Year of St. Joseph

St. Joseph Statue from St. Joseph the Worker Parish Beal City
Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of Saint Joseph to run December 8, 2020, through December 8, 2021.   In conjunction with the announcement,  Pope Francis released the apostolic letter, Patris Corde  (With a Father’s Heart).

In celebration of this special year dedicated to Saint Joseph, the Diocese of Saginaw desires to share the following resources for all the faithful to discover anew Saint Joseph and his role as a hidden -- though loving and beloved father -- who showed courage and acceptance.

 

Feast Day


Saint Joseph the Worker: Feast Day May 1 *1

1. Wear red apparel on the feasts of Saint Joseph.

Reflections on St. Joseph by Bishop Gruss

Run to St. Joseph, Terror of Demons

Audio Recording

 

Bishop Gruss shares how we needn’t fear death- we can have confidence in God’s love and mercy

 

Audio Recording

 

St. Joseph desires to teach men how to be better husbands and better fathers

 

Audio Recording

 

 

Bishop Gruss regarding indulgences, sin, responsibilities and more

Audio Recording

 

Patience is willingness to suffer; patience is a virtue

Audio Recording

 

About Chastity and a Message for Parents

Audio Recording

 

Obedience and discerning the will of God

Audio Recording

 

Designated Saint Joseph Pilgrimage Churches & Celebrations

The following churches/parishes dedicated to Saint Joseph will offer these special Saint Joseph feast day Liturgies:

Celebrating St. Joseph year-round

Pope Francis proclaimed a Year of St. Joseph from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec. 8, 2021 in his apostolic letter, Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart), which was promulgated on the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the patron of the universal Church. 

In addition to celebrating St. Joseph’s feast days, the faithful are invited to incorporate prayers, hymns and activities honoring this holy saint. A St. Joseph Shrine may be created in one’s home, parish or Catholic school. Faithful are encouraged to dedicate time to learning about St. Joseph or to watching a film about him. It is also recommended that the faithful contemplate St. Joseph's glorious role as the spouse of Mary and foster father of our Lord. 

Indulgences associated with this year

This special year includes particular indulgences “to perpetuate the entrustment of the whole Church to the powerful patronage of the Custodian of Jesus” (Apostolic Penitentiary).

Indulgences remit the temporal punishment (Purgatory) due to our sins.

To receive the grace of a plenary (full) indulgence, one must receive sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and pray for the pope’s intentions.

This grace is also extended to those who, for legitimate reasons, cannot leave their homes, such as the sick, elderly and dying during the ongoing pandemic.

There are 15 ways to receive an indulgence this year, including reciting the Litany of St. Joseph for persecuted Christians, entrusting one’s daily work to St. Joseph the Worker and praying the Rosary as a family. 

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Resources

Year of Saint Joseph and Indulgences

A Note on Indulgences During this Year of Saint Joseph

The Catholic Church offers all the faithful the opportunity to receive indulgences, particularly at special times such as the current Year of Saint Joseph. (See below for details about the Year of Saint Joseph plenary indulgence.) The indulgence can be full (plenary) or partial – and can be applied to the living or the dead. But what exactly is an indulgence? This is an important question, since we know that erroneous preaching about indulgences was a key reason Martin Luther and others chose to break away from the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation.

The authentic teaching about indulgences is laid out in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The doctrine and practice of indulgences in the Church are closely linked to the effects of the sacrament of Penance. ‘An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.’ ‘An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin.’ Indulgences may be applied to the living or the dead” (CCC 1471).

In other words, an indulgence is not about forgiving our sins – that is what the Sacrament of Penance is for. Rather, an indulgence is about taking care of the temporal punishment due to our sins. God is all merciful but God is also perfectly just. If we die in friendship with God (free from serious sin), there can still be punishment due to our sins that has to be rectified in purgatory before we enter heaven. Think of a parent who has a big gambling problem. The parent can repent and be forgiven by God, spouse and children – but the effects of the gambling remain and must be faced. Based on the authority given to her by Christ, the Catholic Church offers us indulgences to lessen or even completely take away the punishment due to our sins. This is good news! By saying certain prayers or performing other acts of devotion or charity specified by the Church, we can by God’s grace get a “head start” – eliminating or reducing time in purgatory (for ourselves or others) so as to ultimately enter into that place which one pope called “the country of pure love.”

Church Grants Plenary Indulgence for the Year of Saint Joseph

The Apostolic Penitentiary issues a Decree granting plenary indulgences for the year of St. Joseph proclaimed by Pope Francis on Tuesday. The special year will last from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.
[from the Vatican News Service, December 8, 2020]

Pope Francis on Tuesday announced a special year dedicated to Saint Joseph starting from 8 December 2020 until 8 December 2021, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, as well as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady.

The Apostolic Penitentiary also issued a decree granting special indulgences for the duration of the special year to celebrate the anniversary and “to perpetuate the entrustment of the whole Church to the powerful patronage of the Custodian of Jesus.”

Pope Francis proclaims “Year of Saint Joseph”
During this period, the faithful will have the opportunity to commit themselves “with prayer and good works, to obtain, with the help of Saint Joseph, head of the heavenly Family of Nazareth, comfort and relief from the serious human and social tribulations that besiege the contemporary world today.”

Devotion to Saint Joseph
The decree signed by Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, the Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and the Regent, Father Krzysztof Nykiel, notes that devotion to Saint Joseph has grown extensively throughout the history of the Church, “which not only attributes to him high reverence after that of the Mother of God his spouse but has also given him multiple patronages.”

At the same time, the Magisterium of the Church continues to discover “old and new greatness in this treasure which is Saint Joseph, like the master in the Gospel of Matthew who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” Therefore, the gift of indulgences granted through a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary by mandate of the Holy Father “will be of great benefit to the perfect attainment of the appointed purpose.”

Conditions for the Plenary Indulgence
The plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer for the Pope’s intentions) to Christians who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of Saint Joseph on these occasions and manners indicated by the Apostolic Penitentiary:

  • The plenary indulgence is granted to those who will meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer, or take part in a Spiritual Retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on Saint Joseph. “Saint Joseph, an authentic man of faith, invites us”, the decree reads, “to rediscover our filial relationship with the Father, to renew fidelity to prayer, to listen and correspond with profound discernment to God’s will.”

  • The indulgence can also be obtained by those who, following Saint Joseph’s example, will perform a spiritual or corporal work of mercy. Saint Joseph “encourages us to rediscover the value of silence, prudence and loyalty in carrying out our duties,” the decree notes.

  • The recitation of the Holy Rosary in families and among engaged couples is another way of obtaining indulgences, in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”

  • Everyone who entrusts their daily activity to the protection of Saint Joseph, and every faithful who invokes the intercession of Saint Joseph so that those seeking work can find dignifying work can also obtain the plenary indulgence. On 1 May 1955, Pope Pius XII instituted the feast of Saint Joseph “with the intent that the dignity of work be recognized by all, and that it inspires social life and laws, based on the fair distribution of rights and duties.”

  • The plenary indulgence is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to Saint Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to Saint Joseph (for the Byzantine tradition), or any other prayer to Saint Joseph proper to the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church ad intra and ad extra, and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution. Because, the decree notes, “the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt shows us that God is there where man is in danger, where man suffers, where he runs away, where he experiences rejection and abandonment.”

A Universal Saint
In addition to these, the Apostolic Penitentiary grants a plenary indulgence to the faithful who will recite any legitimately approved prayer or act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, for example, “To you, O blessed Joseph” especially on “19 March, on 1 May, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, on Saint Joseph’s Sunday (according to the Byzantine tradition) on the 19th of each month and every Wednesday, a day dedicated to the memory of the saint according to the Latin tradition.”

The decree recalls the universality of Saint Joseph’s patronage of the Church, noting that Saint Teresa of Ávila recognized him as "a protector for all the circumstances of life". Pope Saint John Paul II also said that Saint Joseph has “a renewed relevance for the Church of our time, in relation to the new Christian millennium.”

For the Sick
Amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis, the gift of the plenary indulgence is also extended to the sick, the elderly, the dying and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave their homes.

They too can obtain the plenary indulgences if they are detached from any sin and have the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions and recite an act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, offering to God the pains and hardships of their lives.

The Role of Priests
The Apostolic Penitentiary encourages priests to pastorally facilitate the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and the administration of Holy Communion to the sick with a willing and generous spirit.

A Novena to Saint Joseph

Novena to Saint Joseph
Thursday March 11 through Friday March 19, 2021

You may begin praying the “Novena to Saint Joseph on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in order to conclude it on Friday, March 19, 2021 – the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Alternatively, it may be prayed any nine consecutive days throughout the Year of Saint Joseph:  December 8, 2020 – December 8, 2021.

You can follow along by day below or download  the pdf below. 

Day One: Foster Father of Jesus

Saint Joseph, you were privileged to share in the mystery of the Incarnation as the foster-father of Jesus. Mary alone was directly connected with the fulfillment of the mystery, in that she gave her consent to Christ's conception and allowed the Holy Spirit to form the sacred humanity of Jesus from her blood. You had a part in this mystery in an indirect manner, by fulfilling the condition necessary for the Incarnation -- the protection of Mary's virginity before and during your married life with her. You made the virginal marriage possible, and this was a part of God's plan, foreseen, willed, and decreed from all eternity.

In a more direct manner you shared in the support, upbringing, and protection of the Divine Child as His foster-father. For this purpose, the Heavenly Father gave you a genuine heart of a father -- a heart full of love and self-sacrifice. With the toil of your hands you were obliged to offer protection to the Divine Child, to procure for Him food, clothing, and a home. You were truly the saint of the holy childhood of Jesus -- the living created providence which watched over the Christ-Child.

When Herod sought the Child to put Him to death, the Heavenly Father sent an angel but only as a messenger, giving orders for the flight; the rest He left entirely in your hands. It was that fatherly love which was the only refuge that received and protected the Divine Child. Your fatherly love carried Him through the desert into Egypt until all enemies were removed. Then on your arms the Child returned to Nazareth to be nourished and provided for during many years by the labor of your hands. Whatever a human son owes to a human father for all the benefits of his up-bringing and support, Jesus owed to you, because you were to Him a foster-father, teacher, and protector.

You served the Divine Child with a singular love. God gave you a heart filled with heavenly, supernatural love -- a love far deeper and more powerful than any natural father's love could be.

You served the Divine Child with great unselfishness, without any regard to self-interest, but not without sacrifices. You did not toil for yourself, but you seemed to be an instrument intended for the benefit of others, to be put aside as soon as it had done its word, for you disappeared from the scene once the childhood of Jesus had passed.

You were the shadow of the Heavenly Father not only as the earthly representative of the authority of the Father, but also by means of your fatherhood -- which only appeared to be natural -- you were to hide for a while the divinity of Jesus. What a wonderfully sublime and divine vocation was yours -- the loving Child which you carried in your arms, and loved and served so faithfully, had God in Heaven as Father and was Himself God!

Yours is a very special rank among the saints of the Kingdom of God, because you were so much a part of the very life of the Word of God made Man. In your house at Nazareth and under your care the redemption of mankind was prepared. What you accomplished, you did for us. You are not only a powerful and great saint in the Kingdom of God, but a benefactor of the whole of Christendom and mankind. Your rank in the Kingdom of God, surpassing far in dignity and honor of all the angels, deserves our very special veneration, love, and gratitude.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of having been chosen by God to be the foster-father of His Divine Son. As a token of your own gratitude to God for this your greatest privilege, obtain for me the grace of a very devoted love for Jesus Christ, my God and my Savior. Help me to serve Him with some of the self-sacrificing love and devotion which you had while on this earth with Him. Grant that through your intercession with Jesus, your foster-Son, I may reach the degree of holiness God has destined for me, and save my soul.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Two: Virginal Husband of Mary

Saint Joseph, I honor you as the true husband of Mary. Scripture says: 'Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary, and of her was born Jesus who is called Christ' (Matt. 1:16). Your marriage to Mary was a sacred contract by which you and Mary gave yourselves to each other. Mary really belonged to you with all she was and had. You had a right to her love and obedience; and no other person so won her esteem, obedience, and love.

You were also the protector and witness of Mary's virginity. By your marriage you gave to each other your virginity, and also the mutual right over it -- a right to safeguard the other's virtue. This mutual virginity also belonged to the divine plan of the Incarnation, for God sent His angel to assure you that motherhood and virginity in Mary could be united.

This union of marriage not only brought you into daily familiar association with Mary, the loveliest of God's creatures, but also enabled you to share with her a mutual exchange of spiritual goods. And Mary found her edification in your calm, humble, and deep virtue, purity, and sanctity. What a great honor comes to you from this close union with her whom the Son of God calls Mother and whom He declared the Queen of heaven and earth! Whatever Mary had belonged by right to you also, and this included her Son, even though He had been given to her by God in a wonderful way. Jesus belonged to you as His legal father. Your marriage was the way which God chose to have Jesus introduced into the world, a great divine mystery from which all benefits have come to us.

God the Son confided the guardianship and the support of His Immaculate Mother to your care. Mary's life was that of the Mother of the Savior, who did not come upon earth to enjoy honors and pleasures, but to redeem the world by hard work, suffering, and the cross. You were the faithful companion, support, and comforter of the Mother of Sorrows. How loyal you were to her in poverty, journeying, work, and pain. Your love for Mary was based upon your esteem for her as Mother of God. After God and the Divine Child, you loved no one as much as her. Mary responded to this love. She submitted to your guidance with naturalness and easy grace and childlike confidence. The Holy Spirit Himself was the bond of the great love which united your hearts.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the virginal husband of Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus with all my heart, as you did, and love Mary with some of the tenderness and loyalty with which you loved her.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Three: Man Chosen by The Blessed Trinity

Saint Joseph, you were the man chosen by God the Father. He selected you to be His representative on earth, hence He granted you all the graces and blessings you needed to be His worthy representative.

You were the man chosen by God the Son. Desirous of a worthy foster-father, He added His own riches and gifts, and above all, His love. The true measure of your sanctity is to be judged by your imitation of Jesus. You were entirely consecrated to Jesus, working always near Him, offering Him your virtues, your work, your sufferings, your very life. Jesus lived in you perfectly so that you were transformed into Him. In this lies your special glory, and the keynote of your sanctity. Hence, after Mary, you are the holiest of the saints.

You were chosen by the Holy Spirit. He is the mutual Love of the Father and the Son -- the heart of the Holy Trinity. In His wisdom, He draws forth all creatures from nothing, guides them to their end in showing them their destiny and giving them the means to reach it. Every vocation and every fulfillment of a vocation proceeds from the Holy Spirit. As a foster-father of Jesus and head of the Holy Family, you had an exalted and most responsible vocation -- to open the way for the redemption of the world and to prepare for it by the education and guidance of the youth of the God-Man. In this work you cooperated as the instrument of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the guide; you obeyed and carried out the works. How perfectly you obeyed the guidance of the God of Love!

The words of the Old Testament in which Pharaoh spoke concerning Joseph of Egypt can well be applied to you: 'Can we find such another man, that is full of the spirit of God, or a wise man like to him?' (Gen. 41:38). No less is your share in the divine work of God than was that of Egypt. You now reign with your foster-Son and see reflected in the mirror of God's Wisdom the Divine Will and what is of benefit to our souls.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for having made you the man specially chosen by Him. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to imitate your virtues so that I too may be pleasing to the Heart of God. Help me to give myself entirely to His service and to the accomplishment of His Holy Will, that one day I may reach heaven and be eternally united to God as you are.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Four: Faithful Servant

Saint Joseph, you lived for one purpose -- to be the personal servant of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Your noble birth and ancestry, the graces and gifts, so generously poured out on you by God -- all this was yours to serve our Lord better. Every thought, word, and action of yours was an homage to the love and glory of the Incarnate Word. You fulfilled most faithfully the role of a good and faithful servant who cared for the House of God.

How perfect was your obedience! Your position in the Holy Family obliged you to command, but besides being the foster-father of Jesus, you were also His disciple. For almost thirty years, you watched the God-Man display a simple and prompt obedience, and you grew to love and practice it very perfectly yourself. Without exception you submitted to God, to the civil rulers, and to the voice of your conscience.

When God sent an angel to tell you to care for Mary, you obeyed in spite of the mystery which surrounded her motherhood. When you were told to flee into Egypt under painful conditions, you obeyed without the slightest word of complaint. When God advised you in a dream to return to Nazareth, you obeyed. In every situation your obedience was as simple as your faith, as humble as your heart, as prompt as your love. It neglected nothing; it took in every command.

You had the virtue of perfect devotedness, which marks a good servant. Every moment of your life was consecrated to the service of our Lord: sleep, rest, work, pain. Faithful to your duties, you sacrificed everything unselfishly, even cheerfully. You would have sacrificed even the happiness of being with Mary. The rest and quiet of Nazareth was sacrificed at the call of duty. Your entire life was one generous giving, even to the point of being ready to die in proof of your love for Jesus and Mary. With true unselfish devotedness you worked without praise or reward.

But God wanted you to be in a certain sense a cooperator in the Redemption of the world. He confided to you the care of nourishing and defending the Divine Child. He wanted you to be poor and to suffer because He destined you to be the foster-father of His Son, who came into the world to save men by His sufferings and death, and you were to share in His suffering. In all of these important tasks, the Heavenly Father always found you a faithful servant!

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being God's faithful servant. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to be a faithful servant of God as you were. Help me to share, as you did, the perfect obedience of Jesus, who came not to do His Will, but the Will of His Father; to trust in the Providence of God, knowing that if I do His Will, He will provide for all my needs of soul and body; to be calm in my trials and to leave it to our Lord to free me from them when it pleases Him to do so. And help me to imitate your generosity, for there can be no greater reward here on earth than the joy and honor of being a faithful servant of God.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Five: Patron of the Church

Saint Joseph, God has appointed you patron of the Catholic Church because you were the head of the Holy Family, the starting-point of the Church. You were the father, protector, guide and support of the Holy Family. For that reason, you belong in a particular way to the Church, which was the purpose of the Holy Family's existence.

I believe that the Church is the family of God on earth. Its government is represented in priestly authority which consists above all in its power over the true Body of Christ, really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, thus continuing Christ's life in the Church. From this power, too, comes authority over the Mystical Body of Christ, the members of the Church -- the power to teach and govern souls, to reconcile them with God, to bless them, and to pray for them.

You have a special relationship to the priesthood because you possessed a wonderful power over our Savior Himself. Your life and office were of a priestly function and are especially connected with the Blessed Sacrament. To some extent you were the means of bringing the Redeemer to us -- as it is the priest's function to bring Him to us in the Mass -- for you reared Jesus, supported, nourished, protected and sheltered Him. You were prefigured by the patriarch Joseph, who kept supplies of wheat for his people. But how much greater than he were you! Joseph of old gave the Egyptians mere bread for their bodies. You nourished, and with the most tender care, preserved for the Church Him who is the Bread of Heaven and who gives eternal life in Holy Communion.

God has appointed you patron of the Church because the glorious title of patriarch also falls by special right to you. The patriarchs were the heads of families of the Chosen People, and theirs was the honor to prepare for the Savior's incarnation. You belonged to this line of patriarchs, for you were one of the last descendants of the family of David and one of the nearest forebears of Christ according to the flesh. As husband of Mary, the Mother of God, and as the foster-father of the Savior, you were directly connected with Christ. Your vocation was especially concerned with the Person of Jesus; your entire activity centered about Him. You are, therefore, the closing of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New, which took its rise with the Holy Family of Nazareth. Because the New Testament surpasses the Old in every respect, you are the patriarch of patriarchs, the most venerable, exalted, and amiable of all the patriarchs.

Through Mary, the Church received Christ, and therefore the Church is indebted to her. But the Church owes her debt of gratitude and veneration to you also, for you were the chosen one who enabled Christ to enter into the world according to the laws of order and fitness. It was by you that the patriarchs and the prophets and the faithful reaped the fruit of God's promise. Alone among them all, you saw with your own eyes and possessed the Redeemer promised to the rest of men.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the Patron of the Church. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to live always as a worthy member of this Church, so that through it I may save my soul. Bless the priests, the religious, and the laity of the Catholic Church, that they may ever grow in God's love and faithfulness in His service. Protect the Church from the evils of our day and from the persecution of her enemies. Through your powerful intercession may the church successfully accomplish its mission in this world -- the glory of God and the salvation of souls!

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Six: Patron of Families

Saint Joseph, I venerate you as the gentle head of the Holy Family. The Holy Family was the scene of your life's work in its origin, in its guidance, in its protection, in your labor for Jesus and Mary, and even in your death in their arms. You lived, moved, and acted in the loving company of Jesus and Mary. The inspired writer describes your life at Nazareth in only a few words: 'And (Jesus) went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them' (Luke, 2:51). Yet these words tell of your high vocation here on earth, and the abundance of graces which filled your soul during those years spent in Nazareth.

Your family life at Nazareth was all radiant with the light of divine charity. There was an intimate union of heart and mind among the members of your Holy Family. There could not have been a closer bond than that uniting you to Jesus, your foster-Son and to Mary, your most loving wife. Jesus chose to fulfill toward you, His foster-father, all the duties of a faithful son, showing you every mark of honor and affection due to a parent. And Mary showed you all the signs of respect and love of a devoted wife. You responded to this love and veneration from Jesus and Mary with feelings of deepest love and respect. You had for Jesus a true fatherly love, enkindled and kept aglow in your heart by the Holy Spirit. And you could not cease to admire the workings of grace in Mary's soul, and this admiration caused the holy love which you had consecrated to her on the day of your wedding grow stronger every day.

God has made you a heavenly patron of family life because you sanctified yourself as head of the Holy Family and thus by your beautiful example sanctified family life. How peacefully and happily the Holy Family rested under the care of your fatherly rule, even in the midst of trials. You were the protector, counselor, and consolation of the Holy Family in every need. And just as you were the model of piety, so you gave us by your zeal, your earnestness and devout trust in God's providence, and especially by your love, the example of labor according to the Will of God. You cherished all the experiences common to family life and the sacred memories of the life, sufferings, and joys in the company of Jesus and Mary. Therefore, the family is dear to you as the work of God, and it is of the highest importance in your eyes to promote the honor of God and the well-being of man. In your loving fatherliness and unfailing intercession you are the patron and intercessor of families, and you deserve a place in every home.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of living in the Holy Family and being its head. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain God's blessing upon my own family. Make our home the kingdom of Jesus and Mary -- a kingdom of peace, of joy, and love.

I also pray for all Christian families. Your help is needed in our day when God's enemy has directed his attack against the family in order to desecrate and destroy it. In the face of these evils, as patron of families, be pleased to help; and as of old, you arose to save the Child and His Mother, so today arise to protect the sanctity of the home. Make our homes sanctuaries of prayer, of love, of patient sacrifice, and of work. May they be modeled after your own at Nazareth. Remain with us with Jesus and Mary, so that by your help we may obey the commandments of God and of the Church; receive the holy sacraments of God and of the Church; live a life of prayer; and foster religious instruction in our homes. Grant that we may be reunited in God's Kingdom and eternally live in the company of the Holy Family in heaven.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Seven: Patron of Workers

Saint Joseph, you devoted your time at Nazareth to the work of a carpenter. It was the Will of God that you and your foster-Son should spend your days together in manual labor. What a beautiful example you set for the working classes!

It was especially for the poor, who compose the greater part of mankind, that Jesus came upon earth, for in the synagogue of Nazareth, He read the words of Isaiah and referred them to Himself: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor...' (Luke 4:18). It was God's Will that you should be occupied with work common to poor people, that in this way Jesus Himself might ennoble it by inheriting it from you, His foster-father, and by freely embracing it. Thus our Lord teaches us that for the humbler class of workmen, He has in store His richest graces, provided they live content in the place God's Providence has assigned them, and remain poor in spirit for He said, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven' (Matt. 5:3).

The kind of work to which you devoted your time in the workshop of Nazareth offered you many occasions of practicing humility. You were privileged to see each day the example of humility which Jesus practiced -- a virtue most pleasing to Him. He chose for His earthly surroundings not the courts of princes nor the halls of the learned, but a little workshop of Nazareth. Here you shared for many years the humble and hidden toiling of the God-Man. What a touching example for the worker of today!

While your hands were occupied with manual work, your mind was turned to God in prayer. From the Divine Master, who worked along with you, you learned to work in the presence of God in the spirit of prayer, for as He worked He adored His Father and recommended the welfare of the world to Him, Jesus also instructed you in the wonderful truths of grace and virtue, for you were in close contact with Him who said of Himself, 'I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.'

As you were working at your trade, you were reminded of the greatness and majesty of God, who, as a most wise Architect, formed this vast universe with wonderful skill and limitless power.

The light of divine faith that filled your mind, did not grow dim when you saw Jesus working as a carpenter. You firmly believed that the saintly Youth working beside you was truly God's own Son.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to work side by side with Jesus in the carpenter shop of Nazareth. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to respect the dignity of labor and ever to be content with the position in life, however lowly, in which it may please Divine Providence to place me. Teach me to work for God and with God in the spirit of humility and prayer, as you did, so that I may offer my toil in union with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass as a reparation for my sins, and gain rich merit for heaven.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Eight: Friend in Suffering

 Saint Joseph, your share of suffering was very great because of your close union with the Divine Savior. All the mysteries of His life were more or less mysteries of suffering. Poverty pressed upon you, and the cross of labor followed you everywhere. Nor were you spared domestic crosses, owing to misunderstandings in regard to the holiest and most cherished of all beings, Jesus and Mary, who were all to you. Keen must have been the suffering caused by the uncertainty regarding Mary's virginity; by the bestowal of the name of Jesus, which pointed to future misfortune. Deeply painful must have been the prophecy of Simeon, the flight into Egypt, the disappearance of Jesus at the Paschal feast. To these sufferings were surely added interior sorrow at the sight of the sins of your own people.

