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.
Only one episode from the "hidden life" of Jesus is described in the Gospel of Luke: the Passover in Jerusalem when Jesus was twelve years old. "And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it" (Lk 2:43). After a day's journey, they noticed his absence and began to search "among their kinsfolk and acquaintances." "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" (Lk 2:47). Mary asked: "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously" (Lk 2:48). The answer Jesus gave was such that "they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them." He had said, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49-50)
Joseph, of whom Mary had just used the words "your father," heard this answer. This reply of Jesus in the Temple brought once again to the mind of his "presumed father" what Joseph had heard twelve years earlier: "Joseph...do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." From that time onwards he knew he was a guardian of the mystery of God, and it was precisely this mystery that the twelve-year-old Jesus brought to mind: "I must be in my Father's house."
The growth of Jesus "in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man" (Lk 2:52) took place within the Holy Family under the eyes of Joseph, who had the important task of "raising" Jesus, that is, feeding, clothing and educating him in the Law and in a trade, in keeping with the duties of a father. For his part, Jesus "was obedient to them" (Lk 2:51), respectfully returning the affection of his "parents." In this way he wished to sanctify the obligations of the family and of work, which he performed at the side of Joseph.
Joseph, like Mary, remained faithful to God's call until the end. At the moment of Joseph's own "annunciation" he said nothing; instead he simply "did as the angel of the Lord commanded him" (Mt 1:24). And this first "doing " became the beginning of "Joseph's way." The Gospels do not record any word ever spoken by Joseph along that way. But the silence of Joseph has its own special eloquence, for thanks to that silence we can understand the truth of the Gospel's judgment that he was "a just man" (Mt 1:19).
During this novena, may we learn “Joseph’s way” of humility, obedience and silent faith in carrying out the Father’s will in our Passionist vocation.