Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Today is the day to start a novena to St. Joseph!

Many people begin novenas to end on the day before a special feast, but they may also be timed to fall on the feast day, itself.  That's how we like to do it, but there's no right and wrong way!  In fact, though it's pretty neat to end a novena on a saint's particular feast, you certainly don't need to do that, either!  We're usually not on the ball enough around here to get the timing right, anyway! But that shouldn't stop us from using this efficacious means of prayer. Heaven knows, we all have needs that spring up out of the blue -- and some that are just on-going. No need to wait! We can start a novena any time we like.  
Likewise, though there are many beautiful prayers prescribed for novenas, any prayer can be used for the purpose. Just repeat it with your petition nine days in a row. That's the sticking point; you can't miss a day! It seems God is pleased with us when we stick to a thing with commitment and devotion enough to remember it nine days in a row.  (I know I'm always impressed with myself when I make it all the way through, too!)

But, St. Joseph.   How can you say too much in praise of our St. Joseph?  He's the patron of the Universal Church, the patron of the dying, patron of families, patron of workers...  He is always interested in us and in our problems, and always practical in his help.  His Divine Son -- who loves him very much, indeed -- gives St. Joseph what he asks.  He is sure help in our need!  
Listed below are a good handful of prayers that are novenas, or can be used as such  Begin today and you can finish  (like we hope to) on March 19th!

Words of St.Teresa of Avila 
“I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that both out of this my present trouble, and out of others of greater importance, relating to my honor and the loss of my soul, this my father and lord delivered me, and rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God has given me through this blessed Saint; the dangers from which he has delivered me, both of body and of soul.” —Autobiography, VI, 9

 Prayer to St. Joseph for Our Children

Oh 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, and 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 counselor. 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.

Prayer in a Difficult Problem

Oh Glorious St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily. (Name your request.) 

O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee. let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary. show that thy goodness equals thy power. Amen, St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.

“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 . . .” —Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, VI, 11-12

Prayer to St. Joseph

We come to you, O blessed Joseph, in our distress. Having sought the aid of your most blessed spouse, we now confidently implore your assistance also. We humbly beg that, mindful of the affection which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and of the fatherly love with which you cherished the child Jesus, you will lovingly watch over the heritage which Jesus Christ purchased with His blood, and by your powerful intercession help us in our urgent need. Prudent guardian of the Holy Family, protect chosen people of Jesus Christ; drive far from us, most loving father, all error and corrupting sin. From your place in heaven, most powerful protector, graciously come to our aid in this conflict with the powers of darkness, and as of old you delivered the Child Jesus from danger of death, so now defend the holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Extend to each one of us your continual protection, that, led on by your example, and borne up by your strength, we may be able to live and die in holiness and obtain everlasting happiness in heaven. Amen.

A Boy Sweetheart's Daily Prayer

O St. Joseph, Model of justice, and therefore of husbands, I beseech Thee to direct me in my choice of a future wife. Grant me especially wisdom and deliberation in this choice. Make both my friendship and courtship especially chaste, unselfish, prudent, thrifty, and cheerful. Be my companion in single as well as in wedded life.

A Girl Sweetheart's Daily Prayer

O Mary, Model of pure love, and therefore of sweethearts, I beseech Thee to direct me in my choice of a future husband. Grant me especially wisdom and deliberation in this choice. Make both my friendship and courtship chaste, unselfish, prudent, thrifty, and cheerful. Be my companion in single as well as in wedded life. 

“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 . . .” —St. Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, VI, 9

Indulgenced Prayer to St. Joseph
Patron of the Universal Church 

To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction,
and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we
now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee
also to take us under thy protection. By that charity, wherewith
thou were united to the Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God,
and by that fatherly love, with which thou didst cherish the
Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou
wilt look down with gracious eyes upon that inheritance
which Jesus Christ purchased by His Blood, and wilt succor
us in our need by thy power and strength.
Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy family, the
chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most
loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on
high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers
of darkness, and even as of old, thou didst rescue the Child
Jesus from the peril of His life, so no defend God's Holy
Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity.
Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, imitating thy example
and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a
happy death, and attain everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

An Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms.  i dare not approach while He reposes near Thy heart.  Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.

St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me.

“Those persons who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner always have great devotion to St. Joseph, for I know not how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the assistance he rendered to them then. He who cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious Saint for his guide, and he will not lose his way.” 
—St. Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, VI, 12

Prayer to St. Joseph the Workman 

Composed by Pope St. Pius X 

(State your petitions) 

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 watchword in life and in death.


Prayer to St. Joseph for Employment

Dear St. Joseph, you were yourself once faced with the responsibility of providing the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care. Help us to guard against bitterness and discouragement, so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God. Amen.

Ite ad Joseph!

Do not hesitate:

Go to Joseph!

“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. Thomas Aquinas

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