Novena to St. Joseph

A Note from our Seminarian:

Being that I grew up at St. Joseph’s parish in Wright, I hope that I’m not too biased when I call St. Joseph the greatest saint to ever have lived, second only to our Blessed Mother. For many reasons, he has been a very close saint in my own life, and I believe that every Christian should come to know and call upon him. It seems that the global Church has also recently began to discover a renewed devotion to this remarkable person. For the first time in the history of the Church, Pope Francis made this year a year of St. Joseph! St. Joseph was also recently added into the Eucharistic prayers that we hear at Mass and recent popes have named him as Patron of the Church, Patron of Workers, and Guardian of the Redeemer.

It’s become clear recently that an attack is being waged against God’s vision for marriage and the family. Maintaining strong marriages and families has become increasingly more difficult. The Covid pandemic has wreaked havoc on the existing workforce and finding good jobs hasn’t been easy. Additionally, the number of Christian faithful around us has been steadily declining year after year. But fear not! God always provides the right help to his children in times of trouble. I believe an increased devotion to Joseph, the Father of the Holy Family, is one way in which God is helping today’s Church. His character exemplifies a strong husband, worker, and a tremendous faith.

For these reasons, I’ve decided to lead our parish in a novena to St. Joseph that will end on the Feast of St. Joseph the worker on May 1st. If you want to help build up the family, learn more about Jesus’ heroic and quiet earthly Father, or simply deepen your prayer life, join me on this nine-day series of prayers! This novena is only a short time commitment each day, and this daily dedication to prayer will help us to become better Christians and serve the Church’s mission.

Here’s how this is going to work. Beginning Tuesday, April 20, I will be in our Kindergarten classroom offering the students a short exhortation on Joseph and then leading them in prayer. Each morning I will visit a different grade and bring along the new St. Joseph statue for the church. Friday, April 23rd is the first day of our novena. To participate, just pray the prayers that are posted here or if you’d like, pray with us remotely through the livestream on our Facebook page each day. If you miss the live stream or miss a day, don’t worry! We will be posting all the videos to our Vimeo page for you to watch at your convenience. Just catch up when you can. We can do this! The final day is May 1st, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Echoing the words Pharaoh said to the Egyotians in the Old Testament (from whom St. Joseph takes his name): “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.” (Gen 41:55)

Litany of St. Joseph – Tuesday 4/20-Thursday 4/22

Lord, have mercy.                                              Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.                                            Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.                                              Lord, have mercy.
God our Father in heaven,                                have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,             have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,                                            have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,                                        have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,                                                            pray for us.
Saint Joseph,                                                        pray for us.
Noble son of the House of David,                     pray for us.
Light of patriarchs,                                              pray for us.
Husband of the Mother of God,                        pray for us.
Guardian of the Virgin,                                       pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God,                        pray for us.
Faithful guardian of Christ,                                pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family,                                    pray for us.
Joseph, chaste and just,                                       pray for us.
Joseph, prudent and brave,                                pray for us.
Joseph, obedient and loyal,                                pray for us.
Pattern of patience,                                              pray for us.
Lover of poverty,                                                    pray for us.
Model of workers,                                                  pray for us.
Example to parents,                                               pray for us.
Guardian of virgins,                                               pray for us.
Pillar of family life,                                                 pray for us.
Comfort of the troubled,                                       pray for us.
Hope of the sick,                                                      pray for us.
Patron of the dying,                                                pray for us.
Terror of evil spirits,                                              pray for us.
Protector of the Church,                                       pray for us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,        have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,        have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,        have mercy on us.
God made him master of his household,                          And put him in charge of all that he owned.

Let us pray.

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 Christ our Lord.

R/. Amen.

Day 1 – Joseph, Provider for Families (Friday, April 23rd)

           Saint Joseph, please protect our families from the seductive attractions of the world and the subtle attacks from the evil one. Bless our fathers with the strength, courage, foresight, and self-sacrifice that you possessed in leading and protecting the Holy Family from the many evils of the day. Bless all the members of our family with a single-mindedness to respect each other; to be obedient to our Father’s headship; to always strive to do the will of God; to trust in Jesus; and to be worthy temples for the Holy Spirit.

We especially ask for these favors for our Holy Spirit Parish family. Saint Joseph, give our families not only material necessities, but more importantly, spiritual needs of faith, hope, and love.

Concluding Prayer (Repeated Daily)

Most pure Saint Joseph, you were entrusted to be the father of Jesus. We look to you as our model of the perfect worker, father, and spouse. Pray for us sinners that we may imitate your heroic virtue. We want to be pure in heart, comforted in death, loving fathers and mothers, courageous during suffering, eager defenders Christ, humble servants, and virtuous workers. You inspire us to be faithful to our commitments and joyfully receive all life. We want to receive a renewed spirit of friendship and devotion to your Son, Jesus.

You showed your Son Jesus honorable work. May our work inside and outside of our homes transform us to be more like Jesus so that one day we might see him in heaven. We ask this with the help of your prayers.

Amen.

Day 2 – Joseph, Patron Saint of the Dying (Saturday, April 24th)

Faithful Joseph, with the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise, you peacefully leave this world in Jesus and Mary’s hands. Your faith transforms death into the sowing of life; thus, God considers you to be a just man. Your heart overflows in the presence of the Lord. With your hands outstretched to God, your sleep is filled with prayers. Surrounded by the living, you embark upon the great march to the promise Land.

