PRAYERS TO ST. JOSEPH
Prayers to St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, date back almost as far as Our Lord’s time! Although he came from King David’s noble lineage, St. Joseph (left) lived a life of great humility and devotion to his Holy Family as a carpenter.
Matthew’s gospel describes him as a “just man” (1:19). He is the patron saint of the Universal Church, and people invoke his aid for workers, families, home buyers and sellers, and the grace of a happy death, among other things. St. Thomas Aquinas once noted that St. Joseph is unique among patron saints in that he is able to assist us at anytime for anything.
St. Theresa of Avila echoed this sentiment 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.”
This prayer is among the earliest prayers to St. Joseph, (from around A.D. 50) and also one of the best known:
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. Amen.
These three prayers to St. Joseph tie in with the themes of a graceful life and a happy death:
Oh, Saint Joseph, foster-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray for us daily to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving faithfully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death. Amen.
Blessed St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to your honor and give
myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector and my guide
in the way of salvation. Obtain for me great purity
Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the immaculate Virgin, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my father, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Amen.
And finally, this prayer, known as St. Joseph’s Blessing, captures what probably would have been his feelings in its expression of great love for his divine Foster Child:
May the poverty of my sweet and
ST. PATRICK'S PRAYER
St. Patrick's prayer for the faithful captures the wonderful spirit that
Born in Britain shortly before the 5th century, St. Patrick, pictured below, was taken captive to Ireland by raiders at the age of 16. He lived there for six years as a shepherd under harsh conditions and became intensely devoted to God in prayer, as he puts it, “because the spirit was then fervent within me.” Tradition has it that divine dreams inspired both his escape from captivity in Ireland and his return there later in his life as a bishop.
In this prayer he asks for God’s help in various ways:
May the Strength of God pilot us.
May Christ be with us!
St. Patrick's prayer no doubt helped him in his missionary efforts. Although he faced his share of resistance, St. Patrick was so successful in preaching the gospel and organizing the Church in Ireland that he is largely credited with converting the Irish to Christianity.
His emblems are the snakes that legends claim he drove out of Ireland
St. Patrick's prayer for the faithful, much like the famous Breastplate prayer also attributed to him, can truly inspire us to ask for divine assistance in living our faith each day.
As Our Lord said in Matthew's gospel, if our requests are in accordance with His will, “ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (7:6). The “Strength of God” mentioned in the first line of this prayer should give us strength indeed!
THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS
The Prayer of St. Francis is one of the best known and best loved prayers in the world today. Attributed traditionally to St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) its actual origins are much more recent. Nonethless it beautifully reflects his devotion to God!
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace;
O Divine Master,
Although he came from a wealthy family, St. Francis developed a burning desire as a young man to emulate Our Lord in his love of charity and voluntary poverty. He went so far at one point as to sell his horse, and cloth from his father’s store, to help pay for the rebuilding of a church!
After renouncing his wealth, St. Francis founded one of the most famous religious orders, the Franciscans. The Franciscans lived an austere life of poverty in service to others following Jesus’s example, and preached the Gospel message all over Italy and other parts of Europe.
St. Francis’s humility was such that he never became a priest. Coming from someone whose order attracted thousands of people within its first ten years, this is modesty indeed!
Fittingly, St. Francis is the patron of Catholic Action, as well as of animals, the environment, and his native Italy. We see his legacy in the wonderful chartiable work the Franciscans do all over the world today.
In addition to the Prayer of St. Francis (also known as the “Peace Prayer of St. Francis”) there are some other moving prayers that he wrote listed here that reflect his great love of Our Lord, the Blessed Mother, and nature as part of God’s magnificent creation.
Back to the Prayers List