Prayer to Saint Joseph

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The following are Roman Catholic prayers to Saint Joseph.

The Catholic Tradition of Saint Joseph[edit]

Joseph, the silent man of the Gospels, is in the line of the great men of faith of the Old Testament. He is described as a "just man", a righteous man of integrity. He is in the tradition of Abraham who was called by God to "walk before my face and be upright (Gen: 17.1);and of Moses who was told to be "entirely sincere", "entirely faithful" (Deut: 18.13). For centuries his place in the story of Jesus was comparatively unnoticed. Gradually, in Catholic tradition, he was recognised as patron of fathers of families, of bursars and procurators, of manual workers, especially carpenters, and of all who desire a holy death.[1]

Litany of St. Joseph[edit]

The litany of St. Joseph, one of the more recent Catholic prayers, was sanctioned by Pope Pius X in 1909.[2]

V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

V/ Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

V/ Jesus, hear us. R/ Jesus, graciously hear us.

V/ God, the Father of Heaven, R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, R/ have mercy on us.

V/ God, the Holy Spirit, R/ have mercy on us.

V/ Holy Trinity, One God, R/ have mercy on us.

Repeat after each of the following praises: pray for us.


Holy Mary,
St. Joseph,
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R/ spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, R/ graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world. R/ have mercy on us.

He made him the lord of his household. R/ And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever. R/ Amen.

Rosary Prayer to St. Joseph[edit]

The purpose of Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Quamquam Pluries was to implore divine help by means of prayer, joining to the intercession of Mary that of St. Joseph. Leo XIII therefore attached to his encyclical a special Prayer to St. Joseph ordering that it be added to the recitation of the rosary during the month of October.[3]

"Prayer to Saint Joseph" holy card[edit]

The following prayer is found in many places,[4][5][6][7] and was released in 1950 with the Imprimatur of the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Hugh C. Boyle. It is used in novenas, according to the text after the prayer, and the prayer text specifically seems to limit it to "spiritual blessings".

The text of the prayer is:

Oh, Saint 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, Saint 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, Saint Joseph, I never weary 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.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. Amen.

As it was on the official card released in 1950, it often has the following "historical" text below it:

The above prayer was found in the fiftieth 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, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire or shall be overpowered in any battle. Say for nine mornings in a row for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail.

Below the "historical" text is found the IMPRIMATUR

Imprimatur: September 25, 1950 Hugh C. Boyle, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

One may take the historical statements as assertions or facts, but they were published under the Imprimatur. The year 50 A.D. is a very early date for a published prayer, preceding much of the New Testament, and the New Testament does not mention very much about the father of Jesus. The statements about the year 1505 A.D. and the Pope and Emperor are not yet supported.

See also[edit]

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