Open our eyes that we may glimpse the road to Life that lies beyond death. May nothing, not denial, anger, nor depression, separate us from the Love of God. Strengthen our faith in God who always finds ways of preserving us in his friendship. Be beside us to hold our hands when we take our first steps toward the Eternal Kingdom.

Day 3 – Joseph, our Solace in Suffering (Sunday, April 25th)

Compassionate Joseph, one with us in our human condition, together with Mary and Jesus you experience exile, hunger and violence. Refusing vengeance, you choose mercy. Your forgiveness breaks the circle of violence. Through your goodness, God’s hope for our humanity is preserved. Joy is yours, for the Kingdom of God is your inheritance.

Open our compassionate hands in times of war, famine and exile. Keep us from developing a victim’s mentality and make our pain a source of growth. Sustain us in fulfilling our responsibility of cultivating inner peace, joy and serenity. In your wisdom, counsel us to close all doors to bitterness, so that, watched over by God, we may dance for joy.

Day 4 – Joseph, Terror of Demons (Monday, April 26th)

Courageous Joseph, advised by an angel, you confronted your fears of the unknown. Just as you fervently protected your family on earth, protect us adopted brothers of Christ here on earth against all evil spirits. God chose you to be the shield for the Holy Family and now we ask for your prayers to shield us, His adopted children. By your example, we want to defend Jesus in our lives, wherever He appears in Word, Spirit, or Sacrament.

Help us to rediscover the united core of our identities, beyond all internal fears. Counsel us so we may build a better world to welcome the coming Kingdom. Show us the example of your courage so that, freed from the grip of our fears, our decisions may be founded in Love.

Day 5 – Joseph, Hope of the Sick (Tuesday, April 27th)

Benevolent Joseph, the Son of God placed his life in your hands. With Mary, you cared for Him who is the force of life. May your compassion enfold our fragility, bringing us the comfort of the divine presence. We join with you in prayer, saying: “Lord Jesus, Son of Living God, say a word for our healing!” Make us sensitive to the illnesses of those close to us. Support our efforts and grant us courage in the fight against all evil.

Help us to find meaning in God’s great project for humanity beyond the sicknesses and sufferings that blind our sight. The love of God be with us, as our hope lies with Him.

Day 6 – Joseph, Protector of the Church (Wednesday, April 28th)

Brave Joseph, collaborator in God’s project for humanity, your tenderness enfolds the newborn Church. Just as Mary and Jesus recognize in you the protection of the Father, so too does the community of faith place itself under your protection. Strengthen us with the Spirit that filled the Nazarene home and guide our footsteps on the road to the Kingdom. Accompany us in carrying out our mission.

Help us to be lights in the world so that the family of God may spring forth from humanity transfigured in Christ. Grant us the strength to imitate God’s preference for the poor and weak. Guide us in our pastoral activities that our actions may be modeled on the Good News.

Day 7 – Joseph, Patron of Families (Thursday, April 29th)

Attentive Joseph, in Mary and you, the Divine Word finds a favorable environment in which to carry out the will of the Father; thus, you become the family of the Child-God. In your gentle life together, you experience Jesus daily. The unity of your hearts transforms life’s lessons into growing wisdom and grace.

Open our hearts to the Word that lives within us, that our actions may bear witness to our connection to the family of God. Sustain us in our emotional commitments, where giving and forgiveness shape our identities. Grant us your tenderness in the things we do each day!

Day 8 – Joseph, Guardian of the Pure in Heart (Friday, April 30th)

Gentle Joseph, God is captivated by the quality of your heart. Your entire being is focused on doing his will. With Mary and Jesus, you answer the Holy Spirit’s call to build a better world. With trust in God, we join you in saying: “Here we are, Lord, your will be done! Your kingdom come nearer to us!” Keep the hope of a new world alive in our hearts. Inspire us to speak words of tenderness.

May we draw the energy for our actions from the source of all Love so our faces may shine with the freedom of the children of God. Just as you were the pure spouse of the virgin Mary, pray that our hearts remain pure and chaste amidst the temptations of the world.

Day 9 – Joseph, Model of Laborers (Saturday, May 1st)

Good Saint Joseph, when God wanted a family for his Son, He looked among the laborers, and chose you along with Mary, demonstrating His esteem for human work. You put your heart into your work and share your workshop with Jesus. Your work, like that of other humans, found new meaning in the presence of God.

Sustain us in the hope of finding work when we are confronted with the desolation of unemployment. Counsel business leaders to create an equitable division of labor that is respectful of individuals and promotes our growth and happiness. Help us to perform our work joyfully, conscientiously, fairly, and honestly. Prepare our hearts to recognize your Son in our colleagues at work.

Concluding Prayer (Repeated Daily)

Most pure Saint Joseph, you were entrusted to be the father of Jesus. We look to you as our model of the perfect worker, father, and spouse. Pray for us sinners that we may imitate your heroic virtue. We want to be pure in heart, comforted in death, loving fathers and mothers, courageous during suffering, eager defenders Christ, humble servants, and virtuous workers. You inspire us to be faithful to our commitments and joyfully receive all life. We want to receive a renewed spirit of friendship and devotion to your Son, Jesus.

You showed your Son Jesus honorable work. May our work inside and outside of our homes transform us to be more like Jesus so that one day we might see him in heaven. We ask this with the help of your prayers.

Amen.