Year of St. Joseph, December 8, 2020-21 – Spiritual Toolkit


In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Decree Quemadmodum Deus, with which Bl. Pius IX declared St. Joseph the Patron of the Catholic Church, the Church has declared December 8, 2020-2021 as the “Year of St. Joseph”.


O dearest Saint Joseph,
I consecrate myself to thine honour and give myself to thee,
that thou mayest always be my father,
my protector and my guide in the way of salvation.
Obtain for me a greater purity of heart
and fervent love of the interior life.
After thine example, may I do all my actions
for the greater glory of God,
in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
O Blessed Saint Joseph, pray for me,
that I may share in the peace
and joy of thy holy death.


What does it mean for a person to be consecrated to St. Joseph?

“Well, it basically means that you acknowledge that he is your spiritual father, and you want to be like him. To show it, you entrust yourself entirely into his paternal care so that he can help you acquire his virtues and become holy. Total consecration to St. Joseph means you make a formal act of filial entrustment to your spiritual father so that he can take care of your spiritual well-being and lead you to God. The person who consecrates himself to St. Joseph wants to be as close to their spiritual father as possible, to the point of resembling him in virtue and holiness. Saint Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his undivided attention, protection, and guidance.” – Fr. Don Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father



  • “At Nazareth Joseph’s days were filled with work which necessarily took him away at times from his Infant God. During these hours Mary replaced him, but when evening brought him home again, he would pass the entire night in adoration, never tiring, only too happy for the chance to contemplate the hidden riches of Jesus’ divinity. For he pierced the rough garments the Child wore, until his faith touched the Sacred Heart. In profound adoration he united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father — and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries — is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration.”– St. Peter Julian Eymard
  • “We have close to us as much as Joseph had at Nazareth; we have our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but our poor eyes fail to see Him. Let us once become interior souls and we shall immediately see. In no better way can we enter into the Heart of our Lord than through Saint Joseph. Jesus and Mary are eager to pay the debts which they owe him for his devoted care of them, and their greatest pleasure is to fulfill his least desire. Let him, then, lead you by hand into the interior sanctuary of Jesus Eucharistic.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard
  • “We cannot help but marvel at the faith of Saint Joseph. Tormenting doubts harass his soul and he is on the point of leaving Mary. But an angel appears to him and all his doubts and fears vanish. On the angel’s word He accepts the mystery of the Incarnation. In the ensuing years his faith was to be frequently put to the test. At Bethlehem he had to content himself with a stable for a home where the Incarnate Word might be born. Soon after, he was forced to flee in order to save the Infant God, and when later he returned to the tiny village of Nazareth it was to live there unknown and in dire poverty. All these trials only tempered his faith. Although he sees only the Child’s wretchedness and poverty, his faith pierces the shroud and uncovers the hidden God within this weak baby frame. Because his faith was so strong, Joseph’s mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. At the same time respect the veil of love and make the immolation of your mind and heart your most beautiful homage of faith.– St. Peter Julian Eymard
  • “St. Joseph worshipped Jesus as no saint before had done. From his deep, calm soul he poured out a very ocean of love – tenderest love, humblest love, love shrinking from being like the Father’s love, yet also daring to be like it as Mary’s had been like the conjoined loves of Father and of Spirit, as she was Mother and Spouse conjoined. No angel might love Jesus as Joseph loved Him, as Joseph was bound to love Him. No temporal love but Mary’s could be more like an eternal love than the love of Joseph for the Child, because of its likeness to the love of the everlasting Father. Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of Our Lord.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard
  • In the consecrated Host we find the same Jesus whom Mary brought into the world, whom the shepherds found wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger; whom Mary and Joseph nurtures and watched over as He grew before their eyes; the Jesus who called the apostles to follow Him, who captivated and taught the multitudes, who performed the most startling miracles; who said He was the “light” and “life” of the world, who forgave Magdalen and raised Lazarus from the deas; who for love of us sweat blood, received the kiss of a traitor, was made one enormous wound, and died on the Cross; that same Jesus who rose again and appeared to the Apostles and in whose wounds Thomas put his finger; who ascended into heaven, who now is seated in glory at the right hand of His Father, and who, in union with the Father, sends us the Holy Spirit. – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
The entire quote on St. Joseph: Perpetual Adorer by St. Peter Julian Eymard (this includes two of the above quotes):

“In profound adoration he [St. Joseph] united himself to the special grace of each one of the events in the life of Jesus. He adored our Lord in His hidden life and in His Passion and Death; he adored in advance the Eucharistic Christ in His tabernacles: there was nothing that our Lord could hide from Saint Joseph. Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of our Lord.

How greatly the Word Incarnate was glorified by the adoration of Mary and Joseph as they atoned for the indifference and ingratitude of His creatures!

St. Joseph joined with Mary in adoration and united himself to Christ, Whose heart surged with sentiments of adoration, love and praise for the Father and of charity for men.

Saint Joseph’s adoration kept pace with every stage of our Lord’s life, drawing upon the grace, the spirit, and the virtue of each mystery. In the Incarnation he adored the self-annihilation of the Son of God; at Bethlehem, the poverty; at Nazareth, the silence, the apparent weakness, the obedience, and all the other virtues of Christ. He knew them well and he grasped clearly the reason why Christ practiced them — for the love and glory of His Heavenly Father.

“Faith, humility, purity, and love — these were the keynotes of his adoration. No saint ever vibrated with a more ardent faith or bowed down in deeper humility; no angel ever glistened with brighter purity; and as for his love, neither saint nor angel ever has or ever will come within range of his burning charity which expressed itself so fully in devotedness.

Because his faith was so strong, Joseph’s mind and heart bowed in perfect adoration. Imitate his faith as you kneel before the humble Christ annihilated in the Eucharist. Pierce the veil which covers this furnace of love and adore the hidden God. At the same time respect the veil of love and make the immolation of your mind and heart your most beautiful homage of faith.

