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Day 29 (July 19): Patron of Travelers

One of St. Joseph’s titles is the Patron of Travelers and for obvious reasons—he did a lot of traveling! Mary and Joseph traveled about 150 kilometers from Nazareth to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus Christ. The family moved to Egypt after Joseph was told in a dream to flee to the now North African country to escape the command of Herod the Great to slaughter children in and around Bethlehem. They reached Egypt after a 65 kilometers journey where they lived for three years until after the death of Herod. When Joseph had a dream that it is safe to return to Israel, the family traveled to Nazareth which took them a journey of at least 170 kilometers. Once settled in Nazareth, the Holy Family would travel 146 kilometers to Jerusalem three times each year for the required feasts.

The Holy Family most likely traveled by foot or by donkey. Walkers had to wear heavy shoes or sandals, and to carry tents, bedding and provisions. Walking speed depended on the climate, season, and terrain, but one could generally walk about 20 miles in a day. Travel in the winter was more difficult as snow often blocked high passes, and rains in October and May flooded the rivers, making them difficult to cross. People traveling by foot would try to travel in groups for protection against the numerous robbers and wild animals.

Today, we can entrust our travels to the intercession of St. Joseph. He who protected the life of our Savior can protect your life and the lives of our loved ones in the journeys in life.

St. Joseph, Patron of Travelers, protect my family in all of our travels near and far. Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Recall a time when you were aware of God’s protection during a trip or outing. Share this testimony with those close to you in order to increase their faith.

Day 30 (July 20): Patron of Immigrants

The Holy Family of Nazareth was an immigrant family. To avoid King Herod’s persecution, Joseph took Jesus and Mary to live in exile in Egypt, fleeing persecution and violence. He experienced the sadness of being away from home and faced the difficulties and hardships of living in a foreign land, facing poverty, having to learn another language, and being treated as an outsider, an undesirable, even a criminal. But in the face of all these difficulties, Joseph kept his peace and integrity. He obeyed God who gave him the strength to face the challenges, hardships, and difficulties that came while he was seeking safety and a better future for the Holy Family.

There are literally millions of Josephs in our time. There are Central American migrants leaving behind spouses and children to find opportunities in the north; Syrian and Lebanese families taking dangerous voyages to Europe only to be confined in crowded camps; persecuted families in Eritrea and the Horn of Africa fleeing to neighboring Ethiopia to find nothing but drought.

St. Joseph stands as an example of resolute trust and a great intercessor for immigrants. He conveys the same message carried to him by an angel: Do not be afraid (Matthew 1:20). Having made such a perilous journey himself, St. Joseph shows us that God will walk with each of us too, wherever our journey takes us. [xxii]

St. Joseph, Patron of Immigrants, intercede for all those who are migrants and refugees who are seeking asylum from oppression, poverty, persecution, violence, and war. Protect them and keep them safe. Help us to defend those who are marginalized, to give aid to those in need, to come to the defense of those who are poor or vulnerable.  Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: What lengths might I go to, to protect my family and seek a better life for them? Thank God for the ways he has provided for you to care for your family and ask Him to provide a way for all fathers seeking safety and peace for their families.

[xxii] Kandra, Greg. St. Joseph: Father, Refugee, Role Model, We can learn much from his courage and trust, Accessed May 15, 2020, https://wau.org/archives/article/st_joseph_father_refugee_role_model.

Day 31 (July 21): Powerful Intercessor

Over the last 30 days, we have reflected on various aspects of St. Joseph’s life. Hopefully, you have gotten to know him and have been inspired by his life. We have invoked his intercession for a wide variety of needs. Today we simply ask him to be our intercessor, and, as a first step toward consecration day, we offer this prayer to entrust ourselves to his fatherly care.

Dear St. Joseph,

After Mary, you are the most powerful intercessor

before God. In a sense, Jesus remains obedient to you

and will listen to you as you bring my intentions to

Him. Because of this, I especially want to entrust

myself to your fatherly care, just as Jesus Himself

did. And while in the past, I may have brought to you

one of my intentions here or there, this time I want

to do something new. This time, I want to give you

all. In other words, St. Joseph, I’m not here to offer

you a regular “novena” for just one of my intentions.

Rather, I want to forever entrust to you all of my

needs and cares, trusting that you will bring them,

with Mary, to your Son, Jesus.

 Dear St. Joseph, as the best of fathers, as the one God

chose to be the virginal father of Jesus, I believe that

you know what I need better than I do myself. So go

ahead, St. Joseph. I give you permission to care for

me as your child. In doing so, I trust that you will do

everything in your power to make my life into

something beautiful for God. I trust that you will

watch over me and that your prayers will guide me,

bless me, and protect me. I trust that you will now

care for me with the same love and tenderness with

which you cared for Jesus. I’ll confirm this special

relationship with you in nine days, when I make my

prayer of consecration.

Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor, please pray for

me and all my intentions. Amen.  

Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Take some time today to list your personal intentions that come to mind ending with the words “and for all the other intentions in my heart, St Joseph, I bring to you in my consecration.”

Day 32 (July 22): Man of Peace and Joy

St. Joseph was a man of peace and joy.  It must have been an inconceivable grace to live in the presence of the Son of God and the Mother of God and to participate in God’s plan of salvation. Through this prayer to St. Joseph, let us prepare for tomorrow’s consecration day by asking for a share in the peace and joy that he experienced in his earthly life and now experiences in the eternal bliss of heaven.

Dear St. Joseph, I know the Bible doesn’t speak directly of your joy, but how could you not have been full of joy? I’m sure you were. You lived in the presence of Jesus and Mary. Well, St. Joseph, please pray for me that I will also find my joy by also living in their presence. And having yourself lived in their presence, you must have been a man of such peace. St. Joseph, please pray for me that I keep my joy and not give in to sadness, laziness, or discouragement. Also, pray that I keep my peace of soul and not hold on to anger and bitterness in my heart. Help me to be merciful to everyone by offering forgiveness that I might also, like you, be a man of true peace and joy.[xxiii]  

Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Daily Challenge: Surrender your deepest worries, concerns and fears, entrusting them to God as you ask for this gift of the peace and joy of Christ that surpasses all understanding.

[xxiii] From the document Accessed May 15, 2020, https://st-francis-joseph-patrick-teresa.org/documents/st-joseph/95-st-joseph-novena/file.

Day 33 (July 23): Consecration Day

Congratulations! You made it! Today, you will consecrate yourself to St. Joseph. The Holy Trinity wants St. Joseph to be more known and loved. You have been invited to imitate the virtues and holiness of St. Joseph’s pure heart. With St. Joseph at your side, virtue and holiness will increase in your life. With St. Joseph’s paternal cloak over you, you will be protected from spiritual harm. Fear nothing! Your spiritual father is the father of Jesus, the husband of the Mother of God, and the Terror of Demons.[xxiv]

Pray the Litany of St. Joseph.

Act of Consecration to St. Joseph

O Glorious Patriarch and Patron of the Church! O Virgin Spouse of the Virgin Mother of God! O Guardian and Virginal Father of the Word Incarnate! In the presence of Jesus and Mary, I choose you this day to be my father, my guardian, and my protector. O great St. Joseph, whom God has made the Head of the Holy Family, accept me, I beseech you, though utterly unworthy, to be a member of your “Holy House.” Present me to your Immaculate Spouse; ask her also to adopt me as her child. With her, pray that I may constantly think of Jesus, and serve him faithfully to the end of my life. O Terror of Demons, increase in me virtue, protect me from the evil one, and help me not to offend God in any way. O my Spiritual Father, I hereby consecrate myself to you. In faithful imitation of Jesus and Mary, I place myself and all my concerns under your care and protection. To you, after Jesus and Mary, I consecrate my body and soul, with all their faculties, my spiritual growth, my home, and all my affairs and undertakings. Forsake me not, but adopt me as a servant and child of the Holy Family. Watch over me at all times, but especially at the hour of my death. Console and strengthen me with the presence of Jesus and Mary so that, with you, I may praise and adore the Holy Trinity for all eternity. Amen.[xv]

[xxiv] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, (p. 88).

[xv] Calloway, Consecration to St. Joseph, (pp. 241-242).

Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

Lord, 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.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Noble Offspring of David, pray for us.

Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.

Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.

Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.

Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.

Zealous Defender of Christ, pray for us.

Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph Most Just, pray for us.

Joseph Most Chaste, pray for us.

Joseph Most Prudent, pray for us.

Joseph Most Courageous, pray for us.

Joseph Most Obedient, pray for us.

Joseph Most Faithful, pray for us.

Mirror of Patience, pray for us.

Lover of Poverty, pray for us.

Model of Workmen, pray for us.

Glory of Domestic Life, pray for us.

Guardian of Virgins, pray for us.

Pillar of Families, pray for us.

Comfort of the Afflicted, pray for us.

Hope of the Sick, pray for us.

Patron of the Dying, pray for us.

Terror of Demons, pray for us.

Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

He has made him lord of his household,

And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray. O God, who, in your loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most Holy Mother, grant us the favor of having him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our protector. You, who live and reign forever and ever. Amen.