Novena to St Joseph for Men Suffering Difficult Marriages

20 April 2020


Novena to St Joseph, Patron Saint of Husbands and Fathers, the Universal Church, the Family and the Domestic Church. For Men Suffering Difficult Marriages.

In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared St Joseph to be Patron of the Universal Church and instituted a feast, a solemnity with an octave, to be held in his honour on Wednesday in the second week after Easter. This feast was replaced in the 1955 General Roman Calendar of Pope Pius XII by the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, to be celebrated on 1 May.

This novena, taking place in 2020, begins on Wednesday 22nd April, in the second week after Easter, and ends with Mass for men's intentions on 1 May.

“Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you”. Gen 41:55

“My Son Jesus, through my Heart, wishes to impart to all men his divine blessings. I know many of you suffer many great difficulties because, in these last times, men no longer love or help one another but live with their hearts full of pride, falsehood, lies, intrigue, ambition, backbiting, pettiness, and many wrong things that are the consequences of living far from God.”

St. Joseph said, to all who honour his Heart and trust in him and his intercession, “I promise they will not be abandoned in their difficulties and in the trials of life. I will ask Our Lord to help them with his Divine Providence in their material and spiritual problems.”

St Joseph to Edson Glauber during apparitions in Itapiranga, Brazil 1994-1998


A main issue in our life is to capitalise our sorrows and joys for eternity. Too many sufferings and consolations are lost for heaven. The method to sanctify sorrow and joy is to endure them all patiently and to offer them up in union with Mass celebrated throughout the world joined to the intercession of Mary Immaculate and St. Joseph for the salvation of the dying.

Pious Union of St. Joseph: Manual of Devotions for Every Day, Fr. H J Storff, OFM

Please remember in your prayers Catholic men suffering difficult marriages, particularly where their wives do not practice the Faith or support the family in the Faith.

Opening Prayer

O Saint 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 Saint 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 Saint Joseph, may 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.

Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.


Prayer for the Novena Intention

Saint Joseph, I, thