St Joseph

Year of St Joseph

On the 8th December 2020 - the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church - Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter "Patris Corde" (With a Father's Heart), and announced a Year of St Joseph.  The Holy Father's intention is to "increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal."

Notable dates:

Every Wednesday: dedication to St Joseph.

The month of March: dedication to St Joseph.

10th to 18th March: National Novena to St Joseph. See the novena prayer booklet.

Friday 19th March:  Solemnity of St Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Saturday 1st May:  St Joseph the Worker.

Sunday 26th December:  The Holy Family.


Devotions to St Joseph during this year are enriched with plenary indulgences under the usual conditions of Holy Communion, Confession, prayer for the pope's intentions, and with a spirit detached from any sin.  A full list of qualifying devotions are listed here - there are plenty to choose from!  The indulgence "is also granted to the faithful who will recite the Litany to St. Joseph, or any other prayer to St. Joseph ... for the persecuted Church ... and for the relief of all Christians suffering all forms of persecution." 

With particular relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic, "the Plenary Indulgence extends particularly to the elderly, the sick, the suffering and all those who for legitimate reasons are unable to leave the house, and who with a soul detached from any sin and with the intention to fulfil, as soon as possible, the three customary conditions in their own home or wherever the impediment detains them, shall recite an act of piety in honour of Saint Joseph, Comfort of the Sick and Patron of a Happy Death, faithfully offering to God their suffering and the hardships of their life."

Prayer from Patris Corde

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son; in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too, show yourself a father and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from every evil. 

Prayer said daily by Pope Francis, taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary

Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph, 
whose power makes the impossible possible, 
come to my aid in these times of anguish and difficulty. 
Take under your protection the serious and troubling situations that I commend to you, 
that they may have a happy outcome. 
My beloved father, all my trust is in you. 
Let it not be said that I invoked you in vain, 
and since you can do everything with Jesus and Mary, 
show me that your goodness is as great as your power. 

Litany of St Joseph

(this version from "Consecration to St Joseph: The Wonders of our Spiritual Father" by Fr Donald Calloway, available in print, audio- and e-book formats from Amazon)

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.  Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,  have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,  have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,  have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,  have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,  pray for us.
Saint Joseph,  pray for us.
Noble offspring of David,  pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs,  pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God,  pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,  pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God,  pray for us.
Zealous defender of Christ,  pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family,  pray for us.

Joseph most just,  pray for us.
Joseph most chaste,  pray for us.
Joseph most prudent,  pray for us.
Joseph most courageous,  pray for us.
Joseph most obedient,  pray for us.
Joseph most faithful,  pray for us.

Mirror of patience,  pray for us.
Lover of poverty,  pray for us.
Model of workmen,  pray for us.
Glory of domestic life,  pray for us.
Guardian of virgins,  pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Comfort of the afflicted,  pray for us.

Hope of the sick,  pray for us.
Patron of the dying,  pray for us.
Terror of demons,  pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,  pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,  Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,  Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,  Have mercy on us.

V. He has made him the lord of his house: 
R. And prince over all his possessions. 

Let us pray. 
O God, who in your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother, grant us the favour of having him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector.  You, who live and reign forever and ever.  Amen.

Prayer from "Quamquam Pluries", the encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Devotion to St Joseph, 15th August 1889.  Can be recited especially after the rosary in the month of October.

To you, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under your protection.  Through that sacred bond of charity which united you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look graciously upon the beloved inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and to aid us in our necessities with your power and strength.

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen children of Jesus Christ.  Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption.  Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness.  And just as you once saved the Child Jesus from mortal danger, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity.  Shield us by your constant protection, so that, supported by your example and strengthened by your help, we may be able to live a virtuous life, die a happy death, and obtain everlasting bliss in heaven. 

St Joseph, Terror of Demons

Saint Joseph, Terror of Demons, 
cast your solemn gaze upon the devil and all his minions,
and protect us with your mighty staff.
You fled through the night to avoid the devil's wicked designs;
now with the power of God, smite the demons as they flee from you!
Grant special protection, we pray, 
for children, fathers, families, and the dying.
By God's grace, no demon dares approach while you are near,
so we beg you, always be near to us!

Further reading

"Redemptoris Custos" (Guardian of the Redeemer)

Apostolic Exhortation of St Pope John Paul II on the Person and Mission of St Joseph in the life of Christ and of the Church.  15th August 1989.