Novena | Prayers to St.
Joseph 1 & 2 &
3 | Litany to St. Joseph | Prayer for the church
| Prayer for Missionary
Prayer for Church and the Holy Father | download this page in rtf or pdf format for
Use also for the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker on 1st May, see
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); 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 (cf. Farmer, Oxford
Dictionary of Saints). St. Bernardine of Siena (d. 1444) wrote of
"He it is who marks the closing of the old testament. In
him the dignity of the prophets and patriarchs achieves its
promised fulfilment. Moreover, he alone possessed in the flesh what
God in his goodness promised to them over and again
Therefore be mindful of us, blessed Joseph, and intercede
for us with him whom men thought to be your son."
St. Teresa of
Avila (d. 1582) wrote eloquently of St. Joseph in her
autobiography: "He who cannot find anyone to teach him to pray, let
him take this glorious saint for his master, and he will not wander
out of the way." She also recommended the intercession of St.
Joseph for our daily needs. "Our Lord would have us understand that
as he was subject to St. Joseph in all things during his earthly
pilgrimage, so now in Heaven he is ready to grant all his
petitions." (see other prayers to St. J.
Missionary Society was founded in London in 1866. Cardinal Herbert
Vaughan called St. Joseph "Our Father and Founder". Herbert Vaughan
was inspired by Joseph's unobtrusive but essential role in the
story of salvation. St. Joseph's intercession was sought to obtain
the necessary funds for the new missionary society; he was invoked
to secure the desired house at Mill Hill that was to become the
birthplace of the Society. Cardinal Vaughan promoted devotion to
St. Joseph throughout the country and established at St. Joseph's
College, Mill Hill, the national shrine to St. Joseph. From the
beginning of St. Joseph's Society, lay people were involved as
"associates" in this work for the spread of the Gospel. Priests,
Brothers, "associates" all look to Joseph for protection, guidance
and inspiration. Mill Hill Missionaries
- see also credit below
Each day has a reflection. To this may be
added one or more of the prayers (see later)
Nine Days Prayer - in Honour of St.
Joseph 10th - 18th March (or any nine consecutive
1st day - 2nd day - 3rd day - 4th day -
5th day - 6th day - 7th
day - 8th day - 9th day
Almighty God, you have
chosen Saint Joseph to be the mainstay of Jesus and Mary, the wise
and faithful servant in whom they could trust. We pray that he may
truly be the guardian of your Church; that he may inspire with
confidence those who are devoted to him; that he may give security
to those who work in the vineyard of Your Son; and finally, that he
may be a source of strength to us, who wish, like him, to dedicate
ourselves to Christ's service, now and in times to come.
Day - Joseph the Just
Matt.1.19: "Joseph was a man who
always did what was right."
predicament Joseph was in when he discovered that Mary had
conceived. What was he to do? But he "always did the right thing",
he was a man of God, a just man. God would show him what was to be
done, he trusted in God's guidance - and God did show him
We are often in a state of uncertainty as to what will be
the right thing to do. We fret and worry, and blame God for
allowing this or that to happen to us. Pray that like Joseph we
will put our problems before the Lord and learn from him what is
the right thing for us to do.
Daily Novena Prayer
Day - Joseph the Man who
Prov.2.9: "If you listen to me, you will know what is
Joseph was a man who listened. No spoken word is recorded
of him. He was able to hear God's word; he knew how to be silent so
as to allow God's word to come through to him.
In our world today we are surrounded by noise and
distraction. Our spiritual "senses" become deadened by the
intrusive noises of radio and television, of vehicles and planes.
Is it any wonder we don't hear God speaking to us? Let us ask St.
Joseph to help us to know how to be silent before God, how we can
carve out a "quiet time" in our day.
Daily Novena Prayer
3rd Day - Joseph
the Man of Vision
Matt. 1.20; 2.13; 19.22: "The angel of the Lord appeared
in a dream to Joseph."
Joseph was a man of dreams, a man of vision. His life was
"ordinary", yet he realised that God could work in extraordinary
ways even in his life, in his village.
too seem very ordinary. But every one of us is special before God.
God has a plan for each of us. Re wants to use us in his plan to
make his Kingdom come. Let us ask St. Joseph to help us be alive to
God's wonderful working in our lives.
Daily Novena Prayer
4th Day - Joseph
Matt. 2.14: "Joseph got up and took the child and his
mother and left that night for Egypt."
The Gospel tells us that Joseph took Mary and the child
to a pagan land. St. Hilary, one of the early Fathers of the
Church, said St. Joseph is the "model of the apostles". The
apostle's, the missionary's task is to take the good news of Christ
and his mother to the unevangelized.
The missionary of today is the bearer of the same Good
News. Every Christian is called to share in the mission of the
Church, at home and in lands afar. Let us ask St. Joseph to help us
to know how we can bring Christ into the lives of people,
especially those who are most disadvantaged.
