Novena in Honour of St. Joseph

Prayer Before the Novena

O Great St Joseph, prostrate at thy feet, with feelings of unlimited confidence, I beg thee to bless the Novena that I begin in thy honour. I will meditate upon thy virtues; grant that I may learn fully to appreciate them. The knowledge of them will be the source of great confusion for me because of the poverty and destitution of my soul.

Great dispenser of the heavenly treasures, assist me in my poverty, help me to display thy virtues in my own soul. "Thou art never invoked in vain," says the seraphic Theresa of Jesus; be thou to me what thou hast been to that Spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; graciously hearken to me as thou didst hearken to her. Amen.

First Day


The words of the great Apostle: "The just man liveth by faith," may be applied particularly to Saint Joseph who was the most just of men and whose life was ever guided by faith. Joseph submitted his intelligence to the holy truths of religion. He applied his heart from his tenderest infancy to the observance of the divine precepts.

In the trials and sorrows of life, Joseph was sustained by faith. He shaped his whole conduct by the desire to please God and he attained the great aim of man upon earth, which is to adore God, to serve Him, and hence to deserve the everlasting Truth.

Let us glorify this great Servant of God who possessed a faith so universal, so simple, so enlightened, so firm, so constant, and, above all, so fruitful in good works.

Let us examine ourselves with regard to this great virtue and see how we resemble him.

Is my faith firm, unshaken? Is my conduct animated by faith? Is the predominant thought that directs my acts to please God, and to obtain merit for everlasting life? Have I tried to derive consolation and strength from the thought of faith in time of trial?


O Great Saint, model of the just living by faith, revive that virtue in our souls. May it be the principle, the motive, the aim of all my actions; my consolation and my strength in the trials of this life, and the source of abundant merit for everlasting life. Amen.


Second Day


Joseph, abandoning himself entirely to the care of Divine Providence, glorified God by his life. Among all the virtues, hope is the most pleasing to God, because it is based upon His infinite goodness. In the sufferings of this life it is the source of the greatest consolation and encouragement.

Joseph hoped in the Lord. He hoped for His grace in the accomplishment of His adorable will; for His help in time of trial; for His light in the difficulties of life. By hope he detached his heart from the perishable goods and the deceitful affections of this world. In the hour of trial he sustained his courage by hope, and fortified his heart with a peace that nothing could alter.

Let us imitate Saint Joseph. Let us elevate our hopes towards the only veritable and imperishable treasures. Let us trust in the wisdom and solicitude of Divine Providence. Let us rely upon the grace of the Lord; upon His goodness, and upon His power. Let us renew our confidence in the hour of trial. Let us avoid discouragement, which outrages the wisdom and goodness of God.


O Joseph, do thou cause the gift of Christian hope to descend into my heart. May it enlighten me, console me, defend me. May it detach me from the earth so as to elevate my thoughts and affections towards Heaven. May it henceforward inspire my whole conduct and give me the right to die like thee, saying: "Lord, I have hoped in Thee; I shall not be confounded."


Third Day


Joseph loved God from his earliest youth and loved Him during his whole life. Joseph loved God with his whole heart, with his whole soul, with his whole strength. Joseph loved God with a love of preference, giving Him his first affections, and cutting off his heart from all that could hinder or alter his love for his Lord and Sovereign Master.

Joseph loved God with a love of union, keeping himself constantly united to God by prayer, meditation, the thought of His holy presence, and the most perfect conformity to the will of God.

Joseph loved God with a love of immolation which prompted him to perfect devotedness, enabling him to perform with joy the greatest and most numerous sacrifices. Joseph loved God with a love of perseverance that experienced neither decrease nor alteration. He always loved God with all his power to love, and constantly endeavoured to love Him more and more.


Blessed Saint, enkindle in my cold heart a spark of thy charity. May God be always the first and only object of my affections. Keep my soul always in sanctifying peace, and, if I should be so unhappy as to lose it, give me the strength to recover it immediately by a sincere repentance. Grant me such a love of my God as will always keep me united to Him, and will be the principle and motive of all my actions. Grant me a generous love that will make me overcome all obstacles, and accept the greatest sacrifices rather than separate myself from the charity of my God. Amen.


Fourth Day


"How beautiful is the chaste generation!" (Wisdom iv), "The whole weight of gold is as nothing in comparison with a pure soul." (Eccles. xxv)

Joseph was pre-eminent in purity because he feared God and faithfully observed His holy law; because he safeguarded his virtue by fear of the Sovereign Good and by prudence; because he sheltered it under the virginity of Mary, and felt the influence of Jesus, the divine Son of all sanctity.

How pure must he have been who was to become the worthy spouse of the Immaculate Virgin! How holy must he have been whose relations with the thrice holy God were so intimate.


