Novena in Honor of St. Joseph
Join Bishop W. Shawn McKnight and Catholics in the Diocese of Jefferson City March 10-18 in praying a novena to honor St. Joseph. Please use the Novena prayers below for each day, March 10-18. The readings specific to each day are provided and labeled below and should be inserted after the opening greeting. To learn more about the Year of St. Joseph and with additional resources for prayer, click here to visit our diocesan website.
Optional opening Hymn: Included in daily novena videos.
Antiphon: St. Joseph, our Protector, pray for us.
Leader: Behold, the faithful and wise servant
Response: Whom the Lord has placed over His household
Reading: (specific to each day, posted below)
Leader: Let us Pray.
Almighty God, at the beginnings of our salvation, when Blessed Mary conceived Your Son and brought Him forth into the world, You placed them under Saint Joseph’s watchful care. May his prayer still help Your Church to be an equally faithful guardian of Your mysteries, and a sign of Christ to mankind. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Day 1, March 10, 2021 |
“Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!” (Pope Francis, March 19, 2013)
Day 2, March 11, 2021
Saint Paul VI pointed out that Joseph concretely expressed his fatherhood “by making his life a sacrificial service to the mystery of the incarnation and its redemptive purpose. He employed his legal authority over the Holy Family to devote himself completely to them in his life and work. He turned his human vocation to domestic love into a superhuman oblation of himself, his heart and all his abilities, a love placed at the service of the Messiah who was growing to maturity in his home” (Paul VI, 1966).
Day 3, March 12, 2021
“Joseph saw Jesus grow daily ‘in wisdom and in years and in divine and human favor’ (Lk 2:52). As the Lord had done with Israel, so Joseph did with Jesus: he taught him to walk, taking him by the hand; he was for him like a father who raises an infant to his cheeks, bending down to him and feeding him (cf. Hos 11:3-4)” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).
Day 4, March 13, 2021
“At the end of every account in which Joseph plays a role, the Gospel tells us that he gets up, takes the child and his mother, and does what God commanded him (cf. Mt 1:24; 2:14.21)” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).
“… Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.’ Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son’” (Mt 2: 13-15).
Day 5, March 14, 2021
“Often in life, things happen whose meaning we do not understand. Just as God told Joseph: ‘Son of David, do not be afraid!’ (Mt 1:20), so he seems to tell us: ‘Do not be afraid!’ We need to set aside all anger and disappointment, and to embrace the way things are, even when they do not turn out as we wish. Not with mere resignation but with hope and courage. In this way, we become open to a deeper meaning. Our lives can be miraculously reborn if we find the courage to live them in accordance with the Gospel. It does not matter if everything seems to have gone wrong or some things can no longer be fixed. God can make flowers spring up from stony ground. Even if our heart condemns us, ‘God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything’ (1 Jn 3:20)” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).
Day 6, March 15, 2021
“As we read the infancy narratives, we may often wonder why God did not act in a more direct and clear way. Yet God acts through events and people. Joseph was the man chosen by God to guide the beginnings of the history of redemption. He was the true ‘miracle’ by which God saves the child and his mother. God acted by trusting in Joseph’s creative courage. Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, as best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world (cf. Lk 2:6-7)” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).
Day 7, March 16, 2021
“Saint Joseph was a carpenter who earned an honest living to provide for his family. From him, Jesus learned the value, the dignity and the joy of what it means to eat bread that is the fruit of one’s own labor" (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020). We know from Scripture that Jesus was obedient to his parents, and "advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man (Lk 2:41-51)”.
Day 8, March 17, 2021
“Every child is the bearer of a unique mystery that can only be brought to light with the help of a father who respects that child’s freedom. A father who realizes that he is most a father and educator at the point when he becomes ‘useless,’ when he sees that his child has become independent and can walk the paths of life unaccompanied. When he becomes like Joseph, who always knew that his child was not his own but had merely been entrusted to his care. In the end, this is what Jesus would have us understand when he says: ‘Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven’ (Mt 23:9)” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).
Day 9, March 18, 2021
“The aim of this Apostolic Letter is to increase our love for this great saint, to encourage us to implore his intercession and to imitate his virtues and his zeal. Indeed, the proper mission of the saints is not only to obtain miracles and graces, but to intercede for us before God, like Abraham and Moses, and like Jesus, the ‘one mediator’ (1 Tim 2:5), who is our ‘advocate’ with the Father (1 Jn 2:1) and who ‘always lives to make intercession for [us]’ (Heb 7:25; cf. Rom 8:34). The saints help all the faithful ‘to strive for the holiness and the perfection of their particular state of life.’ Their lives are concrete proof that it is possible to put the Gospel into practice. Jesus told us: ‘Learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart’ (Mt 11:29). The lives of the saints too are examples to be imitated. Saint Paul explicitly says this: ‘Be imitators of me!’ (1 Cor 4:16). By his eloquent silence, Saint Joseph says the same” (Pope Francis, Patris Corde, 2020).