Daily Novena Prayer
5th Day - Joseph
the Family Man
Micah 5.2: "Bethlehem. . . out of you I will bring
a ruler for Israel, whose family goes back to ancient
Lk. 2.4: "Joseph went . . . to David's town of
Bethlehem-because he was a descendant of David."
Joseph was a descendant of the Royal Family of David. Yet
he lived in comparative obscurity and was a "nobody in the world's
eyes. He faced difficult family problems: Mary's pregnancy, the
threat to the life of the child, the exile to a foreign land; how
to make ends meet from the work of his hands. And then, what was he
to make of the forewarning that the boy Jesus was marked out for
glory and suffering?
Let us ask St. Joseph to protect our families as he did
his own. May he help us to discern God's hand in the ups and downs
of family life. May he help us with our financial problems, so that
we don't allow money or material things to spoil the bond that
unites us as a family.
Daily Novena Prayer
6th Day - Joseph-Man of Prayer
Lk. 2.41: "Every year the parents of Jesus went to
Jerusalem for the Passover Festival."
Joseph as head of the family observed the religious
festivities with his family. He would attend the synagogue in
Nazareth on the Sabbath, and go up to the Temple for the major
feasts. But he also would have prayed at meals, at certain hours of
the day; he would have used words like "alleluia", "hosanna",
"amen"; he would have prayed and sung the Psalms. In the silence of
his prayer time he would have known that God spoke to
We are all called to be people of prayer. We can't be
content with where we are in our prayer life there is so much
more for us. We need to enter more deeply into the prayer of
the Church in the Liturgy, we need to make more meaningful our
daily prayer practices, we need to listen to God in prayer. May St.
Joseph help us to grow up more as people of prayer.
Daily Novena Prayer
7th Day - Joseph-Teacher of Jesus
Matt. 1.25: "And Joseph named him Jesus."
Name-giving was something very solemn and significant in
the Bible. "To know someone's name was to have access to the
mystery of his being." Joseph, "the man closest to Jesus" must,
like Mary, have pondered deeply on this remarkable child. Yet
Joseph as head of his household had the task of teaching Jesus his
prayers, taking him to sit with the men in the synagogue,
introducing him to the Scriptures, presiding over his "coming of
age" (bar mitzvah) at 13, teaching him the various rituals of the
In our days many fathers of families have lost their
sense of place in the family; many provide weak leadership,
especially in the area of religious practice. We must pray that the
example of Joseph will inspire Christian fathers to assume their
rightful role of leading their children in worship of our heavenly
Father. May fathers provide firm and clear standards of Christian
behaviour to their families in a society that is losing its
Daily Novena Prayer
8th Day - Joseph the Workman
Matt. 13.55: "Isn't he the carpenter's son?"
In Mark's Gospel we read of how the people said of Jesus
"Is this not the carpenter?" He learned his trade from Joseph, who
must surely have been as diligent at his work as he was at his
religious duties. He knew the dignity of work, the "homage of work"
(Vat. II) - that makes man's efforts part of the redemptive work of
Jesus himself He probably also knew the evil of unemployment; there
would be times of hardship in Nazareth when people had no money to
give work to Joseph and Jesus.
Modern man tends to view work only as a means of making
money; too often work is thought of as a means to satisfy one's
instincts of greed. The machine has taken over from the craftsman.
There is little sense of pride in workmanship. Let us ask St.
Joseph to help us see our work as service for others, as a sharing
in the work of redemption; a means of bringing order and beauty out
of chaos, a means of making our world a better place.
Daily Novena Prayer
9th Day - Joseph-Man of Loving Service
Matt. 24.45: "Who is the faithful and farsighted servant
whom the master has put in charge of his household to dispense food
The Jewish ideal man was someone who was "righteous",
someone who actively obeyed God's word, who did his will. Joseph
acted instantly when he knew God's will. His was a life of loving
service. He served his family, he served his village neighbours, he
served his God. No wonder Christian piety has imagined his "happy
death" in the presence of Jesus and Mary.
May St. Joseph's example and intercession help us to grow
in loving service in our families, in our places of work, in all
our relationships. May we learn to "wait in joyful hope for the
coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ", and may we share one
day in the loving service of the heavenly banquet in the Kingdom of
Daily Novena Prayer
(Content courtesy of St. Joseph’s
Missionary Society & Mill Hill Missionaries St.
Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London NW7 4JX - see intro at top of page)
Prayers to St.
Let us pray to God our Father, for from him, all
fatherhood in heaven and on earth takes its name.
R. Father, hallowed be your name.
Father, in your Son you revealed to Joseph the
mystery kept secret for endless ages:- Help us to acknowledge your
Son as God and man.
R. Father, you enabled Joseph to spend his life
in your service:-set our minds on your kingdom and your justice
before all other things.
R. Father, your will is that every man should
accept and answer your call:-by the prayer of Joseph, give us the
grace to live in accord with your will.
R. Creator of all things, you have entrusted
your work to our hands:-grant that our labours may prove worthy of
R. Father, in whom all men live, grant to those
who have died new life, through your Son:-with Mary, and Joseph,
and all your saints for ever.
R. Our Father
Concluding Prayer: Almighty God, at
the beginnings of our salvation, when Mary conceived your Son and
brought him forth into the world, you placed them under Joseph's
watchful care. May his prayer still help your Church to be an
equally faithful guardian of your mysteries, and a sign of Christ
to mankind. (We make our prayer) through Christ our
Whatever we do or say, let us do it in the name
of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
R. Lord, hear us.
As Joseph believed what you had told him, and
became the guardian of your only Son:- so may we put our faith in
you, and receive the fulfilment of your promise.
R. Father, give us that faith which gives substance to our hopes,
and make us certain of realities we do not see.
R. Joseph took the child Jesus into his care,
loving and accepting him as his own Son:- May we accept all that
God gives us, and care for those entrusted to us.
R. You have given man authority over the work of
your hands and invited him to share in your creation:-help us to
accept our responsibility by working for your glory and the good of
R. Our Father
Concluding Prayer: Lord God and
Creator of the universe, you imposed on mankind the law of work.
Give us grace, by Saint Joseph's example and at his intercession,
to finish the works you give us to do, and to come to the rewards
you promise. (We make our prayer) through our Christ
A Short Litany to St.
Joseph, husband of the Mother of
God, Pray for us
Joseph, foster father of the Son of God, Pray for us
Joseph, man of prayer , Pray for us
Joseph, man of faith, Pray for us
Joseph, committed to doing God's will, Pray for us
Joseph, model of workers, Pray for us
Joseph, defender of family life, Pray for us
Joseph, patron of the dying, Pray for us
Joseph, protector of the Church, Pray for us
Prayer to St. Joseph for the
Loving husband of Mary, the
Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and foster father of her Son, we
turn to you with confidence as we pray for the Church throughout
the world. Watch over the family of God, bought by the precious
blood of Christ, as you watched over the Holy Family of Nazareth.
You once rescued the Child Jesus from danger of death: protect now
his mystical body from the powers of darkness and strengthen it in
every trial. Give it your own courage, in the struggle against
evil, and keep it free from sin and error. Help us to follow your
example, that we may live a holy life, die a holy death and so
share your joy for ever in heaven.
Prayer to Saint Joseph for the
Church and The Holy Father.
Most Powerful Patriarch Saint
Joseph, Patron of the Church which has always invoked you in
anxiety and trouble, from the exalted seat of your glory, cast a
loving glance upon the whole Catholic world. Let your fatherly
heart be touched at the sight of the Mystical Spouse and the Vicar
of Christ overwhelmed with sorrow and persecuted by powerful
enemies. Oh, by the bitter anguish you experienced upon earth, dry
the tears of the Holy Father, defend him, comfort him, intercede
for him with the Giver of peace and charity, that, all adversity
being removed and all error dissipated, the entire Church may serve
God in perfect liberty. Amen!
Prayer to St. Joseph
Humble and great, just and prudent, chaste and
generous, hard-working and prayerful, glorious St. Joseph, patron
of the universal Church and my protector, in the same confidence
with which I love and venerate you I turn to you, sure of your
powerful friendship and of your intercession with him who lived
with you for many years in the house at Nazareth, Our Lord Jesus
God in his goodness chose you as the reliable
and prudent guardian of his greatest treasure and gift to mankind,
Jesus his Son. With your beloved spouse, Mary his Virgin Mother,
you were the one closest to the Saviour. Together you loved him
like no one else in the world; you cared for him as a baby,
educated him wisely, and worked with him in the silence and
hidden-ness of Nazareth. From him you learned Divine Wisdom. You
were loved by him with a love which had no equal. In his presence,
and in the sweet company of Mary, you closed your eyes, certain of
living with them for ever in the house of the Father.
Our glorious patron St. Joseph, generations of
saints and sinners have called on you as their protector and
intercessor. They have taken you as the model of Christian life, of
surrender to the will of God and of humility; as the model of love
for Jesus and Mary, of the interior life, of service and
faithfulness, of purity and prudence. In you and in Mary we
contemplate with admiration all the most noble Christian virtues
lived under the gaze of Jesus, and given by the Holy Spirit to all
who welcome him and yield to his direction.
Together with so many who look to you with deep
friendship and confidence I ask your intercession with the Lord
Jesus, the most high Son of God at whose name everything in heaven
and on earth kneels down (Phil. 2:1-11).
Ask for me humility, obedience, purity and
faithfulness; teach me simplicity, hard work, and wonder at the
marvels God does every day; endow me with discernment, respect for
the values of a simple holy life like yours, and the discipline of
a faithful spiritual life; introduce me to the beauty of
interiority, hidden-ness, and of family and community life based on
the gospel; help me to love and serve Jesus as you loved and served
him; encourage me by your example to grow with him and through him;
grant that I too may feel the strong sweet presence of Mary in my
life; assist me in carrying out my everyday work with dedication
and with all the enthusiasm and faithfulness fitting for someone
who wants to spend his life for the Lord (Col. 3:17-23).
Above all, pray that I may receive the grace of
humility-the humility which made you great by putting you totally
at the disposal of God's will to be used as his instrument in the
plan which brought salvation to the whole world. May my senses, my
mind, my heart and my whole being be open to his will, so much that
even my "dreams", like yours, may be full of his will and of love
for Jesus and Mary.
Glorious St. Joseph, I ask the grace that,
whenever the Lord of Life should wish, I too may end my earthly
pilgrimage with Jesus and Mary by my side, and enjoy their company
for ever. Amen
Prayer to St. Joseph
O glorious St. Joseph, you who have
the power to render possible, things that are, for us impossible,
come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. (mention your
Take this important and difficult affair under your particular
protection that it may end happily.
O dear St Joseph, all our confidence is in you. Let it not be said
that we would invoke in you vain, and since you are so powerful
with Jesus and Mary, show that your goodness equals your power.
O St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ and true
spouse of Mary the Virgin, pray for us.
This prayer may be said daily. it may also
serve as a Novena to be concluded by Holy Communion.
Prayer for Missionary
God our Father, your Son, Our Lord told us to
pray and pray often for what we want.
We pray to you not for ourselves.
We beg you to give the grace of vocation to young men and
To give up all and follow the Cross of Christ to the far corners of
May they train to become wise and holy missionaries,
Ready to bear the heat of the day in the fields of fear and
May they become the flickering flames for our brothers living in
the darkness of oppression and poverty.
Through our prayers and our missionaries May your name be
glorified, May the poor have the gospel preached to them, And may
our own faith be strengthened. We commend ourselves and our prayer
to the intercession of Our Lady of Vocations, To St. Joseph, our
patron, and to Our Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns
with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Now and for ever.
Prayer to St.
Joseph the Worker
O glorious St. Joseph, patron and model of all
who labour, obtain for me the grace; to work conscientiously,
putting the demands of my work before my ever-changing feeling; to
work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honour to develop,
by means of my work, the gifts God has given me; to work in an
orderly manner, with patience and perseverance, without too easily
giving in to weariness or difficulties; to work above all, with the
purity of intention and with detachment from self, keeping death in
mind and the account I will have to give God of time lost, talents
and material wasted, of good omitted, of complacency in success -
all so fatal to the work of God. "All for Jesus, all through Mary,
all after your example", blessed Joseph, such shall be my watchword
at my daily work, in life and in death. Amen. ~ Pope St. Pius
Alternative version:- Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labour,
obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in
expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously by placing love
of duty above my inclinations; to gratefully and joyously deem it
an honour to employ and to develop by labour the gifts I have
received from God, to work methodically, peacefully, and in
moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it through
weariness or difficulty to work; above all, with purity of
intention and unselfishness, having unceasingly before my eyes
death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents
unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success, so baneful
to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate
thee, O patriarch Saint Joseph! This shall be my motto for life and
eternity. ~ Pope Saint Pius X
Other Prayers to St.
Saint Teresa of Avila said this
about devotion to Saint Joseph: "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 that 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
thou, whom no one has ever yet invoked in vain, thou, whose power
with Our Lord and Our Lady is so great, that it has been truly
said, "In Heaven, Joseph commands rather than supplicates," tender
father, intercede for me!
St. Joseph, be my advocate with thy Divine Son, Whose foster-father
and faithful protector thou were here below. Add to all thy
glories, that of gaining the despaired of cause that I confide to
thee. I believe, yes, I believe thou canst obtain my deliverance
from the troubles that overwhelm me, and the desolation in which my
soul is plunged. I have the firm hope that thou wilt neglect
nothing in favour of the afflicted who invoke thee.
Humbly prostrate at thy feet, dear St. Joseph, I implore thee to
have pity on my tears, cover me with the mantle of thy merciful
protection and bless me. Amen. (added 20/03/09)
An Ancient Prayer to Saint
O 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. O 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. O St. 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. St. Joseph,
Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen
This novena to Saint Joseph, the foster father of Christ, is
often distributed on prayer cards with the following text: "This
prayer was found in the 50th year of Our Lord and Saviour 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 be burned in any fire or be
overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you
desire. It has never been known to fail, provided that the request
is for one's spiritual benefit or for those whom we are praying
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