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Saint Joseph

Novena to Saint Joseph

Meditation.....

Saint Joseph is venerated as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the legal father of Jesus, and the head of the Holy Family. He was Mary's support and protector, a witness to her virginity, a consoler in her difficult vocation.

God comforted Joseph in a prophetic dream. He revealed to him in some measure the mystery of the Incarnation, the adorable Name of Jesus and His mission on earth. He removed every doubt from Joseph's mind and encouraged him to take to himself Mary for his wife. He freed him from worry and rewarded him with honors.

Joseph's sanctity was great to render him worthy of such a vocation. His holiness is measured by the close relation in which he stands to Mary, his spotless Virgin-Spouse, and to Jesus, his Divine Foster-Child.

His union with Mary is the closest that can exist, a union of heart with heart, a union of purest and holiest love. To what heights of sanctity must he have risen during this holy union of earth!

As the foster-father of Jesus, Joseph stands in close relation to the Son of God, the Fountain of all holiness. He surely has a greater share in his infinite sanctity than any other Saint, excepting Mary. Numberless are the graces and privileges connected with his exalted office.

We should love and honor him whom Jesus and His Mother love so tenderly. Through his intercession we can obtain the grace to love Jesus and Mary with some of that tenderness and devotedness with which he loves them.

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

Joseph served Jesus with great unselfishness, without any regard to self-interest, but not without sacrifices. He did not toil for himself, but he seemed to be an instrument intended for the benefit of others, to be put aside as soon as it had done its work, for he disappeared from the scene once the childhood of Jesus had passed.

Joseph's is a very special rank among the Saints of the Kingdom of God, because he was so much a part of the very life of the Word of God made Man. In his house at Nazareth and under his care the redemption of mankind was prepared. What he accomplished, he did also for those for whom Jesus was to give His life. He is not only a powerful and great Saint in the Kingdom of God but a benefactor of the whole of Christendom and mankind. His rank in the Kingdom of God, surpassing far in dignity and honor all the Angels and Saints, deserves our very special veneration, love, and gratitude.

The Word of God.....

"Joseph, [Mary's] husband . . . was an upright man." -- Mt 1:19

"He has counsel in store for the upright, he is the shield of those who walk honestly, guarding the paths of justice, protecting the way of the pious ones." --- Prv 2:7-8

" ' Joseph, son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife . . . She is to have a Son and you are to name Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.' When Joseph awoke he did as the Angel of the Lord had directed him." --- Mt 1:20-21, 24

"[Jesus] went down with them then, and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to [Mary and Joseph]." --- Lk 2:51

Novena Prayers.....

Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector, and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants.

I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, Foster- father of Jesus Christ, obtain for me a pure, humble, and 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 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 am confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.

Remember Saint Joseph.....

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked 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.

Consecration of the Family.....

Jesus, our most loving Redeemer, You came to enlighten the world with Your teaching and example. You willed to spend the greater part of Your life in humble obedience to Mary and Joseph in the poor home of Nazareth. In this way You sanctified that Family which was to be an example for all Christian families.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph! Graciously accept our family which we dedicate and consecrate to You. Be pleased to protect, guard, and keep it in sincere faith, in peace, and in the harmony of Christian charity. By conforming ourselves to the Divine model of Your Family, may we all attain to eternal happiness.

Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, by your merciful intercession make this our humble offering acceptable to Jesus, and obtain for us graces and blessings.

Saint Joseph, most holy guardian of Jesus and Mary, help us by your prayers in all our spiritual and temporal needs so that we may praise Jesus, our Divine Savior, together with Mary and you for all eternity.

For the Church.....

Glorious Saint Joseph, powerful protector of Holy Church, I implore your heavenly aid for the whole Church on earth, especially for the Holy Father and all bishops, priests, and religious.

Comfort the afflicted, console the dying, and convert sinners and heretics. Have pity on the poor souls in purgatory, especially on my own family, relatives, and friends. Obtain for them the speedy remission of their punishment, that with you and all the Saints and Angels they may praise and glorify the Blessed Trinity forever.

Prayer.....

God Our Father, creator and ruler of the universe, in every age You call human beings to develop and use their gifts for the good of others. With Saint Joseph as our example and guide, help us to do the work You have asked and come to the rewards You have promised.

Inspired by the example of Saint Joseph, may our lives manifest Your love and may we rejoice forever in Your peace. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Comments......

Popular tradition holds that Saint Joseph is especially helpful in finding work (as the bread-winner of the Holy Family, he understands the importance of work) and in selling homes (again, as the one responsible for sheltering the Christ Child and Our Blessed Mother, he is sympathetic to housing problems.) Some suggest that a statue of Saint Joseph be buried upside down in front of the house, but this seems a bit disrespectful.

Since it is the intent of a prayer or devotion that is the critical factor and not the specific actions, we suggest that the statue of Saint Joseph be placed in an honoured position in your home, either on a family altar or in the front window.

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