St Joseph Novena

Day 1—Joseph: Man of the Beatitudes

Saint Joseph, your intimacy with the Father allowed you to see that blessedness and happiness is found in Him and not in the ways of the world. The Holy Spirit worked in you the transformation that Jesus promised in the beatitudes: To be new men and women in the passion of divine love.

Jesus lived and worked with you side by side in the intimacy of the Holy Family. From Him you grew in the perfection of the Beatitudes. The beatitudes reveal Jesus´ own heart so that we be ONE with Him as you were in Nazareth. Jesus promised blessedness and happiness, but very differently than what we expected. The first beatitude Jesus mentions is poverty, which means complete trust and dependency in God. He is the new Man who totally trusts and depends on the Father all the way to the Cross. Like Jesus, you were meek and humble of heart for you knew well and were happy to live your identity and mission.

Mary's heart belonged to another Spouse, the Holy Spirit, who had precedence in her life in all things, yet you were never jealous. You rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, surrendering yourself completely to Him, as she did. 

St. Joseph, teach me to open my heart to God’s love, teach me to live the beatitudes.


Day 2—Joseph: Man of the Spirit, husband of Mary.

Saint Joseph, I honor 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). In the sacred covenant of marriage you gave yourself to Mary and she to you with the most pure and divine love, yet this love was also human. Mary really belonged to you with all she was and had. You had a right to her love and obedience—she gave herself to you and to no other human in the sublime intimacy of marriage. You honored and protected her virginity while you lavished with tender love.  

Mary's heart belonged to another Spouse, the Holy Spirit, who had precedence in her life in all things, yet you were never jealous. You rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, surrendering yourself completely to Him, as she did. 

Beloved St. Joseph, you were endowed with extraordinary graces for the most extraordinary vocation of any man: to be the spouse of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of God. You responded with all your heart, thus becoming the most loving husband and father who ever lived. I come to you because God lives and loves through you.

St. Joseph teach me to live fully my vocation and to give myself to those that you have entrusted to me.


Day 3—Joseph: Passionate love

You understood that the Holy Spirit, far from being an obstacle to your love for Mary, was the source of that love and the guarantee of its authenticity. In the fire of the Holy Spirit your soul and Mary's were united as one in the heart of God. You understood the true meaning of passionate love. Love for God did not distance you from Mary, nor did love for Mary distance you from God. It was God's will to love Mary through you, ever loving, ever caring, ever providing and protecting, yet at the same time, ever virgin, never demanding anything for yourself.

Mary and you saw each other in the supernatural light of the Holy Spirit and yet you lived this love in the ordinary daily life of Nazareth unknown to all except to Jesus. In this love you also shared in the interior martyrdom of Jesus and Mary for the sin of humanity. 

I beseech you, St. Joseph, to teach and help me to live in docility to the Holy Spirit so that I can see what you desire to bring forth in each relationship in my life. Help me to be set free from lukewarmness, acedia, doubt. Teach me chaste love, not only to avoid what is disordered but also to live love to the fullest, giving myself and receiving the other. May I give my fiat to your mysterious ways without fear.


131. Jesus, Mary and Joseph Were Victim Souls,

Diary of a MOC

St. Joseph and Mary were perfect, holy victim souls. They were united as one to the Victim of Love. St. Joseph never uttered a complaint during his many trials, struggles, and sufferings.

The human existence here on earth is full of struggles, challenges, difficulties, sufferings, trials and tears because of the fall. I came to transform human suffering through My death and resurrection. The Holy Family lived the human condition through Me, with Me and in Me; thus, their lives were transformed into Love, the love of the Most Holy Trinity.

The world is foundering into the abyss of evil and darkness because My Spirit is not sought and loved. It is through Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, that you obtain most perfectly the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that will unite you as One Body to My crucified Love to participate in the salvation of the world. It is only My victim souls who participate in the work of redemption and who will conquer the principalities of death with Me. Therefore, My little one, bring Me victim souls!  (1/31/11)


Day 4—Joseph: Father, Head of the Family and Foster Father of Jesus.

Beloved St. Joseph, teach me the meaning of fatherhood in a world that no longer understands it. You teach me that, to become a father, it is not enough to beget a child. You never did. Yet you are the best father this world has ever known. God the Father entrusted you with His only Son, the Eternal Word. Not your own, yet you were a true father to him and a true husband to His mother.

You are the protector of the Blessed Mary—protector also of her virginity in a world where virginity is seen as a curse and a cause of derision. By the disposition of your heart you made God's plan for a virginal marriage possible. You protected Mary and the Child from life threatening dangers. You were essential in God's plan, fulfilling the need for a father to love, provide, protect and guide the family. 

Fathers represent God the Father to their children. Your child was the God-man come down from heaven. You made Him feel at home on earth. The heavenly Father bestowed His love on Him through your dedicated fatherhood.  You spared no sacrifice to give yourself to Jesus. You taught Him how to pray and how to live as a devout jew.

Beloved St. Joseph, in you we see restored the vocation to fatherhood. You teach us with your example. Why do so many men abandon their responsibility as spiritual heads of their family? There are several reasons: We want to impose our own will on others rather than transmit the will of God. Also, most men feel that their spouses are more advanced in the spiritual life and that hurts their pride.


