Readings, Novena and Prayers to the Mighty Saint Joseph

March 10th is the day to begin the novena to Saint Joseph, – but you may begin anytime, and today is good as well – and in this year dedicated to the great saint, Patron of the Universal Church, Patron of Canada (and, as Joshua Filipetto explained, Patron of the Unborn), we should increase our devotion and prayers, ad maiorem Dei gloriam, through the good and loving God, Who wills to bestow His favours through His favorites, not least His earthly parents, Our Lady and Saint Joseph.

There is the traditional litany of Saint Joseph, recounting his many titles.

There are any number of novenas: One beautiful version may be found here.

These novenas often include the memorare to Saint Joseph, a variant on the one to Our Lady:

Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who implored your help and sought your intercession were left unassisted.
Full of confidence in your power I fly unto you and beg your protection.
Despise not O Guardian of the Redeemer my humble supplication, but in your bounty, hear and answer me. Amen.

We should add the most ancient prayer to Saint Joseph, purportedly found in the ’50th year after Our Lord’s life’.

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your 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.

As the description continues:

This prayer was found in the 50th year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall poison take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.

And for two masterful meditations on the glories of Saint Joseph, peruse the 1989 encyclical Redemptoris Custos – Guardian of the Redeemer – of Pope Saint John Paul II, promulgated on August 15th, the anniversary of the day Our Lady was assumed into heaven, and reunited with her earthly spouse.

And, we must add the complementary meditation of Pope Leo XIII, Quamquam pluries, exactly one hundred years earlier, August 15, 1889. He and JP II often make excellent bookends.

We certainly need the intercession of Saint Joseph, for our Church, our countries, our communities, our families, ourselves. He is the strong and silent man, the ‘shadow of the Father’, through whom the Omnipotent God will bring about great things, for He is a God of surprises, and will never abandon His faithful.

Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis!