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.
It was from his marriage to Mary that Joseph derived his singular dignity and his rights in regard to Jesus. "It is certain that the dignity of the Mother of God is so exalted that nothing could be more sublime; yet because Mary was united to Joseph by the bond of marriage, there can be no doubt but that Joseph approached as no other person ever could that eminent dignity whereby the Mother of God towers above all creatures. Since marriage is the highest degree of association and friendship, involving by its very nature a communion of goods, it follows that God, by giving Joseph to the Virgin, did not give him to her only as a companion for life, a witness of her virginity and protector of her honor: he also gave Joseph to Mary in order that he might share, through the marriage pact, in her own sublime greatness."
This bond of charity was the core of the Holy Family's life, first in the poverty of Bethlehem, then in their exile in Egypt, and later in the house of Nazareth. The Church deeply venerates this Family, and proposes
it as the model of all families. Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. And in this mystery, as in the Incarnation, one finds a true fatherhood: the human form of the family of the Son of God, a true human family, formed by the divine mystery. In this family, Joseph is the father: his fatherhood is not one that derives from begetting offspring.
On the basis of this principle, the words Mary spoke to the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple take on their full significance: "Your father and l.. .have been looking for you." This is no conventional phrase: Mary's words to Jesus show the complete reality of the Incarnation present in the mystery of the Family of Nazareth. From the beginning, Joseph accepted with the "obedience of faith" his human fatherhood over Jesus. And thus, following the light of the Holy Spirit who gives himself to human beings through faith, he certainly came to discover ever more fully the indescribable gift that was his human fatherhood.
May St. Joseph be a spiritual father to us, teaching us the ways of wisdom, holiness and truth.