Day 5—Joseph provider and protector

You were able to face the most difficult situations that a man can have. You found your beloved to be pregnant by someone else. You had the right by law to have her stoned to death. Anger and resentment would have overtaken any man to do just that, to have her “pay” for what she had done. How could anyone deny that she was guilty? How to believe that her child was a miracle of God? You did not understand, yet you chose to protect her and bring instead shame upon yourself in the eyes of your kinsmen. You loved Mary so much that you were willing to do so even in face of hard evidence against her. Instead of giving way to anger, you, beloved St. Joseph, were moved by love. Deep in your heart you were torn, deeply pierced by a reality that you could not understand. You knew Mary was a holy woman, but you also knew that she was pregnant. It was impossible for you to see how the two realities could be true at the same time but instead of revenge you chose to ponder this mystery and to turn to God in your deep anguish. 

When the child was in danger, it was to you that the Lord sent the angel instructing him to flee to Egypt. You did so immediately. When trials weighed you down, you did not complain saying that Jesus was not your son. You obeyed God diligently as a true shepherd of the family. St. Joseph, you are quiet but also brave and decisive. You are a man that your family can trust for leadership, provision and protection.

How do I react to conflicts with my brothers and sisters? How easily do I become upset when things are not under my control, when my plans are changed, when I have to yield to the decisions of others! How difficult for me to learn to accept that I am not the center nor the last word. St. Joseph teach me to be poor in spirit, meek and humble.   


Day 6—The Tenderness of Joseph: Considerate, Protective, Solicitous.

We do not usually think of men as being tender. The dictionary definition of the word may explain why: “easity crushed or bruised; fragile”. But there is another aspect of tenderness that men should have. To be tender is to be “Considerate and protective; solicitous”.  This virtue is essential for men to fulfill their God given mission to use their strength at the service of love. 

What little we know of St. Joseph is enough to show us that he is a manly model of tenderness: Considerate, protective, solicitous. These qualities had to be perfected with supernatural grace so that God could entrust him with His two greatest treasures on earth: Jesus and Mary. Indeed the extraordinary circumstances of his roll as husband and father required the heroic exercise of virtue. To be considerate of Mary by honoring and respecting her as the spouse of the Holy Spirit. To be considerate of her son treating him as his own and yet respecting the fact that he was not his own but  the Son of the Most High.

Think of Joseph being considerate, protective and solicitous when he realized that Mary was with child; when they found no place in Bethlehem, when he led them to safety in Egypt. Joseph dedicated his life to serve them without thinking of himself. 

He was a laborer, a carpenter, a man living in a rough and violent world, yet he was a pure channel of the tenderness of God. Think of the tenderness of his rough hands. They made visible the love and tenderness of God Himself for the Holy Family. They felt protected and loved by him. He would not flare into anger in times of trial. He had no selfish interests to impose on them. 

How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.


Day 7—St Joseph the head and custodian of the family

St Joseph, you married to the most perfect woman ever, one who never sinned, the one destined to be the queen of heaven and earth! You knew that she surpasses you in the order of grace. You deeply respected her discernment and counsel, but you did not use this as an excuse to skirt you responsibility as the head of the family.

Pope Francis reflects on St. Joseph on the Mass celebrating the beginning of his ministry as bishop of Rome:

“Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!”

“How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason, he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!”

St Joseph's mission extends to the whole Church of whom he is the custodian. Pope Francis goes on to say:

“In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).


Day 8—Joseph: Model of Husband and Fatherhood

Joseph, you were the father of Jesus while protecting the virginity of Mary. I want to learn from you what is the essence of marriage and of fatherhood.  God in no way diminishes the sacredness of natural fatherhood nor the sacredness of sexual intimacy in the context of marriage. Rather, God is teaching me that these gifts find their full meaning in the context of a spiritual covenant of love that has concrete applications in a life-long commitment to lay down one's life for the other.

Joseph, the Heavenly Father gave you the true heart of a father—a heart full of love and self-sacrifice. With the daily toil of a humble and ordinary carpenter, your hands provided a home, food, clothing and most of all your unconditional faithful dedication.

When Herod sought the Child to put Him to death, the Heavenly Father sent an angel—not to protect the Child and the Mother, but to inform you of the danger and rely on you for the Child`s protection. Jesus was to be saved through your fatherly love. You served the Divine Child with a heart filled with heavenly love—beyond what mere human effort could achieve. But you gave yourself without reserve every day for the rest of your life.

I pray that I be grateful to those who have provided for me and that I too may give my life for others.

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 Savior, who did not come upon earth to enjoy honors 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.


Day 9—Joseph: Patron of the Church and of a good death

The patriarchs were honored as the heads of the family of the Chosen People, but you are a greater patriarch. You alone on earth did Jesus call “father” and as such you for Him the love of the Father in heaven. As descendant of the family of David and father of Jesus, you bring forth the fulfillment of the promise of God that His Kingdom will be everlasting. The Kingdom of God is present in the Church and God has appointed you her patron.

Your mission began with the Holy Family and now that Family is the Church. You continue to be the father, protector, guide of the Holy Family.

I renew my faith that —no matter what darkness I may find among the members— the Church is the family of God. Jesus died for His Spouse—the Church—and teaches me with His life to do the same. Help me to remember that through the Church I received my faith in baptism, forgiveness in confession and Jesus in the Eucharist. Help me to care for my brothers and sisters with the same love that you cared for the Holy Family. Teach me pray, support and honor priest, bishops and the pope.

I pray that I may live always as a holy member of this Church, that I may help many to enter the Church and to grow in holiness. Protect the Church from the evils of our times. Through your powerful intercession may the church accomplish her mission.

St Joseph, having given your life to Jesus and Mary, you had the blessedness of their presence at your deathbed. Our Lord and Judge in the final judgement and our Advocate Mary were one in love with you. How grateful they are to you! I pray that, for the rest of my time on earth and at the they hour of my death and the death of my loved ones, you along with Jesus and Mary receive us in heaven.