Saint Teresa of Avila in her Autobiography, VI, 11-12, writes of the blessings she obtained from Saint Joseph and implores the faithful to turn to him too:
“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint, for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honoured him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . .
“I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself—then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him.”
These beautiful and encouraging words of Our Lady, spoken about her holy spouse to Venerable Mary of Agreda, shed further light on the power of Saint Joseph’s intercession:
“The children of the world are ignorant regarding the privileges and rights which the Most High has conferred on my holy spouse, and the power of his intercession with the Divine Majesty and with me. But I assure you, my daughter, that in Heaven he is most intimate with the Lord, and has great power to avert the punishment of Divine Justice from sinners. In all trials seek his intercession, because the Heavenly Father will grant whatever my spouse asks.”
“On the Day of Judgment, the condemned will weep bitterly for not having realized how powerful and efficacious a means of salvation they might have had in the intercession of St Joseph, and for not having done their utmost to gain the friendship of the Eternal Judge.”
Finally Saint Alphonsus Liguori points to the graces Saint Joseph obtains for us if we call on him for a happy death:
“Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honoured him during their life, and they do so for three reasons:
“First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint.
“Second, because St Joseph has obtained special power against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigour at the hour of death.
“Third, the assistance given St Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death he will not only help them, but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary.”
With the upcoming Feast of Saint Joseph on 19th March, it seems fitting to begin a novena to this great and powerful intercessor today. May Saint Joseph who knew the joys and sufferings of family life, pray for us all, for our families, for the Church and our troubled world!
The following prayer is said to have been found in 50AD. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. It has been said that “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 of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire or shall be overpowered in battle”. This prayer could also be recited as a Novena for nine days in preparation of the Feast of Saint Joseph on 19th March:
Oh Saint Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. (Mention your petition here.)
Oh Saint 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 Saint 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.
Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.