You bore all this suffering in a truly Christ-like manner, and in this you are our example. No sound of complaint or impatience escaped you -- you were, indeed, the silent saint! You submitted to all in the spirit of faith, humility, confidence, and love. You cheerfully bore all in union with and for the Savior and His Mother, knowing well that true love is a crucified love. But God never forsook you in your trials. The trials, too, disappeared and were changed at last into consolation and joy.

It seems that God had purposely intended your life to be filled with suffering as well as consolation to keep before my eyes the truth that my life on earth is but a succession of joys and sorrows, and that I must gratefully accept whatever God sends me, and during the time of consolation prepare for suffering. Teach me to bear my cross in the spirit of faith, of confidence, and of gratitude toward God. In a happy eternity, I shall thank God fervently for the sufferings which He deigned to send me during my pilgrimage on earth, and which after your example I endured with patience and heartfelt love for Jesus and Mary.

You were truly the martyr of the hidden life. This was God's Will, for the holier a person is, the more he is tried for the love and glory of God. If suffering is the flowering of God's grace in a soul and the triumph of the soul's love for God, being the greatest of saints after Mary, you suffered more than any of the martyrs.

Because you have experienced the sufferings of this valley of tears, you are most kind and sympathetic toward those in need. Down through the ages souls have turned to you in distress and have always found you a faithful friend in suffering. You have graciously heard their prayers in their needs even though it demanded a miracle. Having been so intimately united with Jesus and Mary in life, your intercession with Them is most powerful.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to suffer for Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to bear my suffering patiently for love of Jesus and Mary. Grant that I may unite the sufferings, works and disappointments of life with the sacrifice of Jesus in the Mass, and share like you in Mary's spirit of sacrifice.

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Day Nine: Patron of a Happy Death 

Saint Joseph, how fitting it was that at the hour of your death Jesus should stand at your bedside with Mary, the sweetness and hope of all mankind. You gave your entire life to the service of Jesus and Mary; at death you enjoyed the consolation of dying in Their loving arms. You accepted death in the spirit of loving submission to the Will of God, and this acceptance crowned your hidden life of virtue. Yours was a merciful judgment, for your foster-Son, for whom you had cared so lovingly, was your Judge, and Mary was your advocate. The verdict of the Judge was a word of encouragement to wait for His coming to Limbo, where He would shower you with the choicest fruits of the Redemption, and an embrace of grateful affection before you breathed forth your soul into eternity.

You looked into eternity and to your everlasting reward with confidence. If our Savior blessed the shepherds, the Magi, Simeon, John the Baptist, and others, because they greeted His presence with devoted hearts for a brief passing hour, how much more did He bless you who have sanctified yourself for so many years in His company and that of His Mother? If Jesus regards every corporal and spiritual work of mercy, performed in behalf of our fellow men out of love for Him, as done to Himself, and promises heaven as a reward, what must have been the extent of His gratitude to you who in the truest sense of the word have received Him, given Him shelter, clothed, nourished, and consoled Him at the sacrifice of your strength and rest, and even your life, with a love which surpassed the love of all fathers.

God really and personally made Himself your debtor. Our Divine Savior paid that debt of gratitude by granting you many graces in your lifetime, especially the grace of growing in love, which is the best and most perfect of all gifts. Thus at the end of your life your heart became filled with love, the fervor and longing of which your frail body could not resist. Your soul followed the triumphant impulse of your love and winged its flight from earth to bear the prophets and patriarchs in Limbo the glad tidings of the advent of the Redeemer.

Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being able to die in the arms of Jesus and Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace of a happy death. Help me to spend each day in preparation for death. May I, too, accept death in the spirit of resignation to God's Holy Will, and die, as you did, in the arms of Jesus, strengthened by Holy Viaticum, and in the arms of Mary, with her rosary in my hand and her name on my lips!

Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).
Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.

MEMORARE
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

A Prayer to Saint Joseph (after the Rosary)

This prayer to Saint Joseph — spouse of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron saint of the universal Church—was composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam pluries. He asked that it be added to the end of the Rosary, especially during the month of October, which is dedicated to the Rosary. It may be said after the customary Salve Regina and concluding prayer, and may also be used to conclude other Marian devotions.

During the Year of Saint Joseph

The prayer is ordinarily enriched with a partial indulgence (Handbook of Indulgences, conc. 19). During the Year of Saint Joseph, however—which lasts from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021,—the use of this prayer has been included among those enriched with a plenary indulgence (see Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued Dec. 8, 2020, section E). It may be said on any day of the Year of Saint Joseph, but especially on his various feast days or other devotional days dedicated to Saint Joseph:

March 19, 2021, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, May 1, 2021, the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker

The nineteenth day of each month

Every Wednesday, the traditional day of the week for devotions to Saint Joseph

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) © 2021


POPE LEO XIII – Quamquam Pluries (1889) 

To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also. 

Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities. 
 
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 kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness. As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. 

Amen. 
 

Creation of Saint Joseph Shrines

Creation of Saint Joseph Shrines – in our parish Worship Spaces, Catholic Schools & Formation entrances/classrooms & Homes (see samples below from the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption and Saint Catherine of Siena Parish):

If your church, school or homes do not already have a sacred image of Saint Joseph in your worship (or designated) space, this is a golden opportunity to create a dignified and artistically pleasing shrine for the Year of Saint Joseph (see samples below from the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption and Saint Catherine of Siena Parish).    This can be assembled with a statue, icon or other appropriately framed images.  

It may also be adorned with fabric, live plants, and candles.  If it is located in a church’s gathering space or actually within the worship space, you may also consider placing a prie-dieu (kneeler) in front of the shrine for the faithful to pause and pray.

Cathedral - St. Joseph Shrine
Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption
St. Catherine of Siena Parish Shrine
St. Catherine of Siena Parish
An Original Hymn to Saint Joseph

We Sing of Great St Joseph Music

Prayer Resources

Year of Saint Joseph PRAYERS


FROM THE CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF JESUS AND MARY
(FRANCE, 19TH CENTURY) 

In his Apostolic Letter "Patris corde," Pope Francis writes,

 

"Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds I have recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph:

Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, whose power makes the impossible possible, come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty.

Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, that they may have a happy outcome.

My beloved father, all my trust is in you.

Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, show me that your goodness is as great as your power.

Amen.


MEMORARE TO SAINT JOSEPH

Remember,
O most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
my great protector,
Saint Joseph,
that no one ever had recourse to your protection,
or implored your aid without obtaining relief.

Confiding therefore in your goodness,
I come before you

Do not turn down my petitions,
foster father of the Redeemer,
but graciously receive them.

Amen.


From “That All May Be One”
A Collection of Prayers by the Sisters of St. Joseph

PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH 
Adapted by Kathy Sherman, CSJ 


Teach us to listen and not be afraid to trust as you did in God’s Promise. 
Teach us to love courageously with a heart that is free and just. 
Teach us to protect one another and all that belongs to God.  
Teach us to dream a world where all are neighbors a vision illumined by God’s light.  
Teach us to keep the Word of God close to our hearts,  
and to proclaim it in word and action.
Teach us to be gentle with power and strong in our tenderness. 
Teach us to be for our children a living lesson of goodness and truth,
a blessing of hope for all generations to come.
Teach us to live the charism of the founders,  
the Sisters of Saint Joseph of uniting neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God without distinction.

Amen. 

Saint Joseph, Help Us in Our Work 
Sean Peters, CSJ
 

Saint Joseph, our patron and our Guide,
You worked as a carpenter which called for creativity, resourcefulness, steadfastness and strength.
 
Our work demands these same virtues.

So we ask for the creativity to see beyond our present reality,
the resourcefulness to use the many gifts God provides,  
the steadfastness to stay with the tasks before us and 
the strength to meet the challenges that come along the way. 

And may we ask for one more gift that you experienced:  
to be delighted by the presence of Jesus in the midst of our busy days.  
We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Amen. 


VARIOUS PRAYERS FROM THE LITURGY 

COLLECTS FROM THE ROMAN MISSAL

Collect: March 19: Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary Grant, we pray, almighty God,  that by Saint Joseph’s intercession  your Church may constantly watch over  the unfolding of the mysteries of human salvation,  whose beginnings you entrusted to his faithful care.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
God, for ever and ever. Amen.  
 
Votive Mass of Saint Joseph (No. 13):  O God, who in your inexpressible providence were pleased to choose Saint Joseph  as spouse of the most holy Mother of your Son,  grant, we pray,  that we, who revere him as our protector on earth,  may be worthy of his heavenly intercession.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  
God, for ever and ever. Amen.  

May 1:  Saint Joseph the Worker:  O God, Creator of all things, who laid down for the human race the law of work, graciously grant  
that by the example of Saint Joseph and under his patronage we may complete the works you set us to do and attain the rewards you promise.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Masses for Various Needs: (12) For the Family 

O God, in whose eternal design family life has its firm foundation, look with compassion on the prayers of your servants and grant that, following the example  of the Holy Family of your Only Begotten Son in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,  we may, in the joy of your house,  delight one day in eternal rewards.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  
God, for ever and ever. Amen.  
 
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph 

O God, who were pleased to give us  the shining example of the Holy Family,  graciously grant that we may imitate them  in practicing the virtues of family life and in the bonds of charity,  and so, in the joy of your house,  delight one day in eternal rewards.  
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,  
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,  
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

From the conclusion of the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust; with you, Christ became man.    
 
Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.  Obtain for us grace mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil.  Amen. 
      
PREFACE: SAINT JOSEPH 
 
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,  always and everywhere to give you thanks,  Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,  and on the solemnity of Saint Joseph* to give you fitting praise,  to glorify you and bless you. 
 
For this just man was given by you  as spouse to the Virgin Mother of God  and set as a wise and faithful servant In charge of your household  to watch like a father over your Only begotten Son,  who was conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit,  our Lord Jesus Christ. 
 
Through him the Angels praise your majesty, Dominions adore and Powers tremble before you.  Heaven and the virtues of heaven and the blessed Seraphim worship together in exultation.  May our voices, we pray, join with theirs in humble praise, as we acclaim:   
 
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts… 
 
*on May 1, this line is changed to “and on the commemoration of Saint Joseph” *at the votive Mass, this line changes to “and in honoring Saint Joseph”  

Excerpt from the Apostolic Letter Patris Corde of the Holy Father Francis © 2020 Libreria Editrice Vaticana.  All rights reserved. Excerpts from the English translation of the Roman Missal © 2010 International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

Legends, Domestic Practices and Movie/Video Productions

Saint Joseph Legends, Traditions and Movies
by Sister Janet Pewoski, CSJ

The Legend of the Blooming Staff

Saint Joseph is often depicted in pictures and statues as holding a flowering staff or walking stick. The imagery is based on a legend developed from a medieval 13th or 14th century compilation of stories of saints known as The Golden Legend which describes the marriage of the Virgin based upon the apocryphal gospels (the Protoevangelium of James and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew) where a dove flies from the staff but in the Golden Legend the staff blooms. 

The legend is that “After Joachim and Anna, Mary’s parents, presented Mary in the Temple when she was 3 years of age, they allowed her to remain there as a temple virgin dedicated to God’s service.  When Mary was on the verge of womanhood, the high priest announced that it was time for all of the temple virgins of that age to return home so that marriages could be arranged for them.  Mary, however, said that she could not do this since her parents had dedicated her to the service of the Lord and that she herself had made a vow of virginity to God.  When the high priest sought guidance from God, a loud voice called forth all of the men of the House of David who had not taken a wife, instructing them to come to the Temple and to bring a branch to lay on the altar.  The voice said that one of the branches would bloom forth with flowers and that the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, would land upon the branch.  Joseph was one of the men who came and when he placed his branch on the altar, it immediately bloomed into flowers and a dove descended from heaven and landed on it, thus revealing that Joseph was to take the Virgin Mary as his spouse.”

This story is not found in any of the four gospels. Joe Paprocki writes, “Catholics are not bound to accept this story as revealed truth, however, the legend captures our imagination and expresses our belief that Mary and Joseph were indeed chosen by God for their special roles as the mother and foster-father of Jesus.” (https://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/where-does-the-church-get-some-of-the-legendary-stories-of-st-joseph. September 24, 2010.)

The Tradition of Using a Saint Joseph Statue to Sell a House

You’ve probably heard about the tradition of using a Saint Joseph Statue to sell property, and you may have seen Home Sale Kits to purchase a miniature Saint Joseph Statue for this purpose.

How did this get started?  

It seems that the practice began with a cloistered community of women in Europe who wanted to purchase some property to expand, so they buried medals of Saint Joseph all around the grounds.  Some say this was Saint Teresa of Avila’s community. Once the purchase of the property was successful, the practice became known and eventually shifted from religious medals to miniature statues of Saint Joseph.   I am told the practice of burying religious medals of Saint Joseph was also used by the Sisters of Saint Joseph when they wanted to purchase the property of Saint John’s Hospital in Detroit.  Some say this practice became quite popular in the United States among realtors in the 1990’s who were buying little plastic statues of Saint Joseph by the gross.   Unfortunately, many people bury the statue, but do not follow through to the third step.  When non-Catholics purchase a home and discover a statue buried in their yard, they may be puzzled and seek to discover what it means.

The proper steps for using a Saint Joseph Statue to sell a home are:

  1. Bury the Saint Joseph Statue upside down in the front yard facing the house. (If you don’t have a front yard, bury him in a pot near the front door.) You can wrap him in protective cloth or put him in a bag.
  2. Pray to Saint Joseph to help sell the home. There are various prayers.  Here is one such prayer: Saint Joseph, I am going to place you in a difficult position with your head in darkness and you will suffer as our Lord suffered, until this [house/property] is sold.  Then, Saint Joseph, I swear before the cross and God almighty, that I will redeem you and you will receive my gratitude and a place of honor in my home.  Amen.
  3. Once the home/property is sold, the statue of Saint Joseph should be dug up, cleaned up if not covered with protection and set in a place of honor in your new home.

(See article by Kristina Wright at https://www.simplemost.com/the-story-behind-using-a-st-joseph-statue-to-sell-your-house/. April 16, 2018.)


The Tradition of Setting a Saint Joseph Table or Saint Joseph Altar for March 19th

The Tradition of a Saint Joseph Table or Altar began in Italy in the Middle Ages when a famine caused by drought led to starvation.  The local people called upon Saint Joseph to intercede for them.  They believed that Saint Joseph provided for them by making the fava bean grow so plentiful that the famine ended. As a means to offer thanks, the people prepared a special feast and invited the poor and less fortunate to share in the meal.  Some say that the wealthier families would provide elaborate tables of meatless meals with delicious desserts and ornately shaped breads representing religious symbols such as a lamb, sheaf of wheat, cross, carpentry tools, chalice, dove, or fish. The breads might be decorated with sesame seeds to represent tears. Some of the casseroles may be topped with bread crumbs to represent the sawdust of the carpenter.  Lots of pasta dishes, soups, and vegetables are served. Lentils, broccoli, and fennel as well as fava beans are on the menu. Dishes of fish, eggs, salads and fruits round out the menu. Sicilian dessert favorites such as cookies, zeppole, and the famous Saint Joseph sfinge, a round cream puff filled with ricotta cheese or cream and decorated with candied fruits.

Some families who may have petitioned Saint Joseph during the past year and received the desired favor may offer to build a Saint Joseph Table for others. They may not petition for personal financial gain. They may ask for help in creating the Table of Food.

The Saint Joseph Altar/Table is built in three tiers to represent the Holy Trinity and the ascent to Heaven.  A statue of Saint Joseph or a picture of the Holy Family is placed on the top tier.  Flowers, plants, and carpenter tools as well as all the delicious food is placed on the table for the Feast of Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary on March 19th.

This is not a private celebration.  Saint Joseph Tables are celebrated in many parts of the United States.  In addition to private altars, public altars have been built,  traditionally at the village churches in Sicily and here in the United States.  These first appeared on the front steps of Saint Joseph Church on Tulane Ave. in New Orleans in 1967.   The Saint Joseph Table is an expression of gratitude for the simplest things in life, such as the fava bean!

There is a special ritual for a festive celebration of the Saint Joseph Table or Festival of Saint Joseph Day.  The festival begins with a group of poor or orphaned children selected to play the Holy Family and re-enacts their journey through the Holy Land for food and shelter.  The family approaches the first door and knocks.  When asked who is there, they exclaim: “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! We seek food and shelter.”

The owner responds: “There is no room for you here.”  The family proceeds to the second home where the ritual is repeated, to the same response: “We have no room for you here.”

Finally, the family approaches the third house where, after they knock, the host replies:
“Welcome to this house.  The table is set.  The food is prepared.  Come in and honor us with your presence.”

The Holy Family enters the house and the bountiful feast begins with the cry: “Viva la tavola di San Giuseppe!” (Long live the table of Saint Joseph!) which is heard throughout the day.  All other attendees must wait until the Holy Family has finished their meal before they are allowed to eat.

(See https://simplecatholic.com/setting-a-table-for-st-josephs-day for article by Scott Noto, J.D. practices law in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  For more information see “The Traditions of the Saint Joseph Day’s Table at https://www.ncregister.com.) 


Tradition of Wearing Red on Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19th

Just as the Irish wear green on Saint Patrick’s Day on March 17th, many Polish and Italian people wear red on Saint Joseph’s Day.  There are also a lot of  “wanna be” Irish, Polish, and Italians on these special days who wear the color of the day.


Movies or Videos Also Check out Youtube

EWTN My Catholic Family- Saint Joseph (30 minutes) 2011. This video is a cartoon version of a family learning about Saint Joseph.  Suitable for children.

Joseph The Man Closest to Christ: More than a Video.  A Tool for Building Qualities of Authentic Manhood based on Saint Joseph’s example.  Ignatian Press, VHS., 2000.  This is available at Amazon or Ebay.  It is an excellent video and includes scenes of the Holy Land.

Joseph of Nazareth: The Man Closest to Christ. Decent Films also Ignatius Press, DVD, 2009. 

The Staircase TV Movie CBS 1998.  Starring Barbara Hershey and William Peterson directed by Karen Arthur.  This is the story of the Legend of Saint Joseph who completed a difficult construction of a Spiral Staircase for the chapel of the Sisters of Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  There are no nails used.  The wood is of a type not known to the local area, and the mysterious carpenter who comes to their rescue is said to have completed the task without taking any pay and suddenly disappeared as mysteriously as he appeared.
The chapel is now a museum.  You can google it and view youtube videos of the staircase.

Brother Andre Bessette and Saint Joseph’s Oratory.  Youtube. Canadian Museum of History, October 29, 2010.  Brother Andre now Saint Andre or the Saint of Montreal told visitors to pray to Saint Joseph whenever he heard their stories as the doorkeeper.  He had a tremendous devotion to Saint Joseph and persisted in having the chapel or oratory built in honor of Saint Joseph.  Many miracles have been attributed to praying to Saint Joseph. 

 Sister Janet Pewoski is a member of the Congregation of Saint Joseph and presently serves as the Director of Parish Life at Saint John Vianney Parish, Saginaw, MI.

Saint Joseph the Dreamer

Saint Joseph, the Dreamer
by Sister Christine Gretka, CSJ

Are you a dreamer?  Or has anyone accused you of being a dreamer?  Some of us may not appreciate being labeled a dreamer if we think dreamers are people who live in a world of their own, who have high or unrealistic expectations, or who seem to live in a fantasy world – a bit “out of touch” with reality.  However, if we perceive dreamers as individuals with vision, as those who can see through and beyond outward appearances; if we see dreamers as people who get very excited about the potential and possibility that lies within human beings and human events, then we may be more likely to identify ourselves as dreamers.

