Monday, January 14, 2013

St. Joseph is the Man for All Reasons

Sometimes, I am just plain embarrassed about how some saints  seem to skate under my radar.  I am particularly chagrined that this has been the case for me with St. Joseph until recently.  When I was in the throes of a trial of faith that I wrote about earlier, my dad sent me a tattered and worn pamphlet with a note saying: "Pray this."  It was the 30-day novena to St. Joseph.

I will post the novena below for those who may not be familiar with it.  Not only was the novena answered, it was answered in triplicate!

Aside from being a powerful prayer, this novena offers a chance to simply contemplate the remarkable saint who God the Father entrusted with the earthly care of His Son and the Virgin Mary.   In fact, I sometimes use these meditations to assist me when praying the Rosary.

 St. Teresa of Jesus strongly advocated that the faithful appeal to St. Joseph in all their needs, especially for progress in all virtue. So devoted to the foster-father of Jesus Christ was Teresa that she named her monastery after him.  In Philadelphia, the Carmel's official name is The Monastery of St Joseph and St. Anne.

From St. Teresa's  Vida:

"I took for my advocate and lord the glorious Saint Joseph and commended myself earnestly to him; and I found that this my father and lord delivered me both from this trouble [a temporary paralysis] and also from other and greater troubles concerning my honor and the loss of my soul, and that he gave me greater blessings than I could ask of him. I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant. I am astonished at the great favors which God has bestowed on me through this blessed saint, and at the perils from which He has freed me, both in body and in soul. To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all and that the Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to him on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, he could command Him) just so in Heaven He still does all that he asks. This has also been the experience of other persons whom I have advised to commend themselves to him; and even to-day there are many who have great devotion to him through having newly experienced this truth." 
"I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have great experience of the blessings which he can obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to him and render him particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for he gives very real help to souls who commend themselves to him. For some years now, I think, I have made some request of him every year on his festival and I have always had it granted. If my petition is in any way ill directed, he directs it aright for my greater good." 

There is a very good booklet from Tan Books/St Benedict Press with many wonderful devotions to St. Joseph and prayers for every special intention.   In gratitude toward  him for the assistance he has given me, I have tried to emulate his spouse more so that my spouse might be more apt to respond to life's trials as St. Joseph did.

As a Christmas present to myself this year, purchased with money given to me by my dear parents, I purchased a simple but beautiful statue of St. Joseph and he enjoys a special place in my shrine devoted to Jesus and His Carmelite Saints.  Here is a not-so-hot photo of the statue.  The lights are going to stay up year-round.

The Thirty Days Novena to St. Joseph for Any Special Intention
(Can be prayed during any consecutive 30 days)

Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow!  You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow.  Look kindly on my request.  My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness.  To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.
I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.
I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born.   Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world's Redeemer in a cave.
I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.
I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies.  From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt.  I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.
I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country.  I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows.
I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days.  I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus.  I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.
I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary.  I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.
I ask it through Mary's glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.
O good father!  I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.

(make your request)
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God.  Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.


  1. I love St. Joseph! He had an adopted son like I do! Plus St. Joseph's Day (March 19th) was always filled with pastries when I was growing up. :)

  2. Yes, those zeppole are to die for, aren't they? And yes, what a perfect model he is for you and all adoptive dads. BTW, one of my FB friends has 3 adopted children. She always posts "Happy Gotcha Day" on the anniversary of each of their adoptions. I thought it was sweet. Joyce

  3. We do Gotcha Day too. I'll have to post something special on that day. Have you seen my new blog? I still post my political thoughts at J's Cafe, but I have my own for literature, music, art, and Matthew! I call it "Ashes from Burnt Roses"

    I hope your Matthew is doing well.


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