Novena to St. Joseph (Days 5-9)
March 18, 2023
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 5
Now after [the Magi] had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “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.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt,  and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” (Matt. 2:13-15)

Saint Joseph was a “committed” man, as we might say nowadays.  And what commitment! Total commitment to Mary, the elect of all the women of the earth and of history, always his virgin spouse, never his wife physically, and total commitment to Jesus, who was his offspring only by legal descendance, not by the flesh. He had the burdens, the responsibilities, the risks and the labors Surrounding the holy family. His was the service, the work, the sacrifice, in the shadows of that gospel picture in which we love to meditate on him; and we are certainly not mistaken, for we all know him now and call him Blessed. So, Saint Joseph is an example for us, and let us try to imitate him; and we shall call upon him as our protector, as the Church has been wont to do in these recent times, for herself in the first place, for spontaneous theological reflection on the marriage of divine with human action in the great economy of the Redemption, in which economy the first, the divine one is wholly sufficient to itself, but the second, human action, which is ours, though capable of nothing (cf. Jn. 15:5), is never dispensed from humble but conditional and ennobling collaboration. The Church also calls upon him as her Protector because of a profound and most present desire to reinvigorate her ancient life with true evangelical virtues, such as shine forth in Saint Joseph. Finally, the Church invokes him as her Patron and Protector through her unshakeable trust that he to whom Christ willed to confide the care and protection of His. own frail human childhood, will continue from heaven to perform his protective task in order to guide and defend the Mystical Body of Christ Himself, which is always weak, always under attack, always in a state of peril. Finally, we call upon Saint Joseph for the world, trusting that the heart of the humble working man of Nazareth, now overflowing with immeasurable wisdom and power, still harbors and will always harbor a singular and precious fellow-feeling for the whole of mankind. So may it be.  (Pope St. Paul VI)


O Chaste spouse of the most pure and most holy creatures, how happy you must be for having found such favor and grace before the Eternal Father, who gave his Son; before the Son who made you the tutor of his sacred humanity; before the Holy Spirit who entrusted his spouse to you so that you could be like the cherubim who guarded the fruit of life in the garden of Eden. How happy and blessed are they whom you love and whom you take under your protection! O faithful guardian of the Mother of God, keep those who honor you amid the trials and joys of this life. Lovable tutor of Jesus, help your servants in the dangers and difficulties of their exile; may they feel the effects of your love. Obtain for them devotion to your spouse, fidelity to your Son, unfailing respect for the Eternal Father who reigns with the Holy Spirit through endless ages. Amen.  (Bl. William Joseph Chaminade)

Day 6
When Herod died, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.”  Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee.  There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He will be called a Nazorean.” (Matt. 2:19-23)
     Very often St. Joseph has been called the silent saint. That is because he never speaks in Scripture. What he does is work to fulfill God’s will fully and exactly. If he thinks of calling off his marriage to Mary, it is because that seems God’s will, as expressed by the Law of Moses. But then he is reminded in a dream that Mary is pregnant—or so she says—by the Holy Spirit. He is reminded he has to trust her faith and her honesty and so he changes his mind and dedicates the rest of his life to caring for her and Jesus.
It stirs me deeply to imagine Joseph’s endless little deeds of caring for his family. Everything he does is seen as a way of fulfilling God’s will for those he helps. Think of what this taught Jesus and how it affected what Scripture calls his growth in wisdom!
     This silent teaching will transform all we do daily if we follow it. We are shown what following God truly means and how much more there is to its meaning than the merely earthly results that work achieves. God chose to teach us this through Joseph. 
Joseph also teaches a great lesson in serenity and trust. He had no more special revelations than any other person might have. He had to figure out what God was asking of him by carefully considering what he dreamed about. So, he accepted Mary into his home as his wife, then carried Jesus and Mary into Egypt and then used his skills to earn a living for them there. He didn’t complain. When he dreamed the time had come to go back to Nazareth and start over once again, he did that without complaint. Whatever he concluded was God’s will for him “now” he did generously and lovingly. Most of us fear upsets in our lives. Joseph was ready to accept any change, no matter how unexpected it might be so long as he could see it as a way of doing God’s will. A person of faith, as he shows us, doesn’t hesitate in the face of fear and even uncertainty, let alone in the face of strangeness and situations never faced before. That is genuine trust in God. If God wants this or that then God can be trusted to show us how to use our skills and abilities to obey God and accomplish what God commands in spite of personal limitations. Thinking of all this we see how faith makes us humble and how we find confidence precisely through that humility. Joseph lived as a collaborator with God in carrying out God’s Plan of Salvation. He didn’t have to understand anything more than that God was asking him to do this or that. We kneel in reverence before the hidden glory of Joseph’s family—before its real treasures of humility, self-sacrifice, openness to learning and to being responsive in love. There was also acceptance of trials and sufferings and unquenchable trust in God, no matter what was asked. How many people need these riches even more than food and drink and better housing. Let’s not forget we are asked by God to share these inner treasures along with the more ordinary ones. We are called to share them first by living them, by deeds more than by mere words. (Pope St. John XXIII)
O glorious Saint Joseph,
remind all who work
that they are not alone
in their labor, their joy
or their sufferings,
because Jesus is by our side,
with Mary, his mother and ours,
supporting them,
wiping sweat from their brow,
and setting a value on their toil.
Teach them to use their labor,
as you did, as a supreme means
of attaining holiness.

