SAINT JOSEPH: THE PATRON OF THE DYING
DO YOU KNOW WHY Saint Joseph is, among his many titles, also called “Patron of the Dying”?
There are three reasons why Saint Joseph is the special patron of the dying:
1.) He is the foster father of the Eternal Judge, Who can refuse him no request.
2.) He is terrible to the demons; the Church calls him the “Terror of Demons” and “Conqueror of Hell”.
3.) His own death was most beautiful, for he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary; this is the principal reason why he is the patron of a happy death. The death of no other Saint was so happy or so glorious. Saint Francis de Sales was of the opinion that Saint Joseph died of the love of God, which was also shared by Saint Alphonsus Liguori.
***PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH***
O Glorious Saint Joseph, behold I choose thee today for my special patron in life and at the hour of my death. Preserve and increase in me the spirit of prayer and fervor in the service of God.
Remove far from me every kind of sin; obtain for me that my death may not come upon me unawares, but that I may have time to confess my sins sacramentally and to bewail them with a most perfect understanding and a most sincere and perfect contrition, in order that I may breathe forth my soul into the hands of Jesus and Mary.
over 1900 years old
Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.
As long as it is said in faith and for a particular spiritual benefit.
Even though St. Joseph never spoke a word in scripture, his silent example of obedient faithfulness and diligent care for the Holy Family during Jesus’ formative years has made him one of the most beloved saints of Christianity.
Devotion to the foster-father of Jesus is generally traced to the 3rd or 4th century, but according to the Pieta prayer book, there is a prayer to St. Joseph that dates to the year 50.
This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or be burned in any fire or be overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you desire. It has never been known to fail.
Here is the prayer, which some claim “has never been known to fail, provided that the request is for one’s spiritual benefit or for those whom we are praying for.”
THE LITANY OF ST. JOSEPH
The litany of St. Joseph, one of only six approved by the Church for public as well as private use, sums up qualities that made him such an important part of the Holy Family (pictured above).
Although he does not appear much in scripture, this “just man” (as he is called in Matthew 1:19), a humble carpenter, served our Lord and the Blessed Virgin Mary faithfully as His “foster-father” and her “chaste guardian,” as he is called below.
In referring to St. Joseph as a “diligent protector” of Christ, this litany brings to mind his important role in taking Mary and the infant child Jesus to Egypt to protect our Lord from being killed by King Herod (Matt 3:13-16).
The Litany of St. Joseph, in referring to him as a “patron of the dying” gives one of many examples of his patronage. The faithful ask for his assistance for workers, home buyers (and sellers) and, of course, carpenters, among many others!
When this litany is prayed in public, the congregation responds to a leader with the words in italics.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us (after each line)
Renowned offspring of David,
Light of Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Diligent protector of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most strong,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of artisans,
Glory of home life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the wretched, Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He made him the lord of His house:
R. And ruler of all His substance.
Let us pray.
O God, who in Thine unspeakable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Thine own most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven, whom we reverence as our defender on earth: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
St. Theresa of Avila once suggested famously that although we may have access to many saints as intercessors for our various needs, we should “go especially to Joseph, for he has great power with God.” In praying this litany of St. Joseph we are indeed going to the patron saint and “protector” of the Universal Church
Prayers to St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, date back almost as far as 50 A.D.! Even though he came from King David’s noble ancestry, St. Joseph lived a life of great humility and adoration to his Holy Family as a carpenter.
Matthew’s gospel characterizes him as a “just man” (1:19). He is the patron saint of the Universal Church, and people call upon his aid for workers, families, home buyers and sellers, and the grace of a happy death, among other requests. St. Thomas Aquinas once noted that St. Joseph is unique among patron saints in that he is able to assist us at any time for anything.
St. Theresa of Avila echoed this idea when she wrote “I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”
The St Joseph Novena
Saying a St Joseph Novena can be an effective way to get what you’re asking for. Say these prayers for nine days in a row. Pray with the same cause in your mind each day, and really mean the words you say.
Day 1: Oh God, guide of those who listen and helper of those who hear your voice, speak to me, as you did to St. Joseph, and help me accomplish the things you give me to do .
Day 2: O God, you love your people and bless the ordinary lives we quietly live. As you blessed St. Joseph, bless what I do, however, hidden and simple it may be, and let all I do be done with love.
Day 3: O God, ever faithful, you remember us always and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted, and never let me lose faith in the wonderful gifts you promise me.
Day 4: God of families, bless the family that’s mine. Keep us safe from harm, and never let evil come between us. Let peace remain in our hearts.
Day 5: O God, who loves children, be kind to our children today. Give them eyes of faith for seeing far, a loving heart for welcoming life, and a place always at your side.
Day 6: God of our heavenly home, bless our home on earth. Let the spirit of Mary and Joseph rest at our table, shape our words and actions, and bring blessing to our children.
Day 7: God, our Father, give your fatherly spirit to those who are fathers now. Like Joseph, give them hearts of devoted love for their wives and children and strength for forgiveness and patience.
Day 8: Give shelter, O God, to those who need it, and bring together families divided. Give us enough to eat, and decent work to earn our bread. Care for us, O God.
Day 9: Bless all families, O Lord especially those in need. Remembering the life of your Son, we pray for the poor, for those who lack a good home, for those in exile. Grant them a protector like Joseph, O God.
Prayer to Sell a House
It is believed by some that by burying a St Joseph statue in the yard of a house for sale, will help sell the house more quickly. Whether this actually works or not is up to debate. But, there is certainly no harm in trying.
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Prayer to Saint Joseph – Very Powerful
Glorious Saint Joseph,
pattern of all who are devoted to toil,
obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit
of penance, in order thereby to atone for my
many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting
devotion to duty before my own inclinations;
to labour with thankfulness and joy,
deeming it an honour to employ and to develop,
by my labour, the gifts that I have received
from Almighty God; to work with order, peace,
moderation, and patience, without ever
shrinking from weariness and difficulties;
to work above all with a pure intention
and with detachment from self,
having always before my eyes the hour of death
and the accounting which I must then render
of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed,
of good undone, and of my empty pride in
success, which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all through Mary,
all in imitation of thee, O Patriarch !
This shall be my motto in life and in death.
O GLORIOUS St. Joseph, thou who hast power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress.
Take this important and difficult affair under thy particular protection, that it may end happily.
(Name your request.)
O dear St. Joseph, all our confidence is in thee.
Let it not be said that we would invoke thee in vain; and since thou art so powerful with Jesus and Mary.
Show that thy goodness equals thy power.
Amen, St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, the virginal father of Jesus Christ, was faithful to his daily work as a carpenter. With his work, Saint Joseph supported his virgin wife, Mary, and the Child Jesus, his Son.
“Go, then to Joseph, and do all that he shall say to you;
Go to Joseph, and obey him as Jesus and Mary obeyed him;
Go to Joseph, and speak to him as they spoke to him;
Go to Joseph, and consult him as they consulted him;
Go to Joseph, and honor him as they honored him;
Go to Joseph, and be grateful to him as they were grateful to him;
Go to Joseph, and love him, as they love him still”
(St. Alphonsus Liguori).
Pope Pius XII established the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in 1955. He chose May 1, a day the Communists used to celebrate their view of labor, as the day for this important feast which shows the importance of work in a Christian’s life. The pope gave Christian workers the example of Saint Joseph to show forth the dignity of labor, no matter how menial.
“If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus’ work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1” (St. John Paul II).
St. John Paul II went on to say: “Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel… At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.”
In 2005, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI stated: “It is necessary to live a spirituality that helps believers to sanctify themselves through their work, imitating St. Joseph, who had to provide with his own hands for the daily needs of the Holy Family and whom, consequently, the Church holds up as Patron of workers.”
Prayer for our work helps us get through the stresses and struggles we experience as we support ourselves and our loved ones. We can offer our work to God for His honor and glory and for the good of ourselves and others; in this way work becomes a prayer.
This prayer to St. Joseph the Worker, a prayer for our work, was written by Pope Pius X. St. Joseph, patron of workers, a happy death, and the Universal Church, pray for us!