To you, O Blessed Joseph, do we come in our need, confident that you will hear our prayer. Through the tender and chaste love that bound you to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and through the paternal love with which you embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg you to look upon us with the same affection and through your power and strength aid us in our necessities. (mention petitions)
O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of Mary our Mother, obtain for each of us a pure, humble, and charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the Divine Will. Be our guide, our father, and our model through life, that we may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.
O glorious St. Joseph, through the love you bear to Jesus Christ and for the glory of His Name, hear our prayers and obtain our petition.
Reflections excerpted from Guardian of the Redeemer, by St. John Paul II.
Mary was "betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David." The nature of this "marriage" is explained indirectly when Mary, after hearing what the messenger says about the birth of the child, asks, "How can this be, since I do not know man ? " (Lk 1:34) The angel responds: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Lk 1:35). Although Mary is already "wedded" to Joseph, she will remain a virgin, because the child conceived in her at the Annunciation was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In response to what is clearly the plan of God, with the passing of days and weeks Mary's "pregnancy" is visible to the people and to Joseph; she appears before them as one who must give birth and carry within herself the mystery of motherhood.
In these circumstances, "her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to send her away quietly" (Mt 1:19). He did not know how to deal with Mary's "astonishing" motherhood. He certainly sought an answer to this unsettling question, but above all he sought a way out of what was for him a difficult situation. "But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins' " (Mt 1:2021).
The divine messenger introduces Joseph to the mystery of Mary's motherhood. While remaining a virgin, she who by law is his "spouse" has become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph is visited by the messenger as "Mary's spouse," as the one who in due time must give the name Jesus to the Son born of the Virgin of Nazareth. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary's Son.
"When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife" (cf. Mt 1:24). He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary's with regard to what God asked of him through the angel.
During this novena, we beg St. Joseph to obtain for us a ready willingness to carry out the holy will of God as it is manifested to us daily in Passionist life.