Tuesday, March 11, 2014

St. Joseph, pray for us

Nine days from now, on 19 March, the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Throughout most of the world, 19 March is a holy day of obligation. It is not in the United States, but it is a solemnity. Do we really need to be "obligated" in order to attend Mass on days other than Sundays?

I am a firm believer that every husband and father should have some kind of devotion to St. Joseph. I was deeply moved that, after being selected as pope on 13 March 2013, Pope Francis delayed his papal installation for a few days in order to celebrate it on St. Joseph's Solemnity, which is a huge day in Italy. St. Joseph is also the Patron of the Universal Church.

The significance of today being nine days prior to the Solemnity of St. Joseph is that it is the day we begin the annual Novena to him. I encourage everyone, but especially my fellow husbands and fathers, to find some time and fervently pray the following prayer for the next nine days. I would also encourage everyone who reads this and who participates in this novena to fast this Friday. End the Novena by going to Mass on 19 March. Arrive for Mass a bit early. If your parish Church has a statute, or image of St. Joseph, say your final novena prayer before it. If not, then simply say it in the Church. Go to confession during the Novena in order to make a good communion on his Solemnity.

Novena Prayer:
Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. I have special confidence in you. You are powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me, to your intercession. By the love you have for Jesus and Mary, do not abandon me during life, and assist me at the hour of my death

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, Foster-father of Jesus Christ, obtain for me a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and pefect resignation to the Divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the 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 here]. Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I am confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God
St. Joseph, pray for us.

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