Novena to St Joseph
VIRGINAL HUSBAND OF MARY
Saint Joseph, I honour you as the true husband of Mary. Scripture says: “Jacob begot Joseph, the husband of Mary and of her was born Jesus who is called Christ” (Matt. 1:16). Your marriage to Mary was a sacred contract by which you and Mary gave yourselves to each other. Mary really belonged to you with all she was and had. You had a right to her love and obedience and no other person so won her esteem, obedience and love.
You were also the protector and witness of Mary’s virginity. By your marriage you gave to each other your virginity and also the mutual right over it — a right to safeguard the other’s virtue. This mutual virginity also belonged to the divine plan of the Incarnation, for God sent His angel to assure you that motherhood and virginity in Mary could be united.
This union of marriage not only brought you into daily familiar association with Mary, the loveliest of God’s creatures but also enabled you to share with her a mutual exchange of spiritual goods. And Mary found her edification in your calm, humble and deep virtue, purity and sanctity. What a great honour comes to you from this close union with her whom the Son of God calls Mother and whom He declared the Queen of heaven and earth! Whatever Mary had belonged by right to you also and this included her Son, even though He had been given to her by God in a wonderful way. Jesus belonged to you as His legal father. Your marriage was the way which God chose to have Jesus introduced into the world, a great divine mystery from which all benefits have come to us.
God the Son confided the guardianship and the support of His Immaculate Mother to your care. Mary’s life was that of the Mother of the Saviour, who did not come upon earth to enjoy honours and pleasures but to redeem the world by hard work, suffering and the cross. You were the faithful companion, support, and comforter of the Mother of Sorrows. How loyal you were to her in poverty, journeying, work and pain. Your love for Mary was based upon your esteem for her as Mother of God. After God and the Divine Child, you loved no one as much as her. Mary responded to this love. She submitted to your guidance with naturalness and easy grace and childlike confidence. The Holy Spirit Himself was the bond of the great love which united your hearts.
Saint Joseph, I thank God for your privilege of being the virginal husband of Mary. As a token of your own gratitude to God, obtain for me the grace to love Jesus with all my heart, as you did and love Mary with some of the tenderness and loyalty with which you loved her.
*NOVENA PRAYER *(prayer to be said at the end of each day’s devotion)
Saint Joseph, I, your unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you, for you are especially powerful with God and will never abandon your faithful servants. Therefore, I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.
Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind and perfect 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 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 feel confident that your prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God. Amen.
Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer but graciously receive them. Amen.