All of us dream – in one way or another – when we are seemingly wide awake or when we are in deep slumber.  Dreams are the deep-down hopes and aspirations that cause us to say things like: “When I grow up, I am going to be…” or “What I wish most of all for my child is…” or “Someday, when I retire, I will be able to…” or “If I were president (or pope), the first thing I would do is…”  The reality is that dreams give meaning and purpose to our lives.  Dreams can sometimes change the very direction of our lives.

Saint Joseph was a dreamer.  Matthew’s Gospel presents us with the wonderful story of the “Annunciation” to Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25) whereby the angel of the Lord appears to him in a dream. (Actually, Matthew records three significant dreams of Joseph, dreams in which  God spoke to him through an angel).  We may think of Joseph as being an insignificant person because he is rarely mentioned in Sacred Scripture.  When he is mentioned, he says absolutely nothing – not a word!  Yet, Joseph is very attentive to the voice of God.  Joseph plays a major role in salvation history – for Joseph becomes part of God’s dream.

God’s dream is the most “impossible dream” one can imagine, much less comprehend.  The Author of life knew that if we were to experience God’s love, it would have to be through God’s presence among us.  Therefore, God placed Jesus, the Son of God, into our story, into our dreams, into the very center of our lives, that we might be part of God’s dream, and experience “God-With-Us” at all times, in all ways.  God accomplished this through both Mary and Joseph.

Saint Joseph is the key figure in the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Advent in Cycle A of the Lectionary.  At first, Joseph is caught up with outward appearances and struggles with societal pressures and expectations of Jewish law.  He realizes that Mary, the love of his life, is with child, but never in his wildest dreams would he expect the child is “begotten of God” (not of man).  Just as Joseph is about to make a gigantic mistake in deciding to quietly divorce Mary, the angel of the Lord intervenes in a dream.  Besides telling Joseph to take Mary into his home because the child she bears is “begotten by the Holy Spirit,” the angel tells Joseph to name the child.  This is the most important part of the Gospel story because by naming the child, Joseph becomes the “legal” father of Jesus (whom we call the foster father of Jesus).  The story in Matthew is not about the reputation of Mary; it is about the identity of Jesus.  Jesus is both “Son of God” and “Son of David” (descending from a royal line of kings which Joseph, the “legal” father of Jesus, is a descendant).  In responding to God’s directive in his dream, both Mary and Joseph establish the identity of Jesus who is Son of God and Son of Man.  

What does this mean for us?  Like Joseph, we can get caught up in outward appearances, societal pressures, and cultural norms, expectations, and promises.  When we do, we may make poor judgments – occasionally giant mistakes!  We may even totally miss the presence of God in our midst.  Like Joseph, we, too, are dreamers.  If we are attentive to God’s voice, as Joseph was, then we will realize our part in God’s dream.  When we do, we will experience “God-With-Us” at all times – not in a “world of our own” with unrealistic expectations and “out of tune with reality” – but in a world where we are able to see through and beyond outward appearances, social norms, cultural expectations – and see the working and the will of the Divine in our lives.
 

December 9, 1998

Sister Chris Gretka is a member of the Congregation of Saint Joseph and presently serves as the Director of Parish Life at Saint Catherine of Siena Parish, Bay City, MI.

Sample petitions

Sample Petitions for the Universal Prayer

That, during this Year of Saint Joseph, we may care for one another the way Joseph cared for Jesus, the Son of God, we pray…

That all fathers may be inspired during this Year of Saint Joseph to imitate him as loving husbands and parents to their families, we pray…

That all refugees may be consoled during this Year of Saint Joseph by the saint who cared for his family when fleeing danger, we pray…

For all who labor to earn their daily bread; may they be strengthened during this Year of Saint Joseph, and may they receive a just wage, we pray…

For all those who quietly minister in the Lord’s vineyard.  May they be inspired by Joseph, the silent saint, to work humbly for God, we pray…

For all families, that during this Year of Saint Joseph they may grow together in joy and love, as did Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we pray…

For unborn children and their parents; for the elderly and the seriously ill; for those on death row and all victims of violence; may all life be protected through the intercession of Saint Joseph, we pray…

Faith Formation Resources

Activities connected to St. Joseph’s feast days in 2021

  • Celebrate the feast of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1 with an act of piety or prayer.

Prayer

  • Pray an approved prayer to St. Joseph on the 19th of any month. 
  • Honor Joseph with an approved prayer on a Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph.
  • Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Lord’s Prayer
  • Engaged couples can receive an indulgence from praying the rosary together.

Prayer for others

  • Pray for St. Joseph’s intercession for the unemployed that they might find dignifying work.
  • Recite the Litany of St. Joseph for persecuted Christians. Byzantine Catholics have the option of an Akathist to St. Joseph.
  • Pray the rosary together with one’s family in order that “all Christian families may be stimulated to recreate the same atmosphere of intimate communion, love and prayer that was in the Holy Family.”

Activities

  • Entrust one’s daily work and activity to the protection of St. Joseph the Worker.
  • Honor Joseph with an act of piety on a Wednesday, the day traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph.
  • Follow St. Joseph’s example in performing a corporal work of mercy. These include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, visiting the imprisoned, visiting the sick, and burying the dead.
  • Perform one of the spiritual works of mercy, such as comforting the sorrowful, counseling the doubtful, instructing the ignorant, admonishing the sinner, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving injuries, and praying for the living and the dead.

A Parent’s Prayer to St. Joseph
O glorious St. Joseph, to you God committed the care of His only begotten Son amid the many dangers of this world. We come to you and ask you to take under your special protection the children God has given us. Through holy baptism they became children of God and members of His holy Church. We consecrate them to you today, that through this consecration they may become your foster children. Guard them, guide their steps in life, form their hearts after the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
St. Joseph, who felt the tribulation and worry of a parent when the child Jesus was lost, protect our dear children for time and eternity. May you be their father and counsellor. Let them, like Jesus, grow in age as well as in wisdom and grace before God and men. Preserve them from the corruption of his world, and give us the grace one day to be united with them in Heaven forever. Amen  from Catholic.com


A Child’s Prayer to St. Joseph
 St. Joseph, watch over me and care for me just as you cared for the child Jesus; and by your help, may I come to know your Son, and so grow in strength and wisdom and the favor of God. Amen.

Family Activities: