remission of my sins, 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 shrinking from weariness and difficulties, to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account that 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 through Mary, all after thine example, O Patriarch, St. Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death.
"The children of the world are ignorant regarding the privileges and rights which the Most High has conferred on my holy spouse, and the power of his intercession with the Divine Majesty and with me. But I assure you, my daughter, that in Heaven he is most intimate with the Lord, and has great power to avert the punishment of Divine justice from sinners. In all trials seek his intercession, because the Heavenly Father will grant whatever my spouse asks."
WORDS OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
“Some Saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all cases, in every necessity, in every undertaking.”
ST. TERESA’S “GUARANTEE”
Words of St.Teresa of Avila
“To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity—but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth—for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him—so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience . . .” —Autobiography, VI, 9
ST. TERESA’S PLEA
Words of St.Teresa of Avila
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . . I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him . . .” —Autobiography, VI, 11-12
A POWERFUL NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH
This novena has proven to be highly efficacious. It seems to be pleasing to St. Joseph and helpful to souls. This form of novena was originally devised by the celebrated Fr. Louis Lallemant, S.J. (1587-1633). It has proved particularly effective in obtaining favors through the intercession of St. Joseph. In the Life of this saintly priest and great master of the spiritual life, to whom St. Joseph never refused anything he asked, the story is told that on one occasion he urged two young priests to make this novena, promising that they would obtain everything they asked through the intercession of St. Joseph if, in turn, they would show him special honor and spread devotion to him among others. Both did as Fr. Lallemant suggested. One of them asked for grace to speak and write worthily of Our Lord. But the next day he came to Fr. Lallemant to tell him that, upon reflection, he wished to ask for a different grace, which he considered more conducive to his perfection. Fr. Lallemant replied, “It is too late now to ask for another grace. The first one has already been granted.” This grace was conspicuously displayed throughout the whole course of the priest’s life, as he became one of the most noted preachers and writers of his day.
How to Make this Novena
No particular prayers need be said for this novena. Every day for nine days, turn to St. Joseph in spirit four times during the day and honor him in the following four points. (These “visits” may be made anywhere—at home, at work, on the street, in the car or bus—and at any time.)
1. During the first visit, consider St. Joseph’s fidelity to grace. Reflect upon the action of the Holy Ghost in his soul. At the conclusion of this brief meditation, thank God for so honoring St. Joseph, and ask, through his intercession, for a similar grace.
2. Later in the day, consider St. Joseph’s fidelity to the interior life. Study his spirit of recollection. Think, thank God, and ask.
3. Later still, consider St. Joseph’s love for Our Lady. Think, thank God, and ask.
4. Finally, in a fourth visit, reflect upon St. Joseph’s love for the Divine Child. Think, thank God, and ask.
Prayer Which May Be Said at the Conclusion of the Visits
(These prayers are adapted from Reflections for a Novena to St. Joseph, by Sister Emily Joseph, C.S.J.)
O MY GOD, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph's great faithfulness to grace.
Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may be faithful to grace.
O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request.)
O MY GOD, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph's great faithfulness to the interior life.
Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may be faithful to the interior life.
O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain for me the favor I ask. (Name your request.)
O MY GOD I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph's great love for Our Lady.
O Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may truly love the Blessed Virgin Mary
O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain the favor I ask. (Name your request.)
O MY GOD, I thank Thee and bless Thee for St. Joseph's great love for the Divine Child.Grant that, through his loving intercession and the power of his example, I too may truly love the Child Jesus. O St. Joseph, intercede for me, and obtain the favor I ask. (Name your request.)
PRAYER TO OBTAIN A CONVERSION
O glorious patriarch St. Joseph, who merited to be called "just' by the Holy Ghost, I urgently recommend to the soul of (Name), which Jesus redeemed at the price of His Precious Blood.
Thou knowest how deplorable is the state and how unhappy the life of those who have banished this loving Savior from their hearts, and how greatly they are exposed to the danger of losing Him eternally. Permit not, I beseech thee, that a soul so dear to me should continue any longer in its evil ways; preserve it from the danger that threatens it; touch the heart of the prodigal child and conduct him back to the bosom of the fondest of fathers. Abandon him not, I implore thee, till thou hast opened to him the gates of the Heavenly city, where he will praise and bless thee throughout eternity for the happiness which he will owe to thy powerful intercession. Amen.
Written by Pope Leo XIII.
To be prayed especially after the Rosary. This prayer is sometimes called the "October Prayer to St. Joseph," but it can be prayed at any time of year.
TO thee, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which thou embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg thee to graciously regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with thy power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
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 our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once thou 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 thy constant protection, so that, supported by thy example and thy aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
Among the many exercises of piety practiced in honor of St. Joseph, there is one generally known, namely, that of meditating on his Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys. This devotion owes its origin to a celebrated event, never omitted by any historian of the Saint.
It is as follows: Two Fathers of the Franciscan order were sailing along the coast of Flanders, when a terrible tempest arose, which sank the vessel, with its three hundred passengers. The two Fathers had sufficient presence of mind to seize hold of a plank, upon which they were tossed to and fro upon the waves, for three days and nights. In their danger and affliction, their whole recourse was to St. Joseph, begging his assistance in their sad condition. The Saint, thus invoked, appeared in the habit of a young man of beautiful features, encouraged them to confide in his assistance, and, as their pilot, conducted them into a safe harbor. They, desirous to know who their benefactor was asked his name, that they might gratefully acknowledge so great a blessing and favor. He told them he was St. Joseph, and advised them daily to recite the Our Father and Hail Mary seven times, in memory of his seven dolors or grief's, and of his seven joys, and then disappeared.
(Recite one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be after each number)
1. St. JOSEPH, Chaste Spouse of the Holy Mother of God, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the thought of a cruel separation from Mary, and by the deep JOY that thou didst feel when the angel revealed to thee the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation, obtain for us from Jesus and Mary, the grace of surmounting all anxiety. Win for us from the Adorable Heart of Jesus the unspeakable peace of which He is the Eternal Source.
2. St. JOSEPH, Foster-Father of Jesus, by the bitter SORROW which thy heart experienced in seeing the Child Jesus lying in a manger, and by the JOY which thou didst feel in seeing the Wise men recognize and adore Him as their God, obtain by thy prayers that our heart, purified by thy protection, may become a living crib, where the Savior of the world may receive and bless our homage.
3. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW with which thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Blood which flowed from the Infant Jesus in the Circumcision, and by the JOY that inundated thy soul at thy privilege of imposing the sacred and mysterious Name of Jesus, obtain for us that the merits of this Precious Blood may be applied to our souls, and that the Divine Name of Jesus may be engraved forever in our hearts.
4. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW when the Lord declared that the soul of Mary would be pierced with a sword of sorrow, and by thy JOY when holy Simeon added that the Divine Infant was to be the resurrection of many, obtain for us the grace to have compassion on the sorrows of Mary, and share in the salvation which Jesus brought to the earth.
5. St. JOSEPH, by thy SORROW when told to fly into Egypt, and by thy JOY in seeing the idols overthrown at the arrival of the living God, grant that no idol of earthly affection may any longer occupy our hearts, but being like thee entirely devoted to the service of Jesus and Mary, we may live and happily die for them alone.
6. St. JOSEPH, by the SORROW of thy heart caused by the fear of the tyrant Archelaus and by the JOY in sharing the company of Jesus and Mary at Nazareth, obtain for us, that disengaged from all fear, we may enjoy the peace of a good conscience and may live in security, in union with Jesus and Mary, experiencing the effect of thy salutary assistance at the hour of our death.
7. St. JOSEPH, by the bitter SORROW with which the loss of the Child Jesus crushed thy heart, and by the holy JOY which inundated thy soul in recovering thy Treasure on entering the Temple, we supplicate thee not to permit us to lose our Saviour Jesus by sin. Yet, should this misfortune befall us, grant that we may share thy eagerness in seeking Him, and obtain for us the grace to find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass from this life to enjoy His presence in heaven, there to sing with thee His divine mercies forever.
Let Us Pray
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence has vouchsafed to choose Blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our holy protector: Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
THE DEVOTION OF THE SEVEN SUNDAYS
The Seven Sundays in honor of St. Joseph are observed in the following manner: Holy Communion is received in his honor on seven consecutive Sundays, and on each Sunday the prayers in honor of the Seven Sorrows and the Seven Joys of St. Joseph are recited.
An excellent means of obtaining special favors through the intercession of St. Joseph is to honor his seven sorrows and seven joys by the devotion of the Seven Sundays. This devotion may be practiced at any time of the year, but fervent clients of St. Joseph like to venerate him especially on the seven Sundays preceding his Feast Day (March19th,May 1st, Solemnity of Saint Joseph which is, the third Wednesday after Easter) . Then they more confidently hope to obtain some particular favor; often the favors they receive are greater than they had expected. St. Teresa of Avila tells us that St. Joseph frequently obtained for her much greater favors than those for which she had petitioned.
It is related that a ship containing a number of passengers was wrecked off the coast of Holland. Two Franciscan monks, who had clung to a plank for two days, were save by a man of venerable appearance who miraculously brought them to shore. Upon their asking him who he was he replied, 'I am Joseph, and I desire you to honour my seven sorrows and seven joys.." This was the origin of the devotion to the sorrows and joys of St. Joseph.
Those who are seeking a special request may also have seven Masses said in honor of St. Joseph, or assist at seven Masses, give alms or fast seven times, make seven visits to a chapel or to an image of the Saint. A novena may made by daily saying the prayers of the Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys of St. Joseph; or this devotion may be performed for thirty days and ended with the reception of the Sacraments. One can also make a novena by saying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be seven times on each of seven consecutive Sundays, in honor of the Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph. It is very pleasing to St. Joseph and a great act of charity to aid, in his honor, those souls in Purgatory who during life practiced special devotion to him. In our various necessities, we might promise St. Joseph that if he comes to our aid we will have one or more Masses said for the Poor Souls, or offer Holy Communion for them.
1. The doubt of St. Joseph. (Matt. 1:19)
2. The poverty of Jesus' birth. (Luke 2:7)
3. The Circumcision. (Luke 2:21)
4. The prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34)
5. The flight into Egypt. (Matt. 2:14)
6. The return from Egypt. (Matt. 2:22)
7. The loss of the Child Jesus. (Luke 2:45)
......The message of the Angel. (Matt. 1:20).
......The birth of the Saviour. (Luke 2:10-11).
.....The Holy Name of Jesus. (Matt. 1:25).
.....The effects of the Redemption. (Luke 2:38).
.....The overthrow of the idols of Egypt. (Is. 19:1).
.....Life with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth. (Luke 2:39).
....The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:46).
PRAYERS IN HONOR OF THE SEVEN SORROWS AND JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Composed by Ven. Januarius Sarnelli, C.SS.R. (d. 1744)
1. Sorrow: The doubt of St. Joseph. (Matt. 1:19)........
But Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wishing to expose her to reproach, was minded to put her away privately.
Joy: The message of the Angel. (Matt. 1:20).
But while he thought on these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Do not be afraid, Joseph, son of David, to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is begotten in her is of the Holy Spirit.
O chaste Spouse of Mary most holy, glorious St. Joseph, great was the trouble and anguish of your heart when you wert minded to put away privately your inviolate Spouse, yet your joy was unspeakable when the surpassing mystery of the Incarnation was made known to you by the Angel!
By this sorrow and this joy, we beseech you to comfort our souls, both now and in the sorrows of our final hour, with the joy of a good life and a holy death after the pattern of your own, in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
2. Sorrow: The poverty of Jesus' birth. (Luke 2:7).
And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Joy: The birth of the Savior. (Luke 2:10-11).
And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people; for today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord."
O most blessed Patriarch, glorious St. Joseph, who was chosen to be the foster father of the Word made flesh, your sorrow at seeing the Child Jesus born in such poverty was suddenly changed into heavenly exultation when you did hear the angelic hymn and beheld the glories of that resplendent night.
By this sorrow and this joy, we implore you to obtain for us the grace to pass over from life's pathway to hear the angelic songs of praise, and to rejoice in the shining splendor of celestial glory.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
3. Sorrow: The Circumcision. (Luke 2:21).
And when eight days were fulfilled for his circumcision, his name was called Jesus, the name given to him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Joy: The Holy Name of Jesus. (Matt. 1:25).
And he did not know her until she brought forth her first born son. And he called his name Jesus.
O glorious St. Joseph you faithfully obeyed the law of God, and your heart was pierced at the sight of the Precious Blood that was shed by the Infant Savior during His Circumcision, but the Name of Jesus gave you new life and filled you with quiet joy.
By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace to be freed from all sin during life, and to die rejoicing, with the holy Name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
4. Sorrow: The prophecy of Simeon. (Luke 2:34).
And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, "Behold this child is destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And your own soul a sword shall pierce.
Joy: The effects of the Redemption. (Luke 2:38).
And coming up at that very hour, she began to give praise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
O most faithful Saint who shared the mysteries of our Redemption, glorious St. Joseph, the prophecy of Simeon regarding the sufferings of Jesus and Mary caused you to shudder with mortal dread, but at the same time filled you with a blessed joy for the salvation and glorious resurrection which, he foretold, would be attained by countless souls.
By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that we may be among the number of those who, through the merits of Jesus and the intercession of Mary the Virgin Mother, are predestined to a glorious resurrection.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
5. Sorrow: The flight into Egypt. (Matt. 2:14).
So he arose, and took the child and his mother by night, and withdrew into Egypt.
Joy: The overthrow of the idols of Egypt. (Is. 19:1).
The burden of Egypt. Behold the Lord will ascend upon a swift cloud and will enter into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt will be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst thereof.
O most watchful Guardian of the Incarnate Son of God, glorious St. Joseph, what toil was your in supporting and waiting upon the Son of the most high God, especially in the flight into Egypt! Yet at the same time, how you did rejoice to have always near you God Himself, and to see the idols of the Egyptians fall prostrate to the ground before Him.
By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace of keeping ourselves in safety from the infernal tyrant, especially by flight from dangerous occasions; may every idol of earthly affection fall from our hearts; may we be wholly employed in serving Jesus and Mary, and for them alone may we live and happily die.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
6. Sorrow: The return from Egypt. (Matt. 2:22).
But hearing that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there; and being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee.
Joy: Life with Jesus and Mary at Nazareth. (Luke 2:39).
And when they had fulfilled all things prescribed in the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, into their own town of Nazareth.
O glorious St. Joseph, an angel on earth, you did marvel to see the King of Heaven obedient to your commands, but your consolation in bringing Jesus out of the land of Egypt was troubled by your fear of Archelaus; nevertheless, being assured by the Angel, you dwelt in gladness at Nazareth with Jesus and Mary.
By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us that our hearts may be delivered from harmful fears, so that we may rejoice in peace of conscience and may live in safety with Jesus and Mary and may, like you, die in their company.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
7. Sorrow: The loss of the Child Jesus. (Luke 2:45).
And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem in search of him
Joy: The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. (Luke 2:46).
And it came to pass after three days, that they found him in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
O glorious St. Joseph, pattern of all holiness, when you did lose, through no fault of your own, the Child Jesus, you sought Him sorrowing for the space of three days, until with great joy you did find Him again in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors.
By this sorrow and this joy, we supplicate you, with our hearts upon our lips, to keep us from ever having the misfortune to lose Jesus through mortal sin; but if this supreme misfortune should befall us, grant that we may seek Him with unceasing sorrow until we find Him again, ready to show us His great mercy, especially at the hour of death; so that we may pass over to enjoy His presence in Heaven; and there, in company with you, may we sing the praises of His Divine mercy forever.
Our Father . . . Hail Mary . . . Glory be . . .
Antiphon . And Jesus Himself was beginning about the age of thirty years, being (as it was supposed) the Son of Joseph.
V. Pray for us, O holy Joseph.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray .
O God, Who in Your ineffable Providence did vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant, we beseech You, that he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever.
Prayer and Promise to St. Joseph
By St. Alphonsus Liguori
O Holy Patriarch, I rejoice with thee at the exalted dignity by which thou wast deemed worthy to act as father to Jesus, to give Him orders and to be obeyed by Him whom Heaven and earth obey.
O great Saint, as thou wast served by God, I too wish to be taken into thy service. I choose thee, after Mary, to be my chief advocate and protector. i promise to honor thee every day by some special act of devotion and by placing myself under thy daily protection. By that sweet company which Jesus and Mary gave thee in thy lifetime, I beseech thee to protect me all through life, so that I may never separate myself from my God by losing His grace.
Mt dear St Joseph. pray to Jesus for me. Certainly He can never refuse thee anything, as He obeyed all Thine orders while on earth. Tell Him to detach me from all creatures and from myself, to inflame me with His holy love, and then do with me what he pleases. And by that assistance which Jesus and Mary gave thee at death , I beg of thee to protect me in a special way at the hour of my death, so that dying, assisted by thee, in the company of Jesus and Mary, I may go to thank the in paradise, and in thy company praise my God for al eternity. Amen.
Glory be (three times)
Prayer for the Church and the Pope
Most powerful Patriarch St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, which has always invoked thee in anxiety and trouble, from the exalted seat of thy glory cast a loving glance upon the whole Catholic world. let thy fatherly heart be touched at the sight of the Mystical Spouse and the Vicar of Christ overwhelmed with sorrow and persecuted by powerful enemies. Oh, by the bitter anguish thou didst experience upon earth, dry the tears of the venerable Pontiff, defend him, comfort him, intercede for him with the Giver of peace and charity, that, all adversity being removed and all error dissipated, the entire Church may serve God in perfect liberty. Amen.
Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.
Prayer for a who has a Laborious Occupation
O Blessed Joseph, who passed thy life in the painful labors of a humble profession, I take thee as my model and my protector. Obtain for me that I may bear patiently the pains and fatigues of my state, so that like thee sanctifying my labors, I May merit a crown in Heaven. Amen.
Petitions for St. Joseph's Blessing
Bless me, O dearly beloved Father, St. Joseph, bless my body and my soul; bless my resolutions, my words and deeds, all my actions and omissions, my every step; bless all that I possess, all my interior and exterior goods, that all may redound to the greater honor of God. Bless me for time and eternity, and preserve me from every sin. Obtain for me the grace to make atonement for all my sins by love and contrition here on earth, so that after my last breath I may, without delay, prostrate at your feet, return thee thanks in Heaven for all the love and goodness thou, O dearest father, hast shown me here below. Amen.
(Now pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be 3 times, in thanksgiving to God for the graces and prerogatives bestowed on St. Joseph.)
Prayer of May 1st
Collect for the Feast of St. Joseph the Workman
O God, the Creator of all things, Who didst frame the law of labor for the human race, graciously grant that, bt the example and patronage of St. Joseph, we may do the work Thou dost assign us and earn the reward Thou dost promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Prayer of Confidence in Saint Joseph
With childlike confidence I present myself before thee, O holy Joseph, faithful foster father of Jesus! I beg thy compassionate intercession and support in this, my present necessity. [Name your petition.]
I firmly believe that thou art most powerful near the throne of God, Who chose thee for the foster father of His well-beloved Son, Jesus Christ. O blessed Saint, who saved that Treasure of Heaven, with His virginal Mother, from the fury of His enemies, who with untiring industry supplied His earthly wants and with paternal care accompanied and protected Him in all the journeys of His childhood, take me also, for the love of Jesus, as thy child. Assist me in my present difficulty with thy prayers before God. The infinite goodness of our Savior, Who loved and honored thee as His father upon earth, cannot refuse thee any request now in Heaven.
How many pious souls have sought help, from thee in their needs and have experienced, to their joy, how good, how ready thou art to assist. How quickly thou dost turn to those who call upon thee with confidence! How powerful thou art in bringing help and restoring joy to anxious and dejected hearts! Therefore, do I fly to thee, O most worthy father of Jesus, most chaste spouse of Mary! Good St. Joseph, I pray thee by the burning love thou hadst for Jesus and Mary upon earth, console me in my distress and present my petition, through Jesus and Mary, before the Throne of God! One word from thee will move Him to assist my afflicted soul. Then most joyfully shall I praise Him and thee, and more earnest shall be my thanksgiving! Amen.
PRAISES OF ST. JOSEPH
These praises may be prayed in thanksgiving for favors received.
IN the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed by thy soul, which was adorned with all the virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine intellect, which was full of the most sublime knowledge of God and was enlightened with revelations.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thy will, which all inflamed with love for Jesus and Mary and always perfectly conformable to the Divine Will.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine eyes, to which it was granted to look continually upon Jesus and Mary.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be thine ears, which merited to hear the sweet words of Jesus and Mary.
O dear St. Joseph, ever blessed be thy tongue, which continually praised God and with profound humility and reverence conversed with Jesus and Mary.
O chaste St. Joseph, ever blessed be thy most pure and loving heart, with which thou didst ardently love Jesus and Mary.
O holy Joseph, ever blessed be thy thoughts, words and actions, each and all of which ever tended to the service of Jesus and Mary. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O holy Patriarch Joseph, ever blessed be all the moments of thy life, which thou didst spend in the service of Jesus and Mary. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O my Protector St. Joseph, ever blessed be that moment of thy life in which thou didst most sweetly die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O glorious St. Joseph, ever blessed be that moment in which thou didst enter into the eternal joys of Heaven.
O happy St. Joseph, ever blessed in eternity be every moment in which, until now, in union with all the Saints of Heaven, thou hast enjoyed the incomprehensible bliss of union with God, with Jesus and Mary.
O my dear Protector! Be ever blessed by me and by all creatures, for all eternity, with all the blessings which the Most Holy Trinity bestowed upon thee and with all the benedictions given thee by Jesus and Mary and by the whole Church.
O thrice holy Joseph, blessed in soul and body, in life and death, on earth and in Heaven. Obtain also for me, a poor sinner but nevertheless thy true and faithful client, a share in thy blessings, the grace to imitate thee ardently, and to love and faithfully serve Jesus, Mary, and thyself, and especially the happiness to die in thy holy arms. Amen.
INVOCATIONS TO ST. JOSEPH
By Father Olier
Hail Joseph, image of God the Father.
Hail Joseph, father of God the Son.
Hail Joseph, temple of the Holy Ghost.
Hail Joseph, beloved of the Holy Trinity.
Hail Joseph, most faithful helper in the great plan of Redemption.
Hail Joseph, most worthy spouse of the Virgin Mother.
Hail Joseph, father of all the faithful.
Hail Joseph, guardian of holy virgins.
Hail Joseph, greatest lover of poverty.
Hail Joseph, example of meekness and patience.
Hail Joseph, mirror of humility and obedience.
Blessed art thou among all men.
And blessed are thine eyes, which have seen what thou hast seen.
And blessed are thine ears, which have hears what thou hast heard.
And blessed are thy hands, which have touched the Word Incarnate.
And blessed are thine arms, which have carried the One Who carries all things.
And blessed is thy breast, on which the Son of God most sweetly reposed.
And blessed is thy heart, kindled with most ardent love.
And blessed be the Eternal Father, Who chose thee.
And blessed be the Son, Who loved thee.
And blessed be the Holy Ghost, Who sanctified thee.
And blessed be Mary, thy spouse, who loved thee as a spouse and a brother.
And blessed be the Angel who guarded thee.
And blessed be forever all who bless thee and who love thee.
HOLY FAMILY PRAYER
O JESUS, only begotten Son of the Eternal Father, well beloved Son of the Blessed Virgin and foster Child of St. Joseph, we most fervently implore Thee, through Mary Thine ever blessed Mother and St. Joseph Thy foster father, take our children under Thy special charge and enclose them in the love of Thy Sacred Heart. They are the children of Thy Father in Heaven, created after His own image; they are Thy possession, for Thou hast purchased them with Thy Precious Blood; they are temples of the Holy Ghost, Who sanctified them in Baptism and implanted in their hearts the virtues of faith, hope and charity.
O most loving Jesus, rule and guide them, that they may live according to the holy Catholic Faith, that they may never waver in their confidence in Thee and that they may ever remain faithful to Thy love.
O Mary, Blessed Mother of Jesus, grant to our children, a place in thy maternal heart! Spread over them thy protecting mantle when danger threatens their innocence; keep them firm when they are about to stray from the path of virtue; and should they have the misfortune of falling into m mortal sin, oh, then raise them up again, reconcile them with thy Divine Son and restore them to Sanctifying Grace.
And thou, O holy foster father St. Joseph, do not abandon our children! Protect them from the assaults of the wicked enemy and deliver them from all dangers of soul and body.
O dear parents of the Holy Child Jesus! Intercede for us parents also, that we may bring up our children in the love and fear of God and one day attain with them the Beatific Vision. Amen.
PRAYER FOR PRIESTS AND THE FATHERHOOD OF THE PRIEST
Prayer for Priests
O ILLUSTRIOUS PATRIARCH St. Joseph, who carried the Infant Jesus
in thy blessed arms and who, during the space of thirty years, lived in
the most intimate familiarity with Him, take under thy powerful protection
those whom He has clothed with His authority and honored with with the
dignity of His priesthood, whom He has charged to continue His mission,
to preach His Gospel, and to dispense everywhere His graces
and blessings. Sustain them in their fatigues and labors; console
them in their pains; fortify them in their combats; but above all,
keep far from them all the evils of sin.
Obtain for them the humility of St. John the Baptist, the faith of
St. Peter, the zeal and charity of St. Paul, the purity of St. John
and the spirit of prayer and recollection of which thou, my
dear Saint, art the model, so that, after having been on earth,
the faithful dispensers of the Mysteries of thy foster Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, they may in Heaven receive the
recompense promised to pastors according to the
Heart of God. Amen.
From the Booklet, Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS
The Fatherhood of the Priest
From the Booklet, St. Joseph, Fatima and Fatherhood
by Msgr. Joseph Cirrincione with Thomas Nelson
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS
The role of the priest in relation to Christ is strikingly analogous to the role of St. Joseph in relation to God the Father. Just as the Eternal Father willed to share His Fatherhood with St. Joseph-----such that they were "Co-Fathers," as it were-----so Jesus willed to share His Fatherhood with the priest, who becomes "Co-Father" with Him of the Baptized. Now it becomes obvious why we call our priests "Father," for the priest is an alter Christus, "another Christ," through whom Christ works. And as Christ is our Father in the faith, we call His official representative "Father" as well, in order to acknowledge the profound truth of Christ's spiritual fatherhood of us all who believe in Him and are Baptized. this is the only satisfying answer to the Protestants' objection quoted from Scripture, "Call no man on earth your father . . ." In effect, we are not calling the Catholic priest "Father," by reason of his person, but by reason of his office; in effect, when we call the priest "Father," we are actually calling Christ "Father," Whose instrument and representative the priest really is.
We find this concept used by St. Paul in First Corinthians [3:9], where he refers to himself and to Apollo as "God's co-workers," with the Father and "co-fathers" with the Son, as he reminds the Corinthians in the next chapter, "For if you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, by the Gospel, I have begotten you." [4:15] Thus, just as Jesus could say, "The Father and I are one," so he can say, "the priest and I are one," because it is His priesthood that they share. And whatever the priest in his role as priest, he does in Christ's name.
As in the case of St. Joseph, it is in the priest's role or office, not in his person, that his authority resides . . . in the Eucharist, when the priest prays the words of Consecration: "this is My Body," "This is . . . My Blood . . ." the union between Christ and the priest reaches its most intimate moment. Only Divine power can effect the awesome change of bread and wine into the Boy and Blood of Jesus Christ. Yet the priest, by the authority and power conferred on him by Christ Himself, does effect this tremendous change of the substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, even when he does so unworthily [that is, when the priest may unfortunately not be in the state of grace when he says Mass]. Thus, since, in the Consecration of the Mass, the death of Christ, the source of our supernatural life, is made present on the altar by the words of the priest, he the priest, stands revealed as Christ, in Christ's role as our spiritual Father, present among us today.
Like St. Joseph, the priest enjoys a very special authority, one conferred on him by the Will of God. But also, like St. Joseph, his role as father burdens him with duties and responsibilities. St. Joseph taught the young Jesus to pray, introduced Him to the Psalms, led Him to the habitual practice of communion with God, even while at work. The priest too has the duty to pray, not just in his own name, but in the name of the Church, when he recites the Divine Office . . . and flowing from his life of prayer and interior union with Christ comes the power to convert souls in Christ . . . Prayer and ministry of the Word! This was the life of Christ, whose Fatherhood priests share -----the fatherhood of Him who, at the beginning of His life on earth was hailed by Simeon in the temple, 'A light to the revelation of the Gentiles" and who, before ascending into Heaven, instructed His disciples thus: "All Power is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world." [Matt. 28:18-20]. Christ and the priests . . . one now and forever!
A MORNING OFFERING THROUGH ST. JOSEPH
Receive me, dear and chosen Father, and the offering of every
movement of my body and soul, which I desire to present
through thee to my blessed Lord.
Purify all! Make all a perfect holocaust! May every pulsation
of my heart be a Spiritual Communion, every look and
thought an act of love, every action a sweet sacrifice,
every word an arrow of Divine love, every step
an advance toward Jesus, every visit to Our Lord as
pleasing to God as the errands of Angels, every thought
of thee, dear Saint, an act to remind thee that I am thy child.
I recommend to thee the occasions in which I usually fail,
particularly . . . [Mention these]. Accept each little devotion
of the day, though replete with imperfection, and offer it
to Jesus, Whose mercy will overlook all, since He
regards not so much the gift as the love of the giver.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO ST. JOSEPH
O Dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to thy honor and give myself to thee, that thou mayest always be my father, my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life. After thine example, may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! And do thou, O blessed St. Joseph, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of thy holy death. Amen.
The Nine First Wednesdays
Every Wednesday is dedicated in a special way to St. Joseph. Make the Nine First Wednesdays [in a manner similar to the Nine First Fridays of the Sacred Heart] in honor of St. Joseph for a happy death, for yourself and your dear ones. As charity is one of the best ways to be worthy of the grace of a happy death, offer your First Wednesday Mass and Communion and devotions in honor of St. Joseph in a special way for the salvation of the dying, most especially for an undying sinner who is to lose his soul without the grace of final repentance.
Our Lord permits St. Joseph to take from His Divine treasury with full hands in order to give souls the treasures of Divine grace and mercy, like Joseph, the son of Jacob, who took corn from the granaries of the King of Egypt to feed his brethren and all who had recourse to him. From the heights of Heaven, the King of Glory speaks to us the same words as Pharao spoke to the starving people of Egypt: "Go to Joseph."
St. Joseph's Virtues
Words of Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden
"St. Joseph was so reserved and careful in his speech that not one word ever issued from his mouth that was not good and holy, nor did he ever indulge in unnecessary or less than charitable conversation. He was most patient and diligent in bearing fatigue; he practiced extreme poverty; he was most meek in bearing injuries; he was strong and constant against my enemies; he was the faithful witness of the wonders of Heaven, being dead to the flesh and the world, living only for God and for Heavenly goods, which were the only things he desired. He was perfectly conformed to the Divine Will and so resigned to the dispositions of Heaven that he ever repeated" May the Will of God ever be done in me!" He rarely spoke with men, but continually with God, whose Will he desired to perform. Wherefore, he now enjoys great glory in Heaven."
The Body and Tomb of St. Joseph
"In an ecstasy, a Saint has seen the body of St. Joseph preserved intact in a tomb, the site of which is yet unlnown. The more the glorious spouse of the most Blessed Virgin is honored, the sooner will the finding of his body take place, which will be a day of great joy for the Church." (Words of Father Paul of Moll, 1824-1896, from Father Paul of Moll, by Edward van Speybrouck, p.238).
An ancient tradition states that the tomb of St. Joseph, now empty, is in the Valley of Josaphat. St. Jerome, on the other hand, was of the opinion that St. Joseph's tomb is within the boundaries of the Garden of Gethsemane. (See Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Edward Healy Thompson, pp.409-410)
St. Alphonsus Liguori on St. Joseph,
Patron of a Happy Death
“Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honored him during their life, and they do so for three reasons:
“First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint.
“Second, because St. Joseph has obtained special power against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigor at the hour of death.
“Third, the assistance given St. Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death he will not only help them, but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary.”
Daily Devotions to St. Joseph
by St. Alphonsus Liguori
The Prayer To Be Said Every Day
Reflections For Each Day:
Prayer To Be Said Every Day After Each Day's Special Reflection
Most holy patriarch, St. Joseph, I rejoice at the great dignity to which thou hast been raised in being made foster father of the Son of God, endowed with authority to command Him Whom Heaven and earth obey.
My holy patron, since Jesus Himself respected and served thee as His father, I, too, wish to enroll myself in thy service. I choose thee, after Mary, for my principal advocate and protector. I promise to honor thee every day with some special devotion, and each day I will place myself under thy protection.
As thou didst enjoy the sweet company of Jesus and Mary during thy life on earth, grant that I may ever live close to them and never be separated from God by losing His grace. And as thou wert assisted by Jesus and Mary at the hour of thy death, so grant me protection at the hour of my death, that, dying in thy presence and that of Jesus and Mary, I may one day go to thank thee in Paradise, and in thy company praise and love God for all eternity. Amen.
St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, protect us. Protect our Holy Father, the Pope, and our Mother, Holy Church.
God, because of the great love He bears us, and His great desire to see us saved, has given us among other means of salvation the practice of devotion to the Saints. It is His will that they, who are His friends, should intercede for us, and by their merits and prayers obtain graces for us which we ourselves do not deserve.
But everyone must know that, after the Mother of God, St. Joseph is, of all the Saints, the one dearest to God. He has, therefore, great power with Him and can obtain graces for His devout clients. Let us then frequently say:
St. Joseph, give me the greatest confidence in thy powerful intercession.
We should, indeed, honor St. Joseph, since the Son of God Himself was graciously pleased to honor him by calling him father. "Christ," says Origen, "gave to Joseph the honor due to a parent." The Holy Scriptures speak of him as the father of Jesus. "His father and mother were marveling at the things spoken concerning Him" (Luke 2:33). Mary also used this name: "in sorrow thy father and I have been seeking thee" (Luke 2:48 ). If, then, the King of Kings was pleased to raise Joseph to so high a dignity, it is right and obligatory on our part to endeavor to honor him as much as we can.
St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to thy service forever. Protect me all the days of my life.
The example of Jesus Christ, Who wished to honor St. Joseph so much, and to be subject to him on earth, ought to inflame all with a fervent devotion toward this great Saint. Since the Eternal Father shared His Own authority with St. Joseph, Jesus always regarded him as a father, and respected and obeyed him for thirty years. St. Luke says He "was subject to them" (Luke 2:51). These words mean that during all this time the sole occupation of the Redeemer was to obey Mary and Joseph. To St. Joseph, as head of the little family, belonged the office of commanding, and to Jesus as a subject, the duty of obedience. Hence, a learned author has justly said: "Men should pay great honor to him whom the King of Kings wished to raise to such a height."
St. Joseph, by the obedience which Jesus rendered to thee, make me always obedient to the will of God.
St. Bernardine of Siena says that we should be persuaded that Our Lord, Who respected St. Joseph on earth as His father, will refuse Him nothing in Heaven; but on the contrary, will most abundantly grant His petitions. Jesus Himself advised St. Margaret of Cortona to cherish a special devotion to St. Joseph, and never to allow a day to pass without rendering some homage to him as His foster father. Let us not, then, fail to recommend ourselves each day to St. Joseph and to ask him for graces.
St. Joseph, make me faithful in invoking thee daily.
All the faithful should be devoted to St. Joseph in order to obtain the grace of a good death, and this for three reasons. 1. Because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and, therefore, his intercession is more powerful than that of the other Saints. 2. Because Our Lord, in return for having saved Him from Herod, has given St. Joseph the special privilege of protecting the dying against the snares of the devil. 3. Because St. Joseph, who died in the company of Jesus and Mary, is the model of a holy death and can obtain this grace for his clients.
St. Joseph, obtain for me that, like thee, I may die in the arms of Jesus and Mary.
According to St. John Damascene: "God gave St. Joseph the love, the care, and the authority of a father over Jesus. He gave him the affection of a father that he might guard Him with great love; the solicitude of a father, that he might watch over Him with care; and the authority of a father that he might feel sure that he would be obeyed in all that he arranged concerning this Son."
St. Joseph, be always a father to us; and grant that we may be always thy faithful children.
When God, destines anyone for a particular office, He gives him the graces that fit him for it. Therefore, since God chose St. Joseph to fill the office of father over the person of the Incarnate Word, we must certainly believe that he conferred upon him all the sanctity which belonged to such an office. Gerson says that among other privileges Joseph had three which were special to him. 1. That he was sanctified in his mother's womb, as ere Jeremias and St. John the Baptist. 2. That he was at the same time confirmed in grace. 3. That he was always exempt from the inclinations of concupiscence-----a privilege with which St. Joseph by the merit of his purity, favors his devout clients by delivering them from carnal appetites.
St. Joseph, shining light of chastity, preserve the angelic virtue in me.
In the Gospels St. Joseph is called "just." What is meant by a just man? St. Peter Chrysologus says: "It means a perfect man-----one who possesses all virtues." Joseph was already holy before his marriage; but how much must his sanctity have increased after his union with the Blessed Virgin? The example of his holy spouse sufficed to sanctify him; and since Mary is the dispenser of all the graces which God grants to men, in what profusion must she not have showered them down upon her spouse, who she loved so much and by whom she was so tenderly loved!
St. Joseph, increase my devotion to Mary.
The two disciples, going to Emmaus were inflamed with Divine love by the few moments which they spent in company with our Savior, and by His words. What flames of holy love must not, then, have been enkindled in the heart of St. Joseph, who for thirty years conversed with Jesus Christ, and listened to His words of eternal life; who observed the perfect example which Jesus gave of humility and patience, and saw the promptness with which He obeyed and helped him in his labors, and all that was needed for the household!
St. Joseph, inflame us with the love of Jesus.
St. Paul writes that in the next life Jesus Christ "will render to every man according to His works" (Rom. 2:6). What great glory must we not suppose that He has bestowed upon St. Joseph, who served and loved Him so much while He lived on earth! Our Lord has promised a reward to him who gives a cup of cold water to the poor in His name. What, then, must be the reward of St. Joseph, who can say to Jesus Christ: "I not only provided Thee with food, with a dwelling, and with clothes, but I saved Thee from death, delivering Thee from the hands of Herod."
St. Joseph, increase our zeal for growing in holiness by the hope of eternal reward.
We must believe that the life of St. Joseph, spent in the presence of Jesus and Mary, was a continual prayer, abounding in acts of faith, confidence, love, resignation, and oblation. Since, then, the reward of the Saints corresponds to their merits during life, consider how great must be the glory of St. Joseph in Heaven. St. Augustine compares the other Saints to the stars, but St. Joseph to the sun.
It is, then, very reasonable to suppose that St. Joseph, after Mary, surpasses all the other Saints in merit and glory. The Venerable Bernardine de Bustis says that when St. Joseph asks any grace for those who are devoted to him, his prayers have in a certain manner the force of a command with Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph, obtain for us a great spirit of prayer.
To prove the power which St. Joseph possesses in Paradise, St. Bernardine of Siena writes thus: "We cannot doubt that Christ accords to St. Joseph, now that he is in Heaven, even more perfectly the respect and reverence which He paid to him on earth. Our Lord, Who on earth revered St. Joseph as His father, will certainly deny him nothing that he asks in Heaven." Let us then say to him with confidence:
St. Joseph, powerful protector of souls, keep us from all sin.
Oh great St. Joseph, since God has served thee, I also wish to enroll myself in thy service. I wish henceforth to serve thee, to honor and love thee. Take me under thy protection and dispose of me as thou pleasest. My holy St. Joseph, pray to Jesus for me. Having obeyed all thy commands on earth, He will certainly never refuse anything thou doth ask Him. Tell Him to pardon me the offenses that I have committed against Him. Tell Him to detach me from creatures and from myself. Ask Him to inflame me with His holy love.
St. Joseph, watch over us, thy children.
Most holy patriarch, now that thou art on a lofty throne in Heaven near thy beloved Jesus, Who was subject to thee on earth, have pity on me, who am exposed to the attacks of so many enemies, to the evil spirits, and the passions that continually strive to rob me of the grace of God. Through the grace given to thee on earth of enjoying the continual society of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me the grace of living during the remaining days of my life united to God, by resisting the attacks of Hell. Grant, too, that I may die with the love of Jesus and Mary in my heart so that I may be able one day to enjoy with thee their company in the kingdom of Heaven.
St. Joseph, grant me a horror of sin and the grace to conquer my passions.
St. Bernard, speaking of St. Joseph's power of dispensing graces to his devout servants, makes use of the following remarkable words: "To some of the Saints power is granted to succor us in particular necessities; but to St. Joseph power is granted to succor in all necessities, and to defend all those who, with devotion have recourse to him." Let us then often say to him:
St. Joseph, help us when we are in need.
St. Teresa says: "I do not remember to have asked any favor from St. Joseph which he did not grant. An account of the many graces which God has bestowed upon me, and of the dangers, corporal and spiritual, from which He has delivered me through this Saint would excite wonder. The Lord appears to have given power to the other Saints to assist us in a single necessity; but experience shows that St. Joseph gives aid in all. The Lord gives us to understand that, as He was to be subject to St. Joseph on earth, so in Heaven He does whatever the Saint asks."
St. Joseph, obtain for me the grace of perseverance in prayer.
St. Teresa also writes: "I would wish to persuade all the world to be devoted to St. Joseph, because I have long experience of the great favors which he obtains from God. I have never known any soul especially devoted to him that did not always advance in virtue. I ask, for God's sake, that they who do not believe me will at least make a trial of this devotion. I cannot believe that favors are not grant ed to St. Joseph in return for the help which he gave on earth to Jesus and Mary."
St. Joseph, patron of the interior life, lead me to that perfection which God requires of me.
Let us ask St. Joseph for the grace to love our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the particular grace which St. Joseph obtains for those who are devout to him-----a tender love toward the Incarnate Word. The Saint merited the power to bestow this grace upon his servants by the great love which he himself bore toward Jesus while he lived on earth.
St. Joseph, make me love Jesus with all my heart.
When Jesus lived in this world in the house of St. Joseph, could a sinner who desired to obtain forgiveness from Our Lord have found a more efficacious means of obtaining pardon than through St. Joseph? If, then, we desire to receive the forgiveness of our sins, let us have recourse to St. Joseph who, now that he is in Heaven, is more loved by Jesus Christ than he was loved by Him on earth.
St. Joseph, obtain from Jesus the pardon of my sins.
"And Joseph also went from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth into Judea to the town of David, which is called Bethlehem" (Luke 2:4). In response to the decree of Caesar Augustus, St. Joseph made the long journey across the hills from Galilee to Bethlehem with Mary, who bore beneath her heart the Incarnate Son of God. What sweet conversations must Mary and Joseph have held on this journey on the mercy of God in sending His Son into the world to redeem the human race, and on the love of this Son in coming into this valley of tears in order to atone by His suffering and death for the sins of men!
St. Joseph, I wish to belong entirely to thee, so that through thee I may belong entirely to Jesus and Mary.
"And it came to pass while they were there, that the days for her to be delivered were fulfilled. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:6-7). How great must have been the sorrow of St. Joseph when he could find no shelter for Mary on the night of the birth of the Divine Word, and was obliged to bring her to a stable! How his heart must have been pierced with anguish to see his holy spouse, who was pregnant, and near the time of childbirth, trembling with cold in that damp cave, which was open on every side.
Dear St. Joseph, through the pain which thou didst feel in seeing the Divine Word born in a stable, so poor, without fire, without clothes, and in hearing the cries caused by the cold which afflicted Him, I pray thee to obtain for me a true sorrow for my sins, by which I have drawn tears from Jesus.
St. Joseph, penetrate my heart with contrition and obtain for me the grace never to sin again.
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger" (Luke 2 : 7). How great must have been the joy of St. Joseph when he heard Mary calling him and saying "Joseph, come, and adore our infant God, Who is just born in this cave. Behold how beautiful He is. Look at the King of the world in this manger, on this straw. See how He, Who makes the seraphs burn with love, trembles with cold. Behold how He Who is the joy of paradise weeps!" Dear St. Joseph, through the joy which thou didst receive at the first sight of the infant Jesus in the crib, so beautiful and lovely that thy heart began from that moment to beat with love for Him alone, obtain for me also the grace to love Jesus with an ardent love on earth so that I may one day go to enjoy Him in Heaven.
St. Joseph, share with me a little of the burning love that thou didst bear to Jesus.
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men of good will" (Luke 2: 14). Consider how great was the love and tenderness of St. Joseph when he beheld with his own eyes the Son of God become an infant; when he heard the Angels singing around their newborn Lord, and saw the stable filled with light. Kneeling down and weeping with love and compassion, Joseph said: "I adore Thee, yes I adore Thee, my Lord and my God. How great is my happiness to be the first, after Mary, to see Thou born, and to know that in this world Thou wisheth to be called and reputed my Son! Allow me, then, also to call Thee my Son, and to say: My God and my Son, to Thee I consecrate my whole being. My life shall be no longer mine, but shall be Thine without reserve!"
St. Joseph, grant that I may spend my life, like thee, in the service of God.
"An Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying, Arise, and take the child and His mother and flee into Egypt" (Matt. 2:13). Consider the ready obedience of St. Joseph, who raised no doubts about the time of the journey, nor about the manner of traveling, nor about the place in Egypt in which they were to stay, but immediately prepared to set out. He instantly makes known to Mary the command of the Angel, and on the same night sets out without guide on a journey of 400 miles through mountains, across rugged roads and deserts.
My holy protector, obtain for me the grace of perfect obedience to the Divine will.
How much St. Joseph must have suffered on the journey into Egypt in seeing the sufferings of Jesus and Mary! Their food must have been a piece of hard bread. They could have slept only in some poor hut, or in the open air. Joseph was indeed conformed in all things to the will of the Eternal Father, but his tender and loving heart could not but feel pain in seeing the Son of God trembling and weeping from cold and the other hardships which He experienced.
St. Joseph, obtain for me the grace that in my journey to eternity I may never lose the company of Jesus and Mary.
"The boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and His parents did not know it" (Luke 2:43). How great was the pain of St. Joseph when Jesus was lost in the temple! Joseph was accustomed to the enjoyment of the sweet presence of his beloved Savior. What, then, must have been his sorrow when he was deprived of it for three days, without knowing whether he should evermore find Jesus, and most painful of all, without knowing why he had lost Him. How great, on the other hand, was Joseph's joy when he found Jesus and realized that the absence of the Child did not arise from any neglect on his part, but from a zeal for the glory of the Father.
St. Joseph, through the merits of the pains which thou didst suffer at losing Jesus, obtain for me tears to weep always for my sins.
"He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them" (Luke 2:51). Reflect on the holy life which Joseph led in the company of Jesus and Mary. In that family there was no business except that which tended to the greater glory of God; there were no thoughts or desires except the thought and desire of pleasing God; there were no discourses except on the love which men owe to God, and which God has shown to men, especially in sending His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and to end His life in a sea of sorrows and insults for the salvation of mankind.
St. Joseph, through the tears which thou didst shed in contemplating the future passion of Jesus, obtain for me a continual remembrance of the suffering of my Redeemer.
Consider the love which St. Joseph bore to Mary, his holy spouse. She was the most beautiful of all women. She was more humble, more meek, more pure, more obedient, more inflamed with the love of God, than all the Angels and than all men that have been or shall be created. Hence, she merited all his love. Add to this his realization of the love that she bore for him, and the fact that God had chosen her as His beloved Mother.
St. Joseph, obtain for me a great love for Mary, thy most holy spouse.
Consider the love which Joseph bore to Jesus. This love was not purely human. like the love of other fathers, but superhuman; for he loved Jesus not only as his son but also as his God. Joseph knew from the Angel that his child was the Divine Word Who had become man to save mankind. He realized, too, that he himself had been chosen from among all men to be the protector and guardian of this Divine Infant. What a flame of holy love must, then, have been enkindled in the heart of Joseph by reflecting on all these things, and by the sight of his Lord obeying him like a little boy, opening and closing the door, helping him to saw or to plane, gathering fragments of wood, or sweeping the house!
St. Joseph, remove from my heart all that could be an obstacle to the love of God.
"Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones" (Ps. 115:6). After having faithfully served Jesus and Mary, St. Joseph reached the end of his life in the house at Nazareth. There, surrounded by Angels, assisted by Jesus Christ the King of Angels, and by Mary, his spouse, who placed themselves at each side of his poor bed, filled with the peace of Paradise, he departed from this miserable life. Who shall ever be able to understand the sweetness, the consolation, the blessed hope, the acts of resignation, the flames of charity which the words of eternal life coming alternately from the lips of Jesus and Mary, breathed into the soul of Joseph at the end of his life?
St. Joseph, grant me peace and resignation to God's will at the hour of my death.
Great, indeed, will be the comfort of those, who, at the hour of death shall be protected by St. Joseph. For this great Saint has received from God power to command the devils and to drive them away, less they tempt his servants in their dying moments. Happy is the soul that shall be assisted by this great advocate, who, on account of having died with the assistance of Jesus and Mary, and because of having preserved the infant Jesus from the danger of death by his flight into Egypt, has received the privilege of being the patron of a good death, and of delivering his clients from the danger of eternal death.
St. Joseph, defend me from the attacks of the devils at the last moment of my life.
Prayer to St. Joseph for a Happy Death
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
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH BEFORE MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION
Happy and blessed art thou, O Joseph, to whom it was given not only to see and to hear that God whom many kings desired to see, and saw not, to hear, and heard not; but also to hold Him in thine arms, to embrace Him, to clothe Him, and to guard and defend Him.
Pray for us, O blessed Joseph,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray
O God, who hast given unto us a royal priesthood, vouchsafe, we beseech Thee, that as Blessed Joseph was found worthy to touch with his hands, and bear within his arms, Thine Only-begotten Son, born of the Virgin Mary, so may we be made fit, by cleanness of heart and purity of work, to serve at Thy holy altars; that we may worthily receive the Most Sacred Body and Blood of Thy Son, now in this present world, and deserve to attain an everlasting reward in the world to come. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
[From the Roman Missal.]
The Chaplet of St. Joseph
This chaplet is divided into fifteen groups of four beads consisting of one white and three purple beads. The white bead symbolizes St. Joseph's purity, and the purple his Saintly piety. A mystery of the Rosary is considered on each white bead, and two Hail Mary's are said. On the purple beads say:
Praised and blessed be Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
End the chaplet with the following prayer:
V. Pray for us, O holy St. Joseph!
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!
Let us pray
O God, Who has predestined St. Joseph from all eternity for the service of Thine Eternal Son and His Blessed Mother, and made him worthy to be the spouse of this Blessed Virgin and the foster father of Thy Son: we beseech Thee, through all the services he has rendered to Jesus and Mary on earth, that Thou wouldst make us worthy of his intercession and grant us to enjoy the happiness of his company in Heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The 15 Mysteries of the Rosary:
1. The Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Mary
[The Angel's annunciation to Joseph in a dream ought to be also considered here.]
2. The Visitation of Mary to St. Elizabeth
3. The Nativity
4. The Presentation in the Temple
[The Circumcision of Our Lord may be considered here, too.]
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple
6. The Agony in the Garden
7. The Scourging at the Pillar
8. The Crowning with Thorns
9. The Carrying of the Cross
10. Jesus' Death on the Cross
11. The Resurrection of Our Lord
12. The Ascension of Our Lord
13. The Descent of the Holy Ghost
14. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
15. The Coronation of the Virgin
Prayer for a Heavenly Crown
O ST. JOSEPH, virgin father of Jesus and most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, we may be crowned by Him at the hour of death. Amen.
The Cord of Saint Joseph
The devotion to the Cord of St. Joseph took its rise in the town of Antwerp, Belgium, in 1637, in consequence of a miraculous cure effected by the wearing of this precious girdle. At that time there lived there an Augustinian nun of great piety, named Sr. Elizabeth, who had suffered for three years excruciating pains occasioned by a cruel distemper. She had reached such a stage that the doctors, seeing no possible recourse, declared her death to be inevitable and imminent. Sr. Elizabeth turned to Heaven, and having always been particularly devoted to St. Joseph, she asked him to intercede to Our Lord for her recovery. At the same time she had a cord blessed in the Saint's honor, girded herself with it, a few days after, as she prayed before st. Joseph's image, she felt herself suddenly free of the pain. Those who were acquainted with her illness declared her recovery miraculous; an act of authenticity was drawn up with a public notary and the doctor, who happened to be a Protestant, concurred. The miracle was recorded and published at Verona and Rome between 1810-42. During the month of March of the latter year, the Devotion to the Cord came into existence. Cords were blessed in the Church of St. Nicholas, Verona, for hospital patients.
The chapel in the church is dedicated to St. Joseph. Numerous special graces were obtained and the devotion spread to France, all parts of Italy and even to America and Asia. The cord was invoked, not merely as a remedy against physical ailments, but also as a preservative of the virtue of purity.
The Bishop of Verona became aware of the necessity of addressing a supplication to the Congregation of Rites, which he did by letter on January 14, 1859. After a mature examination the Sacred Congregation, in accordance with the request, approved on September 19 of that year, the new formula of blessing and permitted its solemn and private use. Finally the Bishop obtained for the Association of the Cord the privilege of being declared 'primarie," and at the same time His Holiness, Pope Pius IX enriched it with special indulgences.
GRACES ATTACHED TO THE WEARING OF THE CORD
Graces precious to the piety of St. Joseph's servants are attached to the
wearing of this cord. They are:
1. St. Joseph's special protection;
2. Purity of soul;
3. The grace of chastity;
4. Final perseverance;
5. Particular assistance at the hour of death.
NATURE OF THE CORD AND THE MANNER OF WEARING IT
The Cord of St. Joseph should be of thread or cotton, ending at one extremity
in seven knots, indicative of the Seven Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph. It is worn as a girdle for purity or chastity and humility and around the shoulders for obedience. It ought to be blessed by a priest with the faculties for this blessing. Pius IX approved a special formula for the blessing of the cord of St. Joseph. [See a copy 1964 Roman Ritual-----we do not have one here, sorry].
WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR CORD, IT WILL BE A LONG CORD WITH A KNOT AT EACH END.
AT ONE END YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE 6 KNOTS TO ADD TO THE ONE ALREADY THERE. THIS IS THE PART OF THE CORD THAT HANGS FREE AFTER TYING ABOUT THE WAIST OR SHOULDER.
CONDITIONS FOR GAINING THE INDULGENCES
1. Be truly contrite, confess and communicate the day of investiture or wearing it for the first time.
2. If possible visit the church of the Association or an other oratory, if not, and to pray for peace between Christian princes or rulers, the extirpation of heresies, and the exaltation of Holy Mother Church.
3. Must be affiliated with the Church of San Rocco at Rome. We do not know how binding this is for Americans or how to contact them. We have provided a link to the Company that distributes the Cord in the U.S. Someone one there may know how to contact that church.
All the indulgences are applicable to the Holy Souls.
THE PRAYERS AND SPECIAL INDULGENCES
OF THE CORD OF ST. JOSEPH
RECITE DAILY SEVEN TIMES THE GLORY BE, TOGETHER WITH THE
FOLLOWING PRAYER, WHICH IS THE PRAYER FOR PURITY
O GUARDIAN of Virgins and holy Father St. Joseph, into
whose faithful keeping were entrusted Christ Jesus, Innocence
Itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, I pray and beseech thee by these
dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness,
I may with spotless mind, pure heart and chaste body, ever serve Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life. Amen.
YOU ARE ALSO ENCOURAGED TO MEDITATE ON THE SEVEN SORROWS AND JOYS, ADDING AN OUR FATHER, HAIL MARY, AND GLORY BE AFTER EACH MEDITATION.
PLENARY INDULGENCES ATTACHED TO THE CORD
1. On the day of entrance into the Association.
2. On the day of the Feast of the Espousals of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph [Jan. 23].
3. On the 19th of March, the Feast of St. Joseph, and on one of the seven days which immediately follow.
4. On the Feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph [3rd Sunday after Easter].
5. Upon death for members of the Association who are truly penitent, have confessed their sins and received Holy viaticum; or not being able to do, having invoked by mouth or in the heart, the Name of Jesus.
Caelitum, Ioseph, decus
Joseph, the Praise and Glory of the Heavens
|Written by Fr. Juan Escollar (d. 1700), this hymn was formerly used at Matins for the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19). It is still used for this feast, but for Lauds instead. It is also the hymn for Lauds for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.|
|CAELITUM, Ioseph, decus, atque nostrae
certa spes vitae, columenque mundi,
quas tibi laeti canimus, benignus
|JOSEPH, the praise and glory of the heavens,
sure pledge of life, and safety of the wide world,
as in our joy we sing to thee, in kindness
list to our praises.
|Te, satum David, statuit Creator1
Virginis sponsum, voluitque Verbi
te patrem dici, dedit et ministrum
|Thou by the world's Creator wert appointed
spouse of the Virgin; thee He willed to honor
naming thee Father of the Word and guardian
of our salvation.
|Tu, Redemptorem stabulo iacentem,
quem chorus vatum cecinit futurum,
aspicis gaudens, sociusque matris2
|Thou thy Redeemer, lying in a stable,
whom long ago foretold the choir of Prophets,
sawest rejoicing and thy God adoredst
humble in childhood.
|Rex Deus regum, dominator orbis,
cuius ad nutum tremit infernorum
turba, cui pronus famulatur aether,
se tibi subdit.
|God, King of kings, and Governor of the ages,
He at whose word the powers of hell do tremble,
He whom the adoring heavens ever worship
called thee protector.
|Laus sit excelsae Triadi perennis,
quae, tibi insignes tribuens honores,3
et tuis nobis meritis beatae
|Praise to the Triune Godhead ever-lasting,
Who with such honor mightily hath blest thee;
o may He grant us thy blest petition
From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by Alan G. McDougall (1895-1964).
Iste, quem laeti
He, whom the faithful joyously do honor
|Written by Fr. Juan Escollar (d. 1700), this hymn was formerly used at Lauds for the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (March 19). It is still used for this feast, but for the Office of the Readings. It is also the hymn for the Office of the Readings for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.|
|ISTE, quem laeti colimus, fideles
cuius excelsos canimus triumphos,
hac die Ioseph meruit perennis
|HE, whom the faithful joyously do honor,
singing his praises with devout affection,
won on his feast day, in eternal glory
|O nimis felix, nimis o beatus,
cuius extremam vigiles ad horam
Christus et Virgo simul astiterunt
|Blest beyond others, and exceeding blissful,
for when the moment of his death was nearing,
Jesus and Mary at his side were standing,
soothing his spirit.
|Iustus insignis, laqueo solutus 1
carnis, ad sedes placido sopore
migrat aeternas, rutilisque cingit
|Death he doth conquer, laying down his burden
calmly he slumbers, rest he gains eternal;
lo, round his forehead, bright with rays of splendor
shineth a garland.
|Ergo regnantem, flagitemus omnes,
adsit ut nobis, veniamque nostris
obtinens culpis, tribuat supernae
|Then, as he reigneth, earnestly beseech we
that he may utter fervent intercessions,
praying that pardon and the peace of heaven
may be our portion.
|Sint tibi plausus, tibi sint honores,
Trine qui regnas Deus, et coronas
aureas servo tribuis fideli
omne per aevum. Amen.
|Glory we give Thee, hymns of praise and blessing,
One in Three Persons, who above art reigning,
God, who hast honored with Thy crown forever
this Thy true servant.
From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by Canon Winfred Douglas (1867-1944) et al.
Te Ioseph celebrent agmina caelitum
Joseph! To Thee by Hosts on High
|Written by Fr. Juan Escollar (d. 1700), this hymn is used at Vespers for the feast of St. Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, (March 19) and then again on May 1 (St. Joseph the Worker).|
|TE, Ioseph, celebrent agmina caelitum,
te cuncti resonent Christiadum chori,
qui, clarus meritis, iunctus es inclitae,
casto foedere Virgini.
|JOSEPH! to thee by hosts on high
and choirs of Christians, laud be paid!
saintly of life, -by purest tie
joined unto her, the glorious Maid.
|Almo cum tumidam germine coniugem
admirans dubio tangeris anxius,
afflatu superi Flaminis, Angelus
conceptum puerum docet.
|When thou didst doubt thy wife's repute,
and mark her great with motherhood,
the angel taught thee that her fruit
came from the Holy Ghost of God.
|Tu natum Dominum stringis, ad exteras
Aegypti profugum tu sequeris plagas;
amissum Solymis quaeris et invenis,
miscens gaudia fletibus.
|To clasp the Son, the Lord, was thine,
to share His flight to Egypt's shore,
with tears, to seek in Salem's shrine
Him lost, -with joy, to find once more.
|Electos reliquos mors pia consecrat1
palmamque emeritos gloria suscipit;
tu vivens, Superis par, frueris Deo,
mira sorte beatior.
|Death brings to other Saints their rest;
through toil they win the victor's place;
thou happier, like the Angels blest,
alive, hast seen God face to face.
|Nobis, summa Trias, parce precantibus;
da Ioseph meritis sidera scandere,
ut tandem liceat nos tibi perpetim
gratum promere canticum.
|Spare us, O Trinity most High!
grant that, with Joseph, we may gain
Thy starry realm, and ceaselessly
there raise to Thee our thankful strain.
From the Liturgia Horarum. Translation by R. F. Littledale (See Raccolta #463). An indulgence of 3 years
Commemoration of Saint Joseph
This commemoration was once recited at the end of Vespers from the Third Sunday after Epiphany to the Fourth Sunday of Lent; and from the Third Sunday to the Last Sunday after Pentecost inclusively, except on Doubles and within Octaves.
ECCE fidelis servus et prudens, quem constituit Dominus super familiam suam. BEHOLD a faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord hath set over His household. V. Gloria et divitiae in domo eius.
R. Et iustitia eius manet in saeculum saeculi.
V. Glory and riches shall be in his house.
R. And his justice shall endureth for ever and ever.
Deus, qui ineffabili providentia beatum Ioseph sanctissimae Genetricis tuae sponsum eligere dignatus es: praesta quaesumus, ut quem protectorem veneramur in terris, intercessorem habere mereamur in caelis. Qui vivis et regnas... Amen.
Let us pray:
O God, who by Thine unspeakable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose Blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: mercifully grant that as we venerate him for our Protector on earth, we may be found worthy to be aided by his intercession in heaven. Thou who livest and reignest... Amen.
Memorare, o purissime Sponse Virginis Mariae
Remember, O Most Pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary
|Based upon the Memorare to the Blessed Virgin Mary, this prayer was originally composed in Italian.|
|MEMORARE, o purissime Sponse Virginis Mariae, o dulcis Protector mi, sancte Ioseph, non esse auditum a saeculo, quemquem ad tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia ad te venio, tibique fervide me commendo. Noli, quaeso, o Pater putative Redemptoris, verba mea despicere, sed audi propitius. Amen.||REMEMBER, o most pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary, my sweet Protector Saint Joseph, never was it heard that anyone who implored thy help nor sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I come to thee and to thee do I fervently commend myself. Despise not my petitions, I beseech thee, foster Father of the Redeemer, but graciously hear them. Amen.|
Memento nostri, beate Ioseph
Be mindful of us, O Blessed Joseph
|Written by St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444, feast May 20th). The prayer appears at the end of his writings in the Office of the Readings for the Feast of St. Joseph (March 19).|
|MEMENTO nostri, beate Ioseph, et tuae orationis suffragio apud tuum putativum Filium intercede; sed et beatissimam Virginem Sponsam tuam nobis propitiam redde, quae Mater est Eius, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.||BE mindful of us, O Blessed Joseph, and intercede for us with thy foster-Son by the pleading of thy prayer: do thou, in like manner, render the blessed Virgin Mary, thy Spouse, gracious unto us, for she is the Mother of Him, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.|
O Ioseph, Virgo Pater Iesu
O Joseph, Virgin-Father of Jesus
|O IOSEPH, virgo Pater Iesu, purissime Sponse Virginis Mariae, quotidie deprecare pro nobis ipsum Iesum Filium Dei, ut, armis suae gratiae muniti legitime certantes in vita, ab eodem coronemur in morte. Amen.||O JOSEPH, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the Hour of death. Amen.|
Exercitium Singularis Devotionis Erga S. Ioseph, Consistens in Quinque Orationibus
Devotions to St Ioseph Consisting of Five Prayers
|Taken from the Coeleste Palmetum, 1741, 1872, and 1890 editions.|
|I. Oratio, qua S. Ioseph in patronum eligitur||I. Prayer to choose St. Joseph as one's patron|
|O S. IOSEPH, Redemptoris mei Christi Iesu fidelis oeconome ac nutricie, castissime Virginis Deiparae sponse! Ego NN. te hodie in patronum et advocatum meum singularem eligo, firmiterque propono, me numquam te derelictum, nec permissurum, ut a quoquam ex meis subditis aliquid contra tuum honorem agatur. A te igitur peto suppliciter, ut me in clientem perpetuum suscipere, in rebus dubiis instruere, in adversis solari, in hora denique mortis defendere ac protegere dignaris. Amen.||O SAINT JOSEPH, who art the faithful steward and foster-father of my Redeemer Jesus Christ, and who art the spouse of the most chaste Virgin Mother of God, I (N.) choose thee today as my patron and singular advocate. I firmly declare to never desert thee, nor to permit anything done against thy honor by any of my own charges. Therefore I humbly beg thee to graciously accept me as thy perpetual companion, to instruct me in uncertainty, to console me in adversity, and to protect and defend me at my hour of death. Amen.|
|II. Oratio, ad impetrandam D. Ioseph intercessione gratiam pie communicandi||II. Prayer asking St Joseph's intercession for the grace of a worthy Communion|
|O BEATISSIME IOSEPH, quanta tibi a Deo gratia concessa est, quod unigenitum eius Filium in carne (quem tot reges videre frustra exoptarunt) non tantum videris, sed et brachiis paterno affectu amplexus fueris! Utinam ego hoc tuo exemplo inflammatus, et patrocinio adiutus, Dominum ac Redemptorem meum Christum Iesum simili amoris ac reverentiae affectu complectar in sanctissimo Altaris Sacramento, quo merear eundem posthac aeternum complecti in caelis. Amen.||O MOST BLESSED JOSEPH, such a great grace has been granted to thee by God. For not only didst thou see His only-begotten Son in the flesh, whom so many kings greatly desired to see in vain, but thou also embraced Him in thy arms with paternal affection. Oh that were I so inflamed with this thy example, and aided by thy help, that I might embrace this same Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar with a similar love and reverence, and that I may be worthy afterwards to come to embrace Him in heaven in eternity. Amen.|
|III. Oratio, ut S. Ioseph in via vitae huius ducem et comitem impetremus||III. Prayer asking St Joseph to be one's companion and guide in this life|
|O S. IOSEPH! qui tanquam pater et manuductor Christum Iesum in pueritia et iuventute per omnes peregrinationis humanae vias fidelissime deduxisti: et mihi obsecro in vitae meae peregrinatione tanquam comes et ductor assiste, nec unquam permitte me a via mandatorum Dei declinare; sis in adversis praesidium, in aerumnis solatium, donec tandem ad terram viventium perveniam, ubi tecum et sanctissima sponsa tua Maria, omnibusque Sanctis aeternum in Deo Iesu meo exultem. Amen.||O SAINT JOSEPH, just as thou as father and mentor didst most faithfully guide Jesus Christ during His boyhood and adolescence through His journeys in this life, I beseech thee to assist me in the wanderings of my life as just such a companion and guide. Never permit me to turn aside from the path of God's commandments. Be for me a protection in adversity, and a solace in hardship, until I finally arrive in the land of the living, where I may rejoice forever with thee, with the most holy spouse Mary, and with all the saints in my God Jesus. Amen.|
|IV. Oratio, ad quaelibet D. Ioseph intercessione impetranda||IV. Prayer asking for St Joseph's intercession|
|O S. IOSEPH! cui Iesus hic in terris sese subiecit, prompteque oboedivit, quemque singulari semper honore et amore prosecutus est; quomodo idem in caelis, ubi tua nunc remunerantur merita, quidquam tibi denegabit? Ora pro me, o S. Ioseph! gratiamque impetra imprimis, ut peccata omnia serio detester et fugiam, praesertim ista NN. vitam in melius emendem, constanterque me in virtutum studio impendam, praesertim istarum NN ab his NN tentationibus, et peccati occasionibus, quibus anima mea in periculum damnationis induci posset, et ab afflictione ac miseria hac N. nisi divinae id voluntati, meaeque saluti adversetur, liberer. In his tamen et aliis omnibus totum me divino arbitrio et dispositioni, tuaeque paternae fidei, O S. Ioseph! subiicio et committo. Amen.||O SAINT JOSEPH, to whom Jesus subjected Himself while on this earth, whom He promptly obeyed, and whom He always followed with such honor and love, how much more so now thou art in heaven where thy merits are now rewarded! What will He thus deny thee? Pray for me, O St. Joseph! Most importantly beg for me the grace that I may earnestly pray for deliverance from and flee from all my sins, especially NN. Pray for me that I may amend my life for the better and constantly set myself forth with zeal in virtue, especially in the virtue of NN against the temptation of NN. Free me from the occasions of sin which might lead my soul into danger of damnation. Free me from the affliction and misery of NN, (unless such freedom is opposed to divine will and my salvation). In these and all other things, O St. Joseph, I submit myself and commit myself to divine authority and judgment, and to thy paternal care. Amen.|
|V. Oratio, pro felici morte impetranda||V. Prayer asking for a happy death|
|O S. IOSEPH! qui in suavissimo Iesu clientis tui, et dulcissimae sponsae tuae Mariae complexu ex hac vita emigrasti: succurre mihi, o S. Pater! cum Iesu et Maria, tunc potissimum, quando mors vitae meae finem imponet; illudque (quod unice peto) solatium mihi impetra, ut in iisdem sanctissimis Iesu et Mariae brachiis exspirem. In manus vestras vivens et moriens commendo spiritum meum, Iesus, Maria, Ioseph! Amen.||O SAINT JOSEPH, thou left this life in the gentle embrace of thy sweet spouse Mary and thy adopted son Jesus. Help me, O holy Father, along with Jesus and Mary, that at the appointed time when death puts an end to my life; obtain for me the one thing I ask, that same solace, so that in those same arms of Jesus and Mary I may expire. Into your hands, O Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, living and dying I commend my spirit! Amen.|
From the Coeleste Palmetum.