Sunday, March 9, 2008
Dear Saint Joseph!
With St. Joseph's feast day fast approaching, I thought I'd say a little bit about him today here at "Moments of Inspiration With Your Favorite Saints." St. Joseph's feast day will be celebrated on March 15th this year rather than his usual day of March 19th since March 19th falls during Holy Week.
I can't thank St. Joseph enough for his great care for my family. Many years ago, my spiritual director and dear friend, Fr. Bill introduced me to St. Joseph. I was having some trouble with neighbors who were very unruly. I was a single mother at the time and lived in a two family house. The upstairs neighbors were usually drunk and even dropped bowling balls on their floor (my ceiling) to disturb me - seriously! Almost every week end, the guy who lived upstairs with his girlfriend would come home very late and very drunk and would start pounding on my walls and yell out the most obscene and terrible threatening things I have ever heard. I had to call the police each time and really feared for my safety and for my children. The police came out each time and the guy never got into much trouble until one time when they caught him in action. Then, of course, I had to be concerned that he was going to retaliate because I had called the police on him each time.
My dear Fr. Bill encouraged me to call upon St. Joseph and explained to me that since he was the head of the Holy Family, he would help my family too. I began a thirty day novena that day. On the thirtieth day, I heard the sound of a big truck outside. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes! It was a moving truck and the people were moving out! What an answer to prayer! I knew that St. Joseph had intervened and helped us.
St. Joseph continued to help us on more occasions than I can possibly tell you. I have "introduced" him to many people because I know that he is so powerful and a loving father. I know that he has helped in so many ways. St. Teresa of Avila has said that he has never failed to help her.
You can be sure that I will be telling you more about St. Joseph at this blog, but I wanted to at least jump in here now and share this story with you. Because I love St. Joseph so much, I have passed out probably thousands of prayer cards of St. Joseph and thirty day novena prayers to him. I once owned and operated a Catholic book and religious articles store years ago. I named it, "St Joseph's Corner!" I also named one of my sons, Joseph after dear St. Joseph.
This is the prayer that I prayed:
30 Day Novena to Saint Joseph
In honor of the years he spent with Jesus and Mary
[For Any Special Intention]
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 place 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 the loveliness and power that sacred, Name
Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable Infant.
I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of 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 into 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 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 share 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. [Here name your petitions or think of them.]
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
"A blameless life, St. Joseph, may we lead,
by your patronage from danger freed."
This prayer may be said during any 30 days of the year.
You may also say an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be each day for nine days or thirty days as the novena prayer. I happen to like the prayer above since it is in honor of the thirty years he spent with Jesus and Mary. I also say other novena prayers to Saint Joseph. I'm sure he doesn't mind what prayers you choose - just as long as you invoke his intercession. :) Now is a perfect time to pray a novena to him because of his feast day coming up.
Sarah at Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering recently shared a story about Saint Joseph in her life. She said, "I never paid much attention to St. Joseph, aside from acknowledging him as the head of the Holy Family in a rather passing way. I never thought much about him, aside from his patronage of my lovely little parish. I really never asked for his intercession or pondered his special role in salvation history. It sounds silly to me now, but it just never occurred to me..." (Continued here.)
By the way, you can be sure that dear Saint Joseph is included in my new Saints book, Catholic Saints Prayer Book!