Novena to St. Joseph (Mar 10-18; Days 1-4)
March 14, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Novena to St. Joseph in the Communion of Saints


Devotion to St Joseph has developed amongst Christian people in so marvelous a manner, following such wonderful laws, that it is impossible not to recognize therein the working of divine Providence. Second only to Mary comes he who, although not the father of Jesus, nevertheless had a father’s authority over him. This is Joseph, who was not merely the putative father of the Savior in the sense in which the Jews, ignorant of the mystery of the Incarnation, held him to be, nay, he was more, for he was the true representative of the authority of the eternal Father, and was consequently invested with the patria potestas in the bosom of the Holy Family of Nazareth.
Thus the angel delivers the commands of the Lord concerning the flight into Egypt and the return to Palestine to Joseph alone; he it is who, together with Mary, gives the divine Infant the name of Jesus; he it is who hastens his Immaculate Spouse to set forth into exile, as it is also on him that the responsibility rests for the maintenance of the Holy Family at Nazareth. As in the Holy House of Nazareth, under the paternal authority of Joseph, God was pleased to bless the first beginnings of the Church, so she rightly recognizes and venerates as her special patron, St Joseph, the first head of this family, the household of God upon earth.
As the Patriarch Joseph of old garnered the com which was to save Egypt during the seven years of famine, so, too, did the most chaste Spouse of the Virgin Mary guard against the cruelty of Herod the true Bread of eternal life, which brings salvation to all mankind. This is still the mission of Joseph in heaven : and for this reason the Church dwells again and again upon the thought that it is his powerful intercession which shall preserve the mystical life of Jesus in our souls by causing us to respond faithfully to the grace which we have received.  (Bl. Ildefonso Schuster)

Day 1

Jacob was the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, 
of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah. (Matt. 1:16)
The Church has always been aware, and is particularly aware today, of how fundamental was the vocation of that man: the husband of Mary, the one who, in the eyes of men, passed for the father of Jesus and who was, according to the spirit, a perfect incarnation of fatherhood in the human and at the same time holy family. 
In this light, the thoughts and the heart of the Church, her prayer and her devotion, turn to Joseph of Nazareth. In this light the apostolate and pastor work find in him support in that vast and at the same time fundamental field, the vocation of marriage and parenthood, the whole of family life, full of the simple and helpful solicitude of the husband for his wife, of the father and mother for their children -- life in the family -- in that smaller Church on which every Church is constructed. 
The Church which, as the society of the People of God, calls herself also the Family of God, also sees St. Joseph's very special place with regard to this great Family and recognizes him as her special Patron. 
May this meditation awaken in us the need of prayer for the intercession of him in whom the heavenly Father expressed, on earth, all the spiritual dignity of fatherhood. May meditation on his life and works, so deeply hidden in the mystery of Christ and, at the same time, so simple and limpid, help everyone to find again the rightful value and beauty of the vocation from which every human family draws its spiritual power and holiness.  Pope St. John Paul II

Saint Joseph, with you, for you,
we bless the Lord.
He chose you among all men
to be the chaste spouse of Mary,
the one who would remain at the threshold of the mystery
of her divine maternity,
and who, after her, would accept it in faith
as the work of the Holy Spirit.

You gave to Jesus legal paternity in the line of David.
You constantly watched over
the Mother and the Child with an affectionate concern,
in order to protect their lives
and to allow them to accomplish their destiny. 

The Savior Jesus deigned to submit himself to you, as to a father,
throughout his childhood and adolescence
and to receive from you an apprenticeship in human life,
while you shared his life in the adoration of his mystery. 

You remain at his side.
Continue to protect the whole church,
the family born of the salvation of Jesus.
See the spiritual and material needs
of all those who beg your intercession,
particularly families and those who are poor, in every sense;
through you, they are certain to find Mary’s maternal face
and the hand of Jesus to assist them.   Amen. (Pope St. John Paul II)

Day 2
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, 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.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,  but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus. (Matt 1:18-25)

In saying to Joseph – “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife” (Mt 1:20), the Angel was not mistaken. … The address as “wife” was neither empty nor false, for this Virgin was the happiness of her husband, in a way, that was all the more perfect and admirable, in that she became a mother without the participation of that husband, fecund, without him but faithful to him. It was because of that genuine marriage, that they both merited to be called “the parents of Christ” – not only she as “His Mother” but also he, as “his father,” insofar as he was husband of Christ’s Mother, father and husband spiritually, not according to the flesh. Both of them – he only by the spirit, she even in the flesh – are parents of His Humility, not of His Nobility, parents of His Weakness, not of his Divinity. Look in the Gospel, which cannot lie – His Mother said to Him: “Son, why have you done this to us? See how your father and I, have been searching for you anxiously.”

