An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph

Catholic Novena Dates Back to 50 A.D.

Statue of St. Joseph, Lourdes Grotto, St. Mary Oratory, Rockford, IL. (Photo © Scott P. Richert)
Statue of Saint Joseph in the Lourdes Grotto, Saint Mary Oratory, Rockford, IL. Scott P. Richert

The Catholic prayer, "An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph, is considered a powerful novena (recited for nine straight days) to Saint Joseph, the foster father of Christ. After the Virgin Mary, Roman Catholics believe that Saint Joseph is the most beloved and efficacious saint in heaven, as well as a guardian and protector of the Church.

Promise Associated With This Prayer

This prayer is often distributed on prayer cards with proof of the power of this prayer. "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, provided that the request is for one's spiritual benefit or for those whom we are praying for."

An "Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph"

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, assist me by thy powerful intercession and obtain for me all spiritual blessings through thy foster Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord, so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer thee my thanksgiving and homage.

O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee and Jesus asleep in thine arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy 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 me.

More About Saint Joseph

Saint Joseph is not quoted anywhere in the Bible. Although, this prayer is as old as the Apostolic canon.  In addition to being the foster father of Jesus Christ, he was the husband of the Virgin Mary. 

He is considered the patron saint of fathers for obvious reasons. He was also a hardworking carpenter by trade. For this reason, he is also considered the patron saint of workers. He is also the patron and protector of the Catholic Church and a patron of the sick and of a happy death due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary.

The Catholic Church urges fathers to cultivate a devotion to Saint Joseph, whom God chose to care for his Son. The church urges believers to teach your sons about the virtues of fatherhood through his example.

The Month of St. Joseph

The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of March to St. Joseph and urges believers to pay special attention to his life and example.

The "Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph" is only one of many prayers you can recite to Saint Joseph to intercede on your behalf. Others include "A Prayer for Workers," the "Saint Joseph Novena," and a "Prayer for Fidelity to Work."

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ThoughtCo. "An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph." Learn Religions, Aug. 25, 2020, ThoughtCo. (2020, August 25). An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph. Retrieved from ThoughtCo. "An Ancient Prayer to Saint Joseph." Learn Religions. (accessed June 3, 2023).