By tradition, the Catholic Church dedicates each month of the year to a certain devotion. In March, it is Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus. Fathers, in particular, should cultivate devotion to Saint Joseph, whom God Himself chose to care for His Son. Some or all of the following prayers to Saint Joseph can be incorporated into our daily prayers during this month.
This litany, approved by Pope St. Pius X (1903-14), shows the growing devotion to Saint Joseph in the 20th century. The list of titles applied to Saint Joseph, followed by his saintly attributes, reminds us that the foster father of Jesus is a perfect example of the Christian life. Like all litanies, the Litany of Saint Joseph is designed to be recited communally, but it can be prayed alone.
This beautiful prayer was composed by Blessed Pope John XXIII (1958-63). It places all workers under the patronage of St. Joseph the Worker, and asks for his intercession so that we may regard our work as a means of growing in holiness.
As the foster father of Jesus Christ, Saint Joseph is the patron saint of all fathers. This novena, or nine-day prayer, is therefore especially well suited for fathers to ask for the graces and strength necessary to rear their children well, or for children to pray on behalf of their fathers.
St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus, was a carpenter by trade, and thus he has always been regarded as the patron of workers. This novena is perfect for those times when we have an important project or assignment that we're having trouble completing.
As the foster father of Jesus and the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph protected the Holy Family from harm. In this prayer, we consecrate ourselves to Saint Joseph and ask him to protect us, too, especially at the hour of our death.
Sometimes, it's hard to convince ourselves to do the work that we need to do. Seeing a spiritual purpose in that work can help. This prayer to St. Joseph, patron of workers, helps us call to mind that all of our labor is, in fact, part of our struggle on the road to heaven.
As the foster father of Christ, Saint Joseph is, in a very real sense, the foster father of all Christians. We turn to him, then, in prayer, asking him to pray for us to the Son of God, whom he protected and reared.
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 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 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 for."
Throughout the Gospels, Saint Joseph remains silent, but his actions speak louder than words. He lives his life in service to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, in perfect conformity to the will of God. Therefore, it is appropriate that we ask Saint Joseph to pray for us, so that we, too, may live the lives that God wills us to live.