Pray to saint Joseph, patron of the Universal Church, with the Novena
Joseph is the patron of the Universal Church.
We pray to him to support the Church in «her renewed commitment to evangelization in the world and to re-evangelization in those lands and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and are now put to a hard test.»
John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos
Joseph, you who loved God with all your heart, all your might and all your spirit, and who taught Jesus to do the same, hear my prayer.
Let me love God passionately and to do all things for Him.
Let me love my neighbour to the point that I may give my life for him, because he is the image of God.
Make me attentive to the indications of the Holy Spirit, help me recognize his interventions so that I may do His will.
1st day: Meditation
As a child, praying in the synagogue, Joseph hears the psalms. His heart resonates to the sound of their words. Like the author of the psalms, his ancestor David, Joseph feels that he is called to live a righteous life.
Blessed those whose way is blameless,
who walk by the law of the Lord.
You have given them the command
to observe your precepts with care.
May my ways be firm
in the observance of your statutes!
Then I will not be ashamed
to ponder all your commandments.
I will praise you with sincere heart
as I study your righteous judgments.
From Psalm 119
On May 1st, 2013, the Vatican published a decree for the insertion of Saint Joseph’s name in all Eucharistic prayers.
2nd day: Meditation
Joseph meditates on the promise made to David. Aware of his lineage, he is touched by Yahve’s tenderness towards his ancestor and his descendance, and he wishes to return love for love.
Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done marvelous deeds.
His right hand and holy arm have won the victory.
The Lord has made his victory known; has revealed his triumph in the sight of the nations,
He has remembered his mercy and faithfulness toward the house of Israel.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth;break into song; sing praise.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout with joy to the King, the Lord.
Before the Lord who comes, who comes to govern the earth,
To govern the world with justice and the peoples with fairness.
From Psalm 98
On July 5, 2013, Francis, accompanied in particular by Benedict XVI, officially consecrated the Vatican to Saint Micheal and Saint Joseph.
3rd day: Meditation
Unaware of the explanation for his betrothed being with child, amidst confusion, Joseph suffers but preserves his high esteem for her. An unexpected outcome unfolds in front of him.
Surely, I wait for the LORD; who bends down to me and hears my cry,
Sets my feet upon rock, steadies my steps,
You, yes you, O LORD, my God, have done many wondrous deeds!
And in your plans for us there is none to equal you.
I delight to do your will, my God; your law is in my inner being!”
I speak of your loyalty and your salvation. I do not hide your mercy or faithfulness from a great assembly.
LORD, may you not withhold your compassion from me;
May your mercy and your faithfulness continually protect me.
From Psalm 40
Joseph’s example shows us that “in these dificult moments, God’s chosen ones, in order to continue history, must take the problems upon their shoulders, without understanding. This is how God makes history”. (Pope Francis, commenting on Matthew (1, 18-24), December 18, 2014)
4th day: Meditation
Mary’s noble mission, to which he is associated from the onset, brings Joseph to exult in God. God’s calling corresponds to his most profound aspirations, and he is determined to respond, just as a good servant to his Master.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;
cry out to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with a song of praise,
joyfully sing out our psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
the great king over all gods,
Whose hand holds the depths of the earth;
who owns the tops of the mountains.
Enter, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the Lord who made us.
From Psalm 95
Many countries have Joseph as patron: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Canada, China, South Korea, Mexico, Russia (proclaimed by Pius XI in 1930) and Vietnam.
5th day: Meditation
Herod’s decree leads to the assassination of many children. This elicits pain and compassion in Mary and Joseph. They have the intuition that the salvation of these children resides in the future of their own child. The seriousness of the issue empowers their zeal.
Give ear to my words, O Lord; understand my sighing.
Attend to the sound of my cry, my king and my God!
For to you I will pray, Lord; in the morning you will hear my voice;
You are not a god who delights in evil; no wicked person finds refuge with you;
But I, through the abundance of your mercy, will enter into your house.
I will bow down toward your holy sanctuary out of fear of you.
You will protect them and those will rejoice in you who love your name.
For you, Lord, bless the just one; you surround him with favor like a shield.
From Psalm 5
Pius IX declared Joseph patron of the Universal Church. On August 15, 1989, John-Paul II reaffirmed the importance of Joseph’s patronage for our times in the apostolic exhoration Redemptoris Custos.
6th day: Meditation
Jesus is growing up, working with Joseph and learning the trade by observing his father. The father/son relationship evolves into a deep friendship sealed by God’s project.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
and who walk in his ways.
What your hands provide you will enjoy;
you will be blessed and prosper:
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your home,
Your children like young olive plants
around your table.
Just so will the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
On March 17, 2012, Rev Dominique Rey, bishop of Fréjus-Toulon (France), consecrated his diocese to Saint Joseph.
7th day: Meditation
The Father's will, being manifested in the Temple during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, takes an unforseen meening for Mary and Joseph. The context of the event, and the response of Jesus to his mother's question, provide a prophetic meaning to the child's own mission.
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek:
To dwell in the LORD’s house all the days of my life,
To gaze on the LORD’s beauty, to visit his temple.
For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble,
I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD.
LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path
I believe I shall see the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.[d]
Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!
From Psalm 27
On October 17, 2010, Andre Bessette was canonized. Thus the founder of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, in Montreal, Canada, has become a remarkable witness to Joseph.
8th day: Meditation
Joseph is dying. He is peaceful, submitted to divine will, certain that the fulfillment of God’s justice will lead to an overabundance of mercy.
O God, give your judgment to the king;
your justice to the king’s son;
That he may govern your people with justice,
your oppressed with right judgment,
That the mountains may yield their bounty for the people,
and the hills great abundance,
May all kings bow before him,
all nations serve him.
May his name be forever;
as long as the sun, may his name endure.
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
who alone does wonderful deeds.
Amen and amen.
From Psalm 72
“Saint Joseph, after the Virgin Mary, was the first and the most perfect worshiper of our Lord. He adored him with a faith greater than all the saints; he adored him with a humility more profound than all the chosen ones; he adored with a purity beyond that of the angels; he adored with love like no other being, angel or human, has ever had towards Jesus; he adored with a devotion as complete as his capacity to love.”
9th day: Meditation
Because of his princely status associated to his lineage, Joseph received a particular mission whose substance is becoming clearer today. He invites us to ask his intercession in order to discover its hidden treasures.
My help comes from the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
or your guardian to sleep.
Behold, the guardian of Israel
never slumbers nor sleeps.
The Lord is your guardian;
the Lord is your shade
at your right hand.
By day the sun will not strike you,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will guard your coming and going
both now and forever.
From Psalm 121
“There were saints who were closer to our Lord than the apostles and the martyrs; but almost as if they had been lost in the radiance of His glory… for a long time they were subject to less attention… Then, as relatively calm times followed… bright stars rose in the firmament of the Church, more important, more majestic than all those who preceded them, and were rising late precisely because they radiated a special splendor… Saint Joseph is the most striking example.”