Among the graces which Jesus gave to His foster-father — and He flooded him with the graces attached to every one of His mysteries — is that special to an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament. That is the one we must ask of St. Joseph. Have confidence, strong confidence in him. Take him as the patron and the model of your life of adoration.

From close union with this holy adorer I shall learn to adore our Lord and to live in intimacy with Him. I shall then be the Joseph of the Eucharist as he was the Joseph of Nazareth.”

“The St. Josemaria Institute was founded in 2006 to promote the life, teachings, and devotion to St. Josemaria Escriva among all men and women who desire to find meaning and happiness in their daily lives by growing closer to God. The St. Josemaria Institute produces and distributes digital and print media as a means to spread Christian values around the world and to help people navigate and live well in the digital age.”

The St. Josemaria Institute shared a “Spiritual Toolkit” to celebrate and aid our devotion to St. Joseph during this special year.







  • “Saint Joseph, our Father and Lord: most chaste, most pure. You were found worthy to carry the Child Jesus in your arms, to wash him, to hug him. Teach us to get to know God, and to be pure, worthy of being other Christs. And help us to do and to teach, as Christ did. Help us to open up the divine paths of the earth, which are both hidden and bright; and help us to show them to mankind, telling our fellow men that their lives on earth can have an extraordinary and constant supernatural effectiveness” (The Forge, no. 553).
  • “A master of interior life, a worker deeply involved in his job, God’s servant in continual contact with Jesus: that is Joseph. Ite ad Ioseph. With St Joseph, the Christian learns what it means to belong to God and fully to assume one’s place among men, sanctifying the world. Get to know Joseph and you will find Jesus. Talk to Joseph and you will find Mary, who always sheds peace about her in that attractive workshop in Nazareth” (Christ is Passing By, no. 56).
  • “Look at St. Joseph. How can we fail to love him, since we want to have interior life. Interior life is personal contact with Mary and with Jesus, with God and with the Mother of God. Who was closer to God and the Mother of God than Joseph, the Holy Patriarch? No one. That’s why we love him so much and we go to him” (Video Excerpt, St. Josemaria: Devotion to St. Joseph).




WITH A FATHER’S HEART: that is how Joseph loved Jesus, whom all four Gospels refer to as “the son of Joseph”.[1]

Matthew and Luke, the two Evangelists who speak most of Joseph, tell us very little, yet enough for us to appreciate what sort of father he was, and the mission entrusted to him by God’s providence.

We know that Joseph was a lowly carpenter (cf. Mt 13:55), betrothed to Mary (cf. Mt 1:18; Lk 1:27). He was a “just man” (Mt 1:19), ever ready to carry out God’s will as revealed to him in the Law (cf. Lk 2:22.27.39) and through four dreams (cf. Mt 1:20; 2:13.19.22). After a long and tiring journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, he beheld the birth of the Messiah in a stable, since “there was no place for them” elsewhere (cf. Lk 2:7). He witnessed the adoration of the shepherds (cf. Lk 2:8-20) and the Magi (cf. Mt 2:1-12), who represented respectively the people of Israel and the pagan peoples.

Joseph had the courage to become the legal father of Jesus, to whom he gave the name revealed by the angel: “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:21). As we know, for ancient peoples, to give a name to a person or to a thing, as Adam did in the account in the Book of Genesis (cf. 2:19-20), was to establish a relationship.

In the Temple, forty days after Jesus’ birth, Joseph and Mary offered their child to the Lord and listened with amazement to Simeon’s prophecy concerning Jesus and his Mother (cf. Lk 2:22-35). To protect Jesus from Herod, Joseph dwelt as a foreigner in Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-18). After returning to his own country, he led a hidden life in the tiny and obscure village of Nazareth in Galilee, far from Bethlehem, his ancestral town, and from Jerusalem and the Temple. Of Nazareth it was said, “No prophet is to rise” (cf. Jn 7:52) and indeed, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (cf. Jn 1:46). When, during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Joseph and Mary lost track of the twelve-year-old Jesus, they anxiously sought him out and they found him in the Temple, in discussion with the doctors of the Law (cf. Lk 2:41-50).

After Mary, the Mother of God, no saint is mentioned more frequently in the papal magisterium than Joseph, her spouse. My Predecessors reflected on the message contained in the limited information handed down by the Gospels in order to appreciate more fully his central role in the history of salvation. Blessed Pius IX declared him “Patron of the Catholic Church”,[2] Venerable Pius XII proposed him as “Patron of Workers”[3] and Saint John Paul II as “Guardian of the Redeemer”.[4] Saint Joseph is universally invoked as the “patron of a happy death”.[5]

Now, one hundred and fifty years after his proclamation as Patron of the Catholic Church by Blessed Pius IX (8 December 1870), I would like to share some personal reflections on this extraordinary figure, so close to our own human experience. For, as Jesus says, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt 12:34). My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how “our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone… How many people daily exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all”.[6] Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.

1. A beloved father

The greatness of Saint Joseph is that he was the spouse of Mary and the father of Jesus. In this way, he placed himself, in the words of Saint John Chrysostom, “at the service of the entire plan of salvation”.[7]

Saint Paul VI pointed out that Joseph concretely expressed his fatherhood “by making his life a sacrificial service to the mystery of the incarnation and its redemptive purpose. He employed his legal authority over the Holy Family to devote himself completely to them in his life and work. He turned his human vocation to domestic love into a superhuman oblation of himself, his heart and all his abilities, a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home”.[8]

Thanks to his role in salvation history, Saint Joseph has always been venerated as a father by the Christian people. This is shown by the countless churches dedicated to him worldwide, the numerous religious Institutes, Confraternities and ecclesial groups inspired by his spirituality and bearing his name, and the many traditional expressions of piety in his honour. Innumerable holy men and women were passionately devoted to him. Among them was Teresa of Avila, who chose him as her advocate and intercessor, had frequent recourse to him and received whatever graces she asked of him. Encouraged by her own experience, Teresa persuaded others to cultivate devotion to Joseph.[9]

Every prayer book contains prayers to Saint Joseph. Special prayers are offered to him each Wednesday and especially during the month of March, which is traditionally dedicated to him.[10]

Popular trust in Saint Joseph is seen in the expression “Go to Joseph”, which evokes the famine in Egypt, when the Egyptians begged Pharaoh for bread. He in turn replied: “Go to Joseph; what he says to you, do” (Gen 41:55). Pharaoh was referring to Joseph the son of Jacob, who was sold into slavery because of the jealousy of his brothers (cf. Gen 37:11-28) and who – according to the biblical account – subsequently became viceroy of Egypt (cf. Gen 41:41-44).

As a descendant of David (cf. Mt 1:16-20), from whose stock Jesus was to spring according to the promise made to David by the prophet Nathan (cf. 2 Sam 7), and as the spouse of Mary of Nazareth, Saint Joseph stands at the crossroads between the Old and New Testaments.

2. A tender and loving father

Joseph saw Jesus grow daily “in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favour” (Lk 2:52). As the Lord had done with Israel, so Joseph did with Jesus: he taught him to walk, taking him by the hand; he was for him like a father who raises an infant to his cheeks, bending down to him and feeding him (cf. Hos 11:3-4).

In Joseph, Jesus saw the tender love of God: “As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him” (Ps 103:13).

In the synagogue, during the praying of the Psalms, Joseph would surely have heard again and again that the God of Israel is a God of tender love,[11] who is good to all, whose “compassion is over all that he has made” (Ps 145:9).

The history of salvation is worked out “in hope against hope” (Rom 4:18), through our weaknesses. All too often, we think that God works only through our better parts, yet most of his plans are realized in and despite our frailty. Thus Saint Paul could say: “To keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Cor 12:7-9).

Since this is part of the entire economy of salvation, we must learn to look upon our weaknesses with tender mercy.[12]

The evil one makes us see and condemn our frailty, whereas the Spirit brings it to light with tender love. Tenderness is the best way to touch the frailty within us. Pointing fingers and judging others are frequently signs of an inability to accept our own weaknesses, our own frailty. Only tender love will save us from the snares of the accuser (cf. Rev 12:10). That is why it is so important to encounter God’s mercy, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we experience his truth and tenderness. Paradoxically, the evil one can also speak the truth to us, yet he does so only to condemn us. We know that God’s truth does not condemn, but instead welcomes, embraces, sustains and forgives us. That truth always presents itself to us like the merciful father in Jesus’ parable (cf. Lk 15:11-32). It comes out to meet us, restores our dignity, sets us back on our feet and rejoices for us, for, as the father says: “This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (v. 24).

Even through Joseph’s fears, God’s will, his history and his plan were at work. Joseph, then, teaches us that faith in God includes believing that he can work even through our fears, our frailties and our weaknesses. He also teaches us that amid the tempests of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture.

3. An obedient father

As he had done with Mary, God revealed his saving plan to Joseph. He did so by using dreams, which in the Bible and among all ancient peoples, were considered a way for him to make his will known.[13]

Joseph was deeply troubled by Mary’s mysterious pregnancy. He did not want to “expose her to public disgrace”,[14] so he decided to “dismiss her quietly” (Mt 1:19).

In the first dream, an angel helps him resolve his grave dilemma: “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Mt 1:20-21). Joseph’s response was immediate: “When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). Obedience made it possible for him to surmount his difficulties and spare Mary.

In the second dream, the angel tells Joseph: “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him” (Mt 2:13). Joseph did not hesitate to obey, regardless of the hardship involved: “He got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod” (Mt 2:14-15).

In Egypt, Joseph awaited with patient trust the angel’s notice that he could safely return home. In a third dream, the angel told him that those who sought to kill the child were dead and ordered him to rise, take the child and his mother, and return to the land of Israel (cf. Mt 2:19-20). Once again, Joseph promptly obeyed. “He got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel” (Mt 2:21).

During the return journey, “when Joseph heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream” – now for the fourth time – “he went away to the district of Galilee. There he made his home in a town called Nazareth” (Mt 2:22-23).

The evangelist Luke, for his part, tells us that Joseph undertook the long and difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem to be registered in his family’s town of origin in the census of the Emperor Caesar Augustus. There Jesus was born (cf. Lk 2:7) and his birth, like that of every other child, was recorded in the registry of the Empire. Saint Luke is especially concerned to tell us that Jesus’ parents observed all the prescriptions of the Law: the rites of the circumcision of Jesus, the purification of Mary after childbirth, the offering of the firstborn to God (cf. 2:21-24).[15]

In every situation, Joseph declared his own “fiat”, like those of Mary at the Annunciation and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

In his role as the head of a family, Joseph taught Jesus to be obedient to his parents (cf. Lk 2:51), in accordance with God’s command (cf. Ex 20:12).

During the hidden years in Nazareth, Jesus learned at the school of Joseph to do the will of the Father. That will was to be his daily food (cf. Jn 4:34). Even at the most difficult moment of his life, in Gethsemane, Jesus chose to do the Father’s will rather than his own,[16] becoming “obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).  The author of the Letter to the Hebrews thus concludes that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (5:8).

All this makes it clear that “Saint Joseph was called by God to serve the person and mission of Jesus directly through the exercise of his fatherhood” and that in this way, “he cooperated in the fullness of time in the great mystery of salvation and is truly a minister of salvation.”[17]

4. An accepting father

Joseph accepted Mary unconditionally. He trusted in the angel’s words.  “The nobility of Joseph’s heart is such that what he learned from the law he made dependent on charity. Today, in our world where psychological, verbal and physical violence towards women is so evident, Joseph appears as the figure of a respectful and sensitive man. Even though he does not understand the bigger picture, he makes a decision to protect Mary’s good name, her dignity and her life. In his hesitation about how best to act, God helped him by enlightening his judgment”.[18]

Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Our first reaction is frequently one of disappointment and rebellion. Joseph set aside his own ideas in order to accept the course of events and, mysterious as they seemed, to embrace them, take responsibility for them and make them part of his own history. Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow.

The spiritual path that Joseph traces for us is not one that explains, but accepts. Only as a result of this acceptance, this reconciliation, can we begin to glimpse a broader history, a deeper meaning. We can almost hear an echo of the impassioned reply of Job to his wife, who had urged him to rebel against the evil he endured: “Shall we receive the good at the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job 2:10).

Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments.

Jesus’ appearance in our midst is a gift from the Father, which makes it possible for each of us to be reconciled to the flesh of our own history, even when we fail to understand it completely.

Just as God told Joseph: “Son of David, do not be afraid!” (Mt 1:20), so he seems to tell us: “Do not be afraid!” We need to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the way things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage. In this way, we become open to a deeper meaning. Our lives can be miraculously reborn if we find the courage to live them in accordance with the Gospel. It does not matter if everything seems to have gone wrong or some things can no longer be fixed. God can make flowers spring up from stony ground. Even if our heart condemns us, “God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 Jn 3:20).

Here, once again, we encounter that Christian realism which rejects nothing that exists. Reality, in its mysterious and irreducible complexity, is the bearer of existential meaning, with all its lights and shadows. Thus, the Apostle Paul can say: “We know that all things work together for good, for those who love God” (Rom 8:28). To which Saint Augustine adds, “even that which is called evil (etiam illud quod malum dicitur)”.[19] In this greater perspective, faith gives meaning to every event, however happy or sad.

Nor should we ever think that believing means finding facile and comforting solutions. The faith Christ taught us is what we see in Saint Joseph. He did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it.

Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak (cf. 1 Cor 1:27). He is the “Father of orphans and protector of widows” (Ps 68:6), who commands us to love the stranger in our midst.[20]  I like to think that it was from Saint Joseph that Jesus drew inspiration for the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32).

5. A creatively courageous father

If the first stage of all true interior healing is to accept our personal history and embrace even the things in life that we did not choose, we must now add another important element: creative courage. This emerges especially in the way we deal with difficulties. In the face of difficulty, we can either give up and walk away, or somehow engage with it. At times, difficulties bring out resources we did not even think we had.

As we read the infancy narratives, we may often wonder why God did not act in a more direct and clear way. Yet God acts through events and people.  Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption. He was the true “miracle” by which God saves the child and his mother. God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage. Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, as best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world (cf. Lk 2:6-7). Faced with imminent danger from Herod, who wanted to kill the child, Joseph was warned once again in a dream to protect the child, and rose in the middle of the night to prepare the flight into Egypt (cf. Mt 2:13-14).

A superficial reading of these stories can often give the impression that the world is at the mercy of the strong and mighty, but the “good news” of the Gospel consists in showing that, for all the arrogance and violence of worldly powers, God always finds a way to carry out his saving plan. So too, our lives may at times seem to be at the mercy of the powerful, but the Gospel shows us what counts. God always finds a way to save us, provided we show the same creative courage as the carpenter of Nazareth, who was able to turn a problem into a possibility by trusting always in divine providence.

If at times God seems not to help us, surely this does not mean that we have been abandoned, but instead are being trusted to plan, to be creative, and to find solutions ourselves.

That kind of creative courage was shown by the friends of the paralytic, who lowered him from the roof in order to bring him to Jesus (cf. Lk 5:17-26). Difficulties did not stand in the way of those friends’ boldness and persistence. They were convinced that Jesus could heal the man, and “finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you’” (vv. 19-20). Jesus recognized the creative faith with which they sought to bring their sick friend to him.

The Gospel does not tell us how long Mary, Joseph and the child remained in Egypt. Yet they certainly needed to eat, to find a home and employment. It does not take much imagination to fill in those details. The Holy Family had to face concrete problems like every other family, like so many of our migrant brothers and sisters who, today too, risk their lives to escape misfortune and hunger. In this regard, I consider Saint Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty.

At the end of every account in which Joseph plays a role, the Gospel tells us that he gets up, takes the child and his mother, and does what God commanded him (cf. Mt 1:24; 2:14.21). Indeed, Jesus and Mary his Mother are the most precious treasure of our faith.[21]

In the divine plan of salvation, the Son is inseparable from his Mother, from Mary, who “advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son until she stood at the cross”.[22]

We should always consider whether we ourselves are protecting Jesus and Mary, for they are also mysteriously entrusted to our own responsibility, care and safekeeping. The Son of the Almighty came into our world in a state of great vulnerability. He needed to be defended, protected, cared for and raised by Joseph. God trusted Joseph, as did Mary, who found in him someone who would not only save her life, but would always provide for her and her child. In this sense, Saint Joseph could not be other than the Guardian of the Church, for the Church is the continuation of the Body of Christ in history, even as Mary’s motherhood is reflected in the motherhood of the Church.[23] In his continued protection of the Church, Joseph continues to protect the child and his mother, and we too, by our love for the Church, continue to love the child and his mother.

That child would go on to say: “As you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).  Consequently, every poor, needy, suffering or dying person, every stranger, every prisoner, every infirm person is “the child” whom Joseph continues to protect. For this reason, Saint Joseph is invoked as protector of the unfortunate, the needy, exiles, the afflicted, the poor and the dying.  Consequently, the Church cannot fail to show a special love for the least of our brothers and sisters, for Jesus showed a particular concern for them and personally identified with them. From Saint Joseph, we must learn that same care and responsibility. We must learn to love the child and his mother, to love the sacraments and charity, to love the Church and the poor. Each of these realities is always the child and his mother.

6. A working father

An aspect of Saint Joseph that has been emphasized from the time of the first social Encyclical, Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, is his relation to work. Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labour.

In our own day, when employment has once more become a burning social issue, and unemployment at times reaches record levels even in nations that for decades have enjoyed a certain degree of prosperity, there is a renewed need to appreciate the importance of dignified work, of which Saint Joseph is an exemplary patron.

Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation, an opportunity to hasten the coming of the Kingdom, to develop our talents and abilities, and to put them at the service of society and fraternal communion. It becomes an opportunity for the fulfilment not only of oneself, but also of that primary cell of society which is the family. A family without work is particularly vulnerable to difficulties, tensions, estrangement and even break-up. How can we speak of human dignity without working to ensure that everyone is able to earn a decent living?

Working persons, whatever their job may be, are cooperating with God himself, and in some way become creators of the world around us. The crisis of our time, which is economic, social, cultural and spiritual, can serve as a summons for all of us to rediscover the value, the importance and necessity of work for bringing about a new “normal” from which no one is excluded. Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work. The loss of employment that affects so many of our brothers and sisters, and has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, should serve as a summons to review our priorities. Let us implore Saint Joseph the Worker to help us find ways to express our firm conviction that no young person, no person at all, no family should be without work!

7. A father in the shadows

The Polish writer Jan Dobraczyński, in his book The Shadow of the Father,[24] tells the story of Saint Joseph’s life in the form of a novel. He uses the evocative image of a shadow to define Joseph. In his relationship to Jesus, Joseph was the earthly shadow of the heavenly Father: he watched over him and protected him, never leaving him to go his own way. We can think of Moses’ words to Israel: “In the wilderness… you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as one carries a child, all the way that you travelled” (Deut 1:31). In a similar way, Joseph acted as a father for his whole life.[25]

Fathers are not born, but made. A man does not become a father simply by bringing a child into the world, but by taking up the responsibility to care for that child. Whenever a man accepts responsibility for the life of another, in some way he becomes a father to that person.

Children today often seem orphans, lacking fathers. The Church too needs fathers. Saint Paul’s words to the Corinthians remain timely: “Though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers” (1 Cor 4:15). Every priest or bishop should be able to add, with the Apostle: “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel” (ibid.). Paul likewise calls the Galatians: “My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!” (4:19).

Being a father entails introducing children to life and reality. Not holding them back, being overprotective or possessive, but rather making them capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities. Perhaps for this reason, Joseph is traditionally called a “most chaste” father. That title is not simply a sign of affection, but the summation of an attitude that is the opposite of possessiveness. Chastity is freedom from possessiveness in every sphere of one’s life. Only when love is chaste, is it truly love. A possessive love ultimately becomes dangerous: it imprisons, constricts and makes for misery. God himself loved humanity with a chaste love; he left us free even to go astray and set ourselves against him. The logic of love is always the logic of freedom, and Joseph knew how to love with extraordinary freedom. He never made himself the centre of things. He did not think of himself, but focused instead on the lives of Mary and Jesus.

Joseph found happiness not in mere self-sacrifice but in self-gift. In him, we never see frustration but only trust. His patient silence was the prelude to concrete expressions of trust. Our world today needs fathers. It has no use for tyrants who would domineer others as a means of compensating for their own needs. It rejects those who confuse authority with authoritarianism, service with servility, discussion with oppression, charity with a welfare mentality, power with destruction. Every true vocation is born of the gift of oneself, which is the fruit of mature sacrifice. The priesthood and consecrated life likewise require this kind of maturity. Whatever our vocation, whether to marriage, celibacy or virginity, our gift of self will not come to fulfilment if it stops at sacrifice; were that the case, instead of becoming a sign of the beauty and joy of love, the gift of self would risk being an expression of unhappiness, sadness and frustration.

When fathers refuse to live the lives of their children for them, new and unexpected vistas open up. Every child is the bearer of a unique mystery that can only be brought to light with the help of a father who respects that child’s freedom. A father who realizes that he is most a father and educator at the point when he becomes “useless”, when he sees that his child has become independent and can walk the paths of life unaccompanied. When he becomes like Joseph, who always knew that his child was not his own but had merely been entrusted to his care. In the end, this is what Jesus would have us understand when he says: “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven” (Mt 23:9).

In every exercise of our fatherhood, we should always keep in mind that it has nothing to do with possession, but is rather a “sign” pointing to a greater fatherhood. In a way, we are all like Joseph: a shadow of the heavenly Father, who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mt 5:45). And a shadow that follows his Son.

* * *

“Get up, take the child and his mother” (Mt 2:13), God told Saint Joseph.

The aim of this Apostolic Letter is to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal.

Indeed, the proper mission of the saints is not only to obtain miracles and graces, but to intercede for us before God, like Abraham[26] and Moses[27], and like Jesus, the “one mediator” (1 Tim 2:5), who is our “advocate” with the Father (1 Jn 2:1) and who “always lives to make intercession for [us]” (Heb 7:25; cf. Rom 8:34).

The saints help all the faithful “to strive for the holiness and the perfection of their particular state of life”.[28] Their lives are concrete proof that it is possible to put the Gospel into practice.

Jesus told us: “Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Mt 11:29). The lives of the saints too are examples to be imitated. Saint Paul explicitly says this: “Be imitators of me!” (1 Cor 4:16).[29] By his eloquent silence, Saint Joseph says the same.

Before the example of so many holy men and women, Saint Augustine asked himself: “What they could do, can you not also do?” And so he drew closer to his definitive conversion, when he could exclaim: “Late have I loved you, Beauty ever ancient, ever new!”[30]

We need only ask Saint Joseph for the grace of graces: our conversion.

Let us now make our prayer to him:

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. Amen.

Given in Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on 8 December, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the year 2020, the eighth of my Pontificate.



[1] Lk 4:22; Jn 6:42; cf. Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3.

[2] S. RITUUM CONGREGATIO, Quemadmodum Deus (8 December 1870): ASS 6 (1870-71), 194.

[3] Cf. Address to ACLI on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Worker (1 May 1955): AAS 47 (1955), 406.

[4] Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (15 August 1989): AAS 82 (1990), 5-34.

[5] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1014.

[6] Meditation in the Time of Pandemic (27 March 2020): L’Osservatore Romano, 29 March 2020, p. 10.

[7] In Matthaeum Homiliae, V, 3: PG 57, 58.

[8] Homily (19 March 1966): Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, IV (1966), 110.