As for Him, wanting to show that He also had a Father, besides them, who had conceived Him without a mother, answered them: “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?” And so, that no-one should think that in speaking thus, He was denying His parents, the Evangelist added: “He went down with them to Nazareth and was subject to them.” … Now why did He subject Himself to those who were so inferior to His Divine Nature? Because, “humbling himself, he took on the nature of a slave” (Phil 2:7), according to which, they were His parents. If they had not been united by a true marriage, even without carnal intercourse, they could not both have been the parents of that nature of a servant.

So, taking Christ’s genealogy from Joseph – a husband in chastity, he was father in the same way. … Are you saying that he did not conceive Jesus through the operation of nature? Well then, what the Holy Spirit operated, He did for them both. For Joseph was “a just man,” Matthew tells us (1:19). Both husband and wife were just. The Holy Spirit dwelt within their mutual justice and gave each of them, a Son! (St. Augustine of Hippo) 


Prostrate at your feet, O great saint, I venerate you as the Father of my Lord and my God. You are the Head of the Holy Family, and a cause of joy and delight to the Holy Trinity. What a glory for you to be the Father of a Son who is the Only Begotten of God! What a blessing to know that you are a father to us and that we are your children. Yes, we are your children because we are brothers and sister of Jesus Christ, who wanted to be call your Son.

As your children, we have a right to the tenderness and goodness of your paternal heart. Accept us therefore! Take us under your protection! Teach us to love patience, prudence, kindness, modesty and purity. Be our refuge and solace in our pains, in our needs both now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  (Bl. Bartolo Longo)

Day 3


In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered…. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7)

My God! to be the guardian of our Lord; and not only that, but to be also his reputed father. To be the husband of his most holy Mother!

St. Joseph was more valiant than David, and wiser than Solomon; yet who could have thought so, without being enlightened by heavenly light, seeing him reduced to exercise the trade of a carpenter, so completely did he keep hidden all the signal gifts that God had bestowed upon him. But what amount of wisdom did he not possess, since God gave in charge to him his most glorious Son, and chose him to be his guardian?

Since God could choose for the guardian of his Son the man in the world the most accomplished in all sorts of perfections, according to the dignity and excellence of his Charge, who was his most glorious Son, the universal Prince of heaven and earth, how could it be that being able, he did not will it and did not do it?

There is, then, no doubt that St. Joseph was endowed with all the graces and all the gifts that were required for the care which the Eternal Father willed to give him of the temporal and domestic economy of our Lord, and of the guidance of his family … who represent to us the mystery of the most holy and most adorable Trinity; not that there is any comparison except with regard to our Lord, who is one of the Persons of the most Holy Trinity, for the others are creatures. But yet we may say that it is a Trinity on earth, which in a manner represents to us the most Holy Trinity: Mary, Jesus and Joseph; Joseph, Jesus and Mary; a Trinity marvelously estimable and worthy of being honored.

You understand, then, how elevated was the dignity of St. Joseph, and how he was filled with all sorts of virtues; you see also how, nevertheless, he was more humble and abject than we can describe or imagine. This one example will suffice to make it clear. He goes into his own country and to his town of Bethlehem, and (as far as we know) nobody but himself was rejected from all the houses; so as to be forced to retire and to take his chaste spouse into a stable among the oxen and asses. Oh, to what an extremity was his abjection and humility reduced!

What more remains for us to say now, except that we cannot doubt at all that this glorious saint has great influence in heaven…Oh how happy shall we be, if we can merit a share in his holy intercession! for nothing will be refused him, either by Our Lady, or by her glorious Son. He will obtain for us, if we have confidence in him, a holy growth in all kinds of virtues, but especially in those that we have found that he possessed in a higher degree than any others, which are most holy purity of body and mind, the most lovable virtue of humility, constancy, courage and perseverance: virtues which will make us victorious in this life over our enemies and which will make us merit the grace to go and enjoy in eternal life the rewards prepared for those who shall imitate the example given them by St Joseph while he was in this life, a reward that will be nothing less than eternal happiness, in which we shall enjoy the luminous vision of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  (St. Francis de Sales)

Glorious St Joseph, spouse of Mary, grant us thy paternal protection, we beseech thee by the heart of Jesus Christ. O thou, whose power extends to all our necessities and can render possible for us the most impossible things, open thy fatherly eyes to the needs of thy children.  In the trouble and distress which afflicts us, we confidently have recourse to thee. Deign to take under your charitable charge this important and difficult matter, cause of our worries. Make its happy outcome be for God’s glory and for the good of His devoted servants. Amen.  (St. Francis de Sales)

Day 4

After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.  When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord  (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” (Luke 2:21-24)
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!  Saint 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. (St. Peter Julian Eymard)

O glorious Saint joseph, you who did faithfully obey the law of God, your heart was pierced at the sight of the Precious Blood that was shed by the infant Savior during his circumcision, but the name of Jesus gave you new life and filled you with quiet joy.  By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace to be freed from all sin during life, and to die rejoicing, with the holy name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips. Amen. (St. Peter Julian Eymard)