The Life of Saint Jospeh
According to Sacred Scripture
Saint Joseph was of the House of David: a descendent of King David. The Gospels of Saint Mathew and Saint Luke provide us with much of what little we know of Saint Joseph.
The birth-place of Joseph was Bethlehem; yet, at the time of the Annunciation, Joseph seems to be living and working in Nazareth as a carpenter.
It was in Nazareth that Joseph was betrothed to and married Mary, who was to become the Mother of God. Finding Mary pregnant, Joseph seemed to be perplexed. He decided “to put her away privately; but while he thought about these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Spirit. … Joseph, rising from his sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took her as his wife” (Matthew 1:19, 20, 24).
Shortly before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, to be enrolled, according to the decree issued by Caesar Augustus: a new source of anxiety for Joseph, for “her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered”, and “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1-7).
Later, at the time of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, Joseph wondered about “those things which were spoken concerning him” (Luke 2:33).
Some time after the birth of Jesus, again in a dream, “an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the child and his mother, and flee into Egypt: and remain there until I tell you” (Matthew 2:13). This exile in Egypt lasted a few years.
This is the last the Sacred Scriptures tells us of Saint Joseph.
Prayers to Saint Joseph
Remember, O most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my sweet protector Saint Joseph that no one ever had recourse to your protection or implored your aid without obtaining relief. With solid confidence therefore in your goodness, I come before you, and humbly implore to you. Do not turn a deaf ear to my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them and answer them.
THE GOOD PROVIDER
Hail dear Spouse of the Virgin Mother Mary! Hail watchful Guardian and faithful Protector of her child! Joseph, best of Teachers! Hail Protector of the poor and frail! Hear me, kind Saint Joseph! Hear me who most needs your love and who knows you will not turn away from me in the hour of my great need.
V. Saint Joseph, pray for me!
R. Now and at the hour of my death.
O Glorious St. Joseph, you who have shown your power by rendering possible the things which I considered impossible, you came to my aid in my present troubles. This has now ended happily.
(Mention favor granted!)
Dear St. Joseph, you have strengthened my confidence in you. I know that I can call upon you in the future since you are so powerful with Jesus and Mary, showing that your goodness equals your power.
Dear SAINT JOSEPH: you were your-self once faced with the responsibility of providing for the necessities of life for Jesus and Mary. Look down with fatherly compassion upon me in my anxiety over my present inability to support my family. Please help me to find gainful employment very soon, so that this heavy burden of concern will be lifted from my heart, and that I am soon able to provide for those whom God has entrusted to my care.
Help my family to guard against bitterness and discouragement so that we may emerge from this trial spiritually enriched and with even greater blessings from God.
PEACEFUL AND HAPPY DEATH
O Glorious SAINT JOSEPH, behold I choose you today for my special patron in life and at the hour of my death. Preserve and increase in me the spirit of prayer and fervor in the service of God. Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my death may not come upon me unaware, but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally and to bewail them with a most perfect understanding and a most sincere and perfect contrition, in order that I may breathe forth my soul into the hands of Jesus and Mary.
PROTECTOR OF THE CHURCH
O Glorious SAINT JOSEPH, you were chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus, the most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, and the head of the Holy Family. You have been chosen by Christ’s Vicar as the heavenly Patron and Protector of the Church founded by Christ.
Protect the Sovereign Pontiff and all bishops and priests united with him. Be the protector of all who labor for souls amid the trials and tribulations of this life; and grant that all peoples of the world may be docile to the Church without which there is no salvation.
Dear SAINT JOSEPH, accept the offering I make to you. Be my father, protector, and guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me purity of heart and a love for the spiritual life. After your example, let all my actions be directed to the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and your own paternal heart. Finally, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death.
PROTECTOR OF THE FAMILY AND HOME
SAINT JOSEPH, protect our home. Pour forth from heaven blessings on our family. Remain in our midst. Help us to live in love and harmony, in peace and joy. May the wholesome fear of God strengthen us that virtue may adorn what we do and our way may lead to heaven.
To you this day I give the key to our dwelling place. Lock out all things that could do us harm. Lock my home and my loved ones with me in the hearts of Jesus and Mary. This I beg of you, that our days may be like your days in the holy home at Nazareth.