O Joseph, help me to understand the excellence of thy purity and how dear it is to the heart of God. Teach me to preserve carefully this delicate virtue under the shadow of the fear of God; to safeguard it by prayer, by vigilance, by shunning the world, by careful watch over my heart and my senses. Grant that I may henceforward close my heart to all disorderly affections; that I may deserve to enjoy like thee upon earth the friendship and intimacy of Jesus, and that it may be given to me one day to sing in Heaven the canticle reserved for Virgins


Fifth Day


Joseph excelled in humility because he realized that glory is due to God alone, and that, of himself, man is but misery and nothingness. By reason of his humility Joseph was accorded the most glorious privileges and entrusted with the most sublime mission. To accomplish His designs, God employs only the humble who do not claim for themselves the glory.

As Foster Father of Jesus and Spouse of the Queen of Heaven and earth, Joseph was more highly honored than any king in this world. What pretexts, furnished by zeal for the glory of God, might have prompted him to speak, to put himself forward, to attribute to himself the greatness of the precursor of the Messiah, and the glories of the apostles! He rather conceals the astonishing prodigies which have been revealed to him, and the sublimity of the functions he exercises. Under an impenetrable veil he hides all that can draw upon him the esteem of men.


O Joseph, what a lesson for me ever so eager to appear, so anxious to display before the eyes of the men the graces that I owe entirely to the liberality of God. Obtain that I may attribute to God the glory of all things; that I may love the humble and hidden life; that I may not desire any other position than the one given by Providence; and that I may always be a docile instrument in the hands of God.


Sixth Day


Consider how Joseph suffered in his lifetime. He tasted, indeed, ineffable consolations, but he also endured much suffering. In contrast with the glories of his fallen family, was a life of labour and self denial. What did he not have to suffer, especially after the Incarnation of the Son of God? It is verily Joseph who experienced that wherever Jesus enters, He comes with His Cross and His Crown of Thorns.

He suffers in perfect conformity with the Divine Will. Joseph renews his courage in the hope of eternal joys and treasures, in the examples of patience which are given him by Jesus and Mary. Thus, whatever may be his trials they cannot trouble the peace of his soul.


O Joseph, model of patience, teach me this virtue which is so necessary in the midst of the sufferings and trials of this sorrowful life. Grant that your example and that of Mary, as well as the hope of celestial joys, may ever renew my courage. Amen.


Seventh Day


Let us honor in Saint Joseph the faithful and prudent servant to whom Almighty God entrusted the care of His family. Prudence inspired Saint Joseph to adopt as the foundation and rule of his conduct, the great principles of faith; God, the end of man in this world; God, the reward of man in eternity.

Remembering that life is short and uncertain, that upon a moment may depend our eternity, Saint Joseph wisely employs his time. He is careful to make a holy use of his senses and his other faculties in order to give to his Lord and Master a faithful account of the talents entrusted to him; he watches over the world around him, yielding to the world in the measure willed by God, but not giving himself up to it. He makes within himself a retreat accessible to God alone and impenetrable to creatures.


O Faithful and prudent servant, watch over my weakness and my inexperience; obtain for me that prudence which reminds me of my end, which directs my paths, and which protects me from every danger. Amen.


Eighth Day


Joseph regarded obedience as rendering man particularly pleasing to God. What esteem Joseph had particularly for obedience, when he heard Mary answering the Angel: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word!" When he saw Jesus submit to his orders, anticipate his wishes, execute them faithfully and promptly! When he considered that the Incarnate Word would be obedient until death, even the death of the Cross.


O Joseph, so faithful to display in thy conduct the obedience of Jesus and Mary, obtain for me this important virtue. Obtain for me a perfect docility of heart to accomplish the will of God, and that of those who replace Him. Inspire me by your example, to obey with promptness and generosity; obtain for me above all, the grace to obey without murmuring, without reasoning upon the orders given me, in spite of every pretext, and with an entire immolation of my own will.


Ninth Day


Saint Joseph loved poverty because it detaches man from all passing and perishable goods, delivers the soul from dangerous obstacles, and from a thousand evils and cares, and permits him to keep his eyes raised toward Heaven, instead of stooping, like a slave, toward the earth.

Saint Joseph loved poverty, because he saw it practised in the highest degree by Jesus Christ. Did he not regard it as a hidden and priceless treasure, when he contemplated Jesus in His abnegation, when he saw Him stretch out His divine hands to ask for the most necessary needs of life?

Saint Joseph suffered the privations of life with patience, without murmur of complaint, using his poverty to detach himself more and more from worldly goods, and to seek the goods of Heaven.


O Joseph, make me understand the excellence of poverty. Grant that I may enter into the interior dispositions which animated thee in regard to that virtue. Disclose to me the snares of riches, the dangers which are attached to them, the solicitude which they engender.

Make me understand how much God favours us, when he refuses us riches, since he furnishes us a precious occasion to detach us from ourselves and from creatures, and to increase our merit for Heaven. Amen.