Amen.  (Pope St. John XXIII)

Day 7

Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival.  When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him.  After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.  Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor. (Luke 2:41-52)

It was necessary, then, that Mary should be espoused to Joseph, in order that what was holy might be concealed from the unholy, that the virginity of Mary might be proved to her spouse, and that the Virgin might be preserved from suspicion and her reputation protected. What more wise? What more worthy of Divine Providence?  What are we to think of the dignity of Joseph, who deserved to be called and to be regarded as the father of our Savior? We may draw a parallel between him and the great Patriarch. As the first Joseph was by the envy of his brothers sold and sent into Egypt, the second Joseph fled into Egypt with Christ to escape the envy of Herod. The chaste Patriarch remained faithful to his master, despite the evil suggestions of his mistress. St. Joseph, recognizing in his wife the Virgin Mother of his Lord, guarded her with the utmost fidelity and chastity. To the Joseph of old was given interpretation of dreams, to the new Joseph a share in the heavenly secrets. His predecessor kept a store of corn, not for himself, but for the whole nation; our Joseph received the Living Bread from heaven, that he might preserve it for his own salvation and that of all the world. A good and faithful servant was the Joseph to whom Mary, the Mother of the Savior, was espoused; a faithful and prudent servant whom our Lord chose for the comfort of his Mother and the nurse of his own childhood, as well as the only and most trustworthy cooperator in the Divine design. To Joseph it was given to behold him whom many kings and prophets had desired to see and had not seen, to hear and had not heard. And not only was he allowed to behold him and listen to his words, but he might bear Jesus in his arms, guide his steps, embrace and caress him, feed and protect him. Therefore, let Mary and Joseph and the Infant be always found in us, that we may live soberly and justly and piously in the world. For it is for this purpose that the grace of God our Savior has appeared instructing us. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)


Hail Joseph the just, wisdom is with you; blessed are you among all men and blessed is Jesus, the fruit of Mary, the faithful spouse. Holy Joseph, worthy foster-father of Jesus Christ, pray for us sinners and obtain divine wisdom for us from God, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. (St. Louis de Montfort)

Day 8

Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? (Matt. 13:54-56)

I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that both out of this my present trouble, and out of others of greater importance, relating to my honor and the loss of my soul, this my father and lord delivered me, and rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for. I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God hath given me through this blessed Saint; the dangers from which he hath delivered me, both of body and of soul. To other Saints, our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity; but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, to help us in all: and our Lord would have us understand that as He was Himself subject to him upon earth—for St. Joseph having the title of father, and being His guardian, could command Him—so now in heaven He performs all his petitions. […] Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious Saint; for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known any one who was really devout to him, and who honored him by particular services, who did not visibly grow more and more in virtue; for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. […] But I ask, for the love of God, that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—when he will see by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious patriarch, and being devout to him. Those who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner have always a devotion to St. Joseph; for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of the angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the services he rendered them then. He who cannot find any one to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious Saint for his master, and he will not wander out of the way.  (St. Teresa of Avila)


O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen.  (Pope St. Pius X)

Day 9


All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom he had been told, “It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you.” He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead--and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. By faith Isaac invoked blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, “bowing in worship over the top of his staff.” By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial. (Heb. 11:13-22)


This is the general rule that applies to all individual graces given to a rational creature. Whenever divine grace selects someone to receive a particular grace, or some especially favored position, all the gifts for his state are given to that person, and. enrich him abundantly. This is especially true of that holy man Joseph, the supposed father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and true husband of the queen of the world and of the angels. He was chosen by the eternal Father to be the faithful foster-parent and guardian of the most precious treasures of God, his Son and his spouse. This was the task which he so faithfully carried out. For this, the Lord said to him, “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.” A comparison can be made between Joseph and the whole Church of Christ. Joseph was the specially chosen man through whom and under whom Christ entered the world fittingly and in an appropriate way. So, if the whole Church is in the debt of the Virgin Mary, since, through her, it was able to receive the Christ, surely after her, it also owes to Joseph special thanks and veneration. For he it is who marks the closing of the old testament. In him the dignity of the prophets and patriarchs achieves its promised fulfillment. Moreover; he alone possessed in the flesh what God in his goodness promised to them over and again. It is beyond doubt that Christ did not deny to Joseph in heaven that intimacy, respect, and high honour which he showed to him as to a father during his own human life, but rather completed and perfected it. Justifiably the words of the Lord should be applied to him, “Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Although it is the joy of eternal happiness that comes into the heart of man, the Lord prefers to say to him “enter into joy.” The mystical implication is that this joy is not just inside man, but surrounds him everywhere and absorbs him, as if he were plunged in an infinite abyss. Therefore be mindful of us, blessed Joseph, and intercede for us with him whom men thought to be your son. Win for us the favor of the most Blessed Virgin your spouse, the mother of him who lives and reigns with the Holy Spirit through ages unending. Amen.  (St. Bernardine of Siena)

O Holy Patriarch, I rejoice with you at the exalted dignity by which
you were deemed worthy to act as father to Jesus, to give him orders and
to be obeyed by him whom heaven and earth obey.
O great saint, as you were served by God, I too wish to be taken into
your service. I choose you, after Mary, to be my chief advocate and
I promise to honor you everyday by some special act of devotion and by
placing myself under your daily protection.
By that sweet company which Jesus and Mary gave you in your
lifetime, protect me all through life, so that I may never separate myself
from my God by losing his grace.
My dear St. Joseph, pray to Jesus for me. Certainly, He can never
refuse you anything, as He obeyed all your orders while on earth. Tell
Him to detach me from all creatures and from myself, to inflame me
with His holy love, and then to do with me what He pleases.
By that assistance which Jesus and Mary gave you at death, I beg of
you to protect me in a special way at the hour of my death, so that
dying assisted by you, in the company of Jesus and Mary, I may go to
thank you in paradise and, in your company, to praise my God for all
eternity.  Amen. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)