Novena in preparation for the Feast of St. Joseph
Last year in December Pope Francis announced a Year of St. Joseph, in honour of the 150th anniversary of the saint’s proclamation as patron of the Universal Church.
The Church observes the passage of time through the liturgical calendar – which includes feasts such as Easter and Christmas, Lent and Advent. IN ADDITION, however, popes can set aside time for the Church to reflect more deeply on a specific aspect of Catholic teaching or belief.
WHY A YEAR OF SAINT JOSEPH?
The 8th December 2020, marked the 150th anniversary of Saint Joseph being proclaimed as PATRON OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH.
Pope Francis also said that the coronavirus pandemic had heightened his desire to reflect on Saint Joseph, as so many people during the pandemic had made hidden sacrifices to protect others, just as Saint Joseph quietly protected and cared for Mary and Jesus. He said he also wanted to highlight Saint Joseph’s role as a father who served his family with charity and humility, adding, “Our world today needs fathers.”
WHAT SPECIAL GRACES ARE AVAILABLE DURING THIS YEAR?
As Catholics pray and reflect on the life of Saint Joseph throughout this year, they also have opportunities to gain a plenary indulgence, or remission of all temporal punishment due to sin. An indulgence can be applied to oneself or to a soul in Purgatory.
An indulgence requires a specific act, defined by the Church, as well as sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, prayer for the Pope’s intentions, and full detachment from sin.
WHY DOES THE CHURCH HONOUR SAINT JOSEPH?
Catholics do not worship saints, but ask for their heavenly intercession before God and seek to imitate their virtues here on earth. The Catholic Church honours Saint Joseph as the foster father of Jesus. He is invoked as the patron saint of the Universal Church. He is also a patron of workers, fathers and a happy death.
DAY ONE: SAINT JOSEPH THE FOSTER FATHER OF JESUS
Saint Joseph, you were privileged to share in the mystery of the Incarnation as the foster-father of Jesus. In a direct manner you shared in the support, upbringing and protection of the Holy Family.
God gave you a heart that was filled with supernatural love, far deeper and more powerful than any natural father’s love could be.
What a wonderful and sublime vocation was yours to be the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. In your house at Nazareth and under your care, Jesus, the Redeemer of the world was preparing himself for his public ministry.
Joseph, I honour you and implore, through your powerful intercession, to obtain from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death and the special grace I now implore:
(mention your request ………………….).
Guardian of the Word incarnate, I am confident that your prayers, on my behalf, will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
THE ‘YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH’ PRAYER
To you, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our afflictions, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be kind to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and your aid, we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.
FOR THE INTENTIONS OF OUR HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS
Our Father; Hail Mary; Glory be to the Father….
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. Pray for us.