[9] Cf. Autobiography, 6, 6-8.

[10] Every day, for over forty years, following Lauds I have recited a prayer to Saint Joseph taken from a nineteenth-century French prayer book of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It expresses devotion and trust, and even poses a certain challenge to Saint Joseph: “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. Amen.”

[11] Cf. Deut 4:31; Ps 69:16; 78:38; 86:5; 111:4; 116:5; Jer 31:20.

[12] Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 88, 288: AAS 105 (2013), 1057, 1136-1137.

[13] Cf. Gen 20:3; 28:12; 31:11.24; 40:8; 41:1-32; Num 12:6; 1 Sam 3:3-10; Dan 2, 4; Job 33:15.

[14] In such cases, provisions were made even for stoning (cf. Deut 22:20-21).

[15] Cf. Lev 12:1-8; Ex 13:2.

[16] Cf. Mt 26:39; Mk 14:36; Lk 22:42.

[17] SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (15 August 1989), 8: AAS 82 (1990), 14.

[18] Homily at Mass and Beatifications, Villavicencio, Colombia (8 September 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1061.

[19] Enchiridion de fide, spe et caritate, 3.11: PL 40, 236.

[20] Cf. Deut 10:19; Ex 22:20-22; Lk 10:29-37.

[21] Cf. S. RITUUM CONGREGATIO, Quemadmodum Deus (8 December 1870): ASS 6 (1870-1871), 193; BLESSED PIUS IX, Apostolic Letter Inclytum Patriarcham (7 July 1871): l.c., 324-327.

[22] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 58.

[23] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 963-970.

[24] Original edition: Cień Ojca, Warsaw, 1977.

[25] Cf. SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, 7-8: AAS 82 (1990), 12-16.

[26] Cf. Gen 18:23-32.

[27] Cf. Ex 17:8-13; 32:30-35.

[28] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, 42.

[29] Cf. 1 Cor 11:1; Phil 3:17; 1 Thess 1:6.

[30] Confessions, VIII, 11, 27: PL 32, 761; X, 27, 38: PL 32, 795.

“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord” (I Col. 11:27-29).



St. Joseph the Protector, A Nine-Day Preparation for Entrustment to St. Joseph by Fr. Mark Goring

Fr. Don Calloway’s book about making a 30 day consecration to St. Joseph can be ordered here:


(According to the Usage of the Kyivan Church of the Catholic Communion)

O righteous Joseph! Chosen protector of the Most-Holy Virgin, Mary, and instructor and nurturer of the God-Man: glorifying your service to the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation of God the Word, we dedicate hymns of praise to you. Standing now before the throne of Christ our God, and having great boldness before Him, pray for us that cry out to you:
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Preserving the mystery of the birth of God the Word by the all-Pure Virgin, which is inaccessible even to the angels, from the slander of people and the craft of the devil, God chose you, O righteous Joseph, a lowly carpenter, to be the protector and witness of the virginity of the all-Holy Mary. Therefore, glorifying you as a chosen initiate of the mysteries of God, we cry out to you:
Rejoice! Honored offshoot of the root of Jesse!
Rejoice! You who were adorned within with royal majesty!
Rejoice! By lack of earthly things, you acquired spiritual wealth!
Rejoice! Through obscurity you obtained everlasting glory!
Rejoice! You who are far more glorious than kings!
Rejoice! You who are more righteous than the patriarchs and forefathers!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Beholding the Virgin Mary who had grown to maturity in the Temple, Zachariah the High Priest cried out to the Lord: Show me a man worthy to be betrothed to the Virgin, O Lord! And when the rod of Joseph blossomed forth, committing the Virgin to him, he cried aloud to God: ALLELUIA!
Your righteousness is known to all the ends of the earth, O holy Joseph! You were accorded the incomparable honor of being betrothed to the most blessed Virgin. From her Christ God came forth without the aid of man. You were chosen for this because of your steadfast faith, purity, humility and excellence in all the virtues. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice! O righteous One: betrothed of the most-Pure one!
Rejoice! O man of faith: taking under your roof the holy Virgin, Mary, who, through faith was made the throne of God!
Rejoice! You who are humble of spirit!
Rejoice! You who are simple of heart!
Rejoice! You who are exceedingly adorned with virtues!
Rejoice! O holy one, who ministered unto the most holy!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
When the power of the Most High overshadowed her who knew not wedlock, so that she might conceive, Joseph did not know of this wondrous mystery, so that instructed by God Himself, he might cry out to Him: ALLELUIA.


Joseph, beholding the Virgin whose womb contained God, was troubled, knowing that she was not wed and suspecting that she had indulged in illicit love. But being just, he wished to put her away secretly, leaving the judgment unto Him Who knows all things and Who has taught us to cry out to Him:
Rejoice! Zealot of chastity!
Rejoice! O Israelite in whom there is no guile!
Rejoice! You who are good of heart!
Rejoice! You who are meek of demeanor!
Rejoice! You who place all your trust in God!
Rejoice! You who entrust yourself and others to His providence!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Subduing the tempest of the chaste Joseph’s thoughts of doubt, the angel disclosed to him the mystery of the birth of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, from the unwed Mary; for he said: And you shall call His name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins. And to Him do we all cry: ALLELUIA!
Having heard in the Scriptures of the Lord Who said: Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, Emmanuel, you did believe what was told to you by the angel, O righteous Joseph; and like a sealed book, wherein the Word was inscribed by the finger of the Father, you took Mary into your own house, and like a servant you waited upon her with fear and zeal. Therefore, we cry to you:
Rejoice! For you set your heart to understand the law of God!
Rejoice! For you opened your mind to receive the mysteries of God!
Rejoice! For before all men you were vouchsafed to know the great mystery of piety that God has appeared upon earth!
Rejoice! For you perceived His coming to be for the salvation of men from their sins!
Rejoice! For without doubting you believed what was revealed to you!
Rejoice! For your faith was accounted onto you as righteousness!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Taking the divinely chosen maiden into your home, O blessed Joseph, you loved her as your betrothed, you honored her as the most-holy Virgin and Mother of the Savior of the world, and you ministered to her with fear and reverence, striving with all your soul to keep all that was written in the Law and the Prophets; and with Mary you cried out to God: ALLELUIA!
Beholding in the manger of Bethlehem the Star that shone forth from Jacob, you first worshipped the Newborn; and when heaven offered Him a star, the angels hymnody, the shepherds testimony and the Magi worship and gifts, you, O righteous Joseph, offered your whole self as a gift to the Lord, dedicating your life, cares and labors to His service. Therefore, we cry to you:
Rejoice! You who before all others beheld the descent to earth of the unsetting Sun of Righteousness!
Rejoice! First witness and servant on earth of the incarnate Son of God, Who was born of the Father before all ages!

Rejoice! Earthly carpenter who was vouchsafed to be called the father of the heavenly Architect!

Rejoice! Protector and guardian of the Infant to Whom the ranks of angels minister with fear!
Rejoice! Reverent servant of the Mother of God, the Word!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Him Who was foretold by the Law and the Prophets you did circumcise on the eighth day, as a man; and you gave Him the name Jesus, which was preserved in the Counsel of the Trinity, like a precious pearl brought forth from the treasuries of Heaven for the revelation of all people, O Joseph; whereby having astonished the angels, made us glad, terrified the demons and rendered the whole world fragrant as with sweet-smelling myrrh, you cried out to God: ALLELUIA!
He Who in the Infant Jesus shone forth upon you, as prophesied by Simeon, the light of the gentiles’ revelation and the glory of the people Israel, was straightway covered by a cloud of tribulation, O righteous Joseph, for the nation was in turmoil, Herod raged seeking the life of the Infant, and it was foretold that a sword would pierce the heart of His Mother, in order that your faith and patience may be made manifest unto all. Therefore, we cry to you as to one steadfast in patience and unshaken in faith:
Rejoice! For like gold in the furnace, you were unceasingly purified by trials!
Rejoice! You were humble in joy and patient in the midst of sorrows!
Rejoice! You were ever faithful to the mysteries entrusted to you!
Rejoice! You were guided by faith as by a star in the dark ways of life!
Rejoice! You had hope in God as an anchor amid the tempest of life’s voyage!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!

Desiring to save from the malice of Herod, Him that had come to save the world, O wondrous Joseph, you did not question the angel that commanded you to flee into Egypt, by saying: “Could He that saves others not save Himself”? But being a man of faith, like a new Abraham, ever ready for obedience, giving no thought to the rigors of the journey, nor considering the time of return, you did straightway take yourself to Egypt with Mary and the Babe, joyously crying out to God: ALLELUIA!

In Egypt you were shown to be a new Joseph, greater than the patriarch of old, who saved the people of Egypt from famine; for you saved from death the Savior of the world and offered unto the people of Egypt, who were starving amidst the famine of godlessness, the Bread of Life; and you sowed the seed of eternal life, whence a wondrous harvest1 sprang forth in the deserts of Egypt. Therefore we cry to you:
Rejoice! You joyfully endured sorrows and labors on the way, for Christ’s sake!
Rejoice! O guardian of the infant Jesus who once guided Israel in the wilderness with the pillar of fire and a cloud!
Rejoice! Nourisher of Him that sustained His people with manna!
Rejoice! You who bore in your arms the Creator and Sustainer of all creation!
Rejoice! You who did save from the malice of Herod Him that once saved the people of God from the bitter bondage to Pharaoh!
Rejoice! You who showed forth for Egypt the grace of adoption instead of slavery!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Having beheld the fearsome wonder: that in Jesus, God was born in the flesh, as was foretold, and laid in a manger as a babe; the Virgin Mother; the angels giving glory and the circumcision; the coming of the Magi from the East to worship Him with gifts; the flight from Herod’s madness into Egypt; the salvation of all and the Light of the Gentiles; and the sword in the heart of her that gave Him birth, as Simeon said, — you knew Him to be true God and true Man, and therefore you cried out to him: ALLELUIA!
Having dedicated yourself entirely to God Who called forth His son from Egypt through His angel, you followed His command and made your abode with Jesus and His Mother in Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet concerning Him: He shall be called a Nazarene. Therefore, we cry out to you as a faithful servant of God:
Rejoice! You who worked in harmony with the will of God!
Rejoice! You who took part in the divine economy!
Rejoice! You who ever converse with the angels!
Rejoice! You who were dedicated on earth to the depths of the mysteries of Heaven!
Rejoice! You who listened to the prophets’ prophecies concerning Jesus!
Rejoice! You who reverently kept all these in the depths of your heart!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Every generation of Heaven, earth and the parts beneath the earth bow down at the name of Jesus; and to you, O wondrous Joseph, was the Child Jesus obedient as to His father. But we, marveling at the Lord’s great condescension toward you, cry out to Him: ALLELUIA!
The most eloquent of orators are at a loss as to how to praise you fittingly, O righteous Joseph. The Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and the earth, called you her lord; the incarnate Son of God called you father, and your home on earth was a habitation of heavenly sanctity, for therein dwelt the King of Heaven and of earth. Therefore, we humbly cry out to you:
Rejoice! Chosen of God, who preserved the tabernacle of heavenly sanctity!

Rejoice! Wondrous carpenter, in whose home the Creator of Heaven and earth made His abode!

Rejoice! Nourisher and guardian of the Child Jesus, Who, as God bestowed existence upon all creatures and takes thought for all the world, visible and invisible!
Rejoice! For on earth you were accounted worthy to behold the Son of God face-to-face, to hold Him in your arms and to kiss Him!
Rejoice! For even after your departure into the heavenly mansions you continually bless the King of glory and glorify Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the light of his countenance!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
You can save all that have recourse to your intercession and aid, O blessed Joseph, for how can He Who was subject to you in all things on earth not listen to you in all things as you now stand before Him in Heaven, crying aloud with the angelic choirs: ALLELUIA!
You are a mighty rampart for all who have recourse to your intercession, O righteous Joseph; therefore, do not disdain even us who flee to your assistance, and, amidst the storms of temptations, misfortunes and sorrows of life, cry aloud to you:
Rejoice! Our ready helper amid dangers and want!
Rejoice! Mighty intercessor for us before God.
Rejoice! Our steadfast hope amid the tempest of turmoil and doubt!
Rejoice! Speedy deliverance from the slanders of men!
Rejoice! Nourisher of Him, Who sustains all by the word of His power!
Rejoice! You who deliver us from spiritual famine and from every tribulation!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
A most compunctionate hymn do we offer unto you, O divinely wise Joseph; and we entreat you: as you did keep the Lord Christ Himself from all harm and affliction, so by your mediation before Him do you preserve His Holy Orthodox Church from every assault by enemies, visible and invisible; protect our native lands from all sedition, that, leading a peaceful and tranquil life, we may cry out to God: ALLELUIA!
In the Temple did you behold the twelve-year old Child Jesus, the light-bestowing Beacon which has appeared to those in the darkness of ignorance, granting the light of true knowledge unto the teachers of the Law of God, and revealing the mystery of His great service in accordance with the design of the heavenly Father. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice! Faithful keeper of the Law of your fathers!
Rejoice! For, being zealous in keeping the Law, you did also lead the Child Jesus to the house of the heavenly Father!
Rejoice! For when the Child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, paternally you did grieve with His Mother,
thinking that He was with friends.
Rejoice! You did seek Him among friends and relatives and, not finding Him, did return to Jerusalem
where, after three days, you did discover Him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and questioning them!
Rejoice! For you did hear the revelation of mysteries when the Child Jesus said:
Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?
Rejoice! You that beheld and were witness that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
Seeing the Child Jesus increase in favor with God and man, and in stature of body and wisdom, you did lay up all these things in your heart, like a faithful servant keeping secret the treasure entrusted to him, until the day when all believers began to cry to Him as God and Savior of the world: ALLELUIA!
Hymning your labors and struggles, we also glorify your blessed repose; for in the arms of God the Word and His Mother you did sweetly rest from your labors, O righteous Joseph, having undoubting belief in blessed eternity. Therefore, we cry out to you:
Rejoice! You that were faithful in a great task!
Rejoice! You that were therefore accounted worthy of the greatest honor by God!
Rejoice! You that on earth were wed to the glory and beauty of Heaven!
Rejoice! You that were permitted to depart in peace unto the age to come by the Father of the age to come!
Rejoice! You that did proclaim the great joy to David!
Rejoice! You that did bear to all in Hades the tidings that Christ was come to free and save the human race!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, you ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
O holy and righteous Joseph! Accept this, our small supplication, and through your mighty mediation before Christ God, do you entreat Him to make us by His grace firm and steadfast in the Orthodox Faith, zealous and undaunted in the keeping of His commandments, and that He grant all that is profitable for our temporal and eternal life to us that cry out to Him: ALLELUIA!
Preserving the mystery of the birth of God the Word by the all-Pure Virgin, which is inaccessible even to the angels, from the slander of people and the craft of the devil, God chose you, O righteous Joseph, a lowly carpenter, to be the protector and witness of the virginity of the all-Holy Mary. Therefore, glorifying you as a chosen initiate of the mysteries of God, we cry out to you:
Rejoice! Honored offshoot of the root of Jesse!
Rejoice! You who were adorned within with royal majesty!
Rejoice! By lack of earthly things, you acquired spiritual wealth!
Rejoice! Through obscurity you obtained everlasting glory!
Rejoice! You who are far more glorious than kings!
Rejoice! You who are more righteous than the patriarchs and forefathers!
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
O righteous Joseph! Chosen protector of the Most-Holy Virgin, Mary, and instructor and nurturer of the God-Man: glorifying your service to the ineffable mystery of the Incarnation of God the Word, we dedicate hymns of praise to you. Standing now before the throne of Christ our God, and having great boldness before Him, pray for us that cry out to you:
Rejoice! O righteous Joseph, ready helper and intercessor for our souls!
O holy and righteous Joseph! While yet on earth, you did have boldness before the Son of God, Who was well pleased to call you His father, in that you were the betrothed of His Mother, and Who was well pleased to be obedient to you.
We believe that as you do dwell now in the heavenly mansions with the choirs of the righteous, you are listened to, in all that you do request from our God and Savior.
Therefore, fleeing to your protection and defense, we beg and humbly entreat you:
– as you, yourself, were delivered from a storm of doubting thoughts, so also deliver us that are tempest-tossed by the waves of confusion and passions;
– as you did shield the all-Pure Virgin from the slanders of men, so shield us from all kinds of vehement calumny;
– as you did keep the incarnate Lord from all harm and affliction, so also by your defense preserve His Orthodox Church and all of us from all affliction and harm.
You know, O Saint of God, that even the Son of God had bodily needs in the days of His incarnation, and you did attend to them.
Therefore, we beseech you: tend, yourself, to our temporal needs through your intercession, granting us every good thing, which is needful in this life (for the sake of life of the age to come). Especially, do we entreat you to intercede that we may receive remission of our sins from Him Who was called your Son, the only-begotten Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and be worthy of inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, …
So that, abiding with you in the heavenly mansions, we may ever glorify the One God in three Persons: the (+) Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and unto the ages of ages.

“Finally, it is providential and deeply significant that St. Joseph should appear in Fatima during the great miracle of the sun, on October 13, 1917, and bless the world with the Child Jesus. At a time when we are witnessing a great crisis of identity, a loss of the knowledge of God and his love, and the crisis of family life and fatherhood, St. Joseph is given to us as a great gift. We are called to turn to him with great confidence, veneration, and love, and place ourselves under his care and protection. On this marvellous feast, may St. Joseph pray for each one of us that we may experience the ocean of love flowing from the Heart of his Son, Jesus, especially in his Eucharistic presence, and, in turn, lead others more deeply into the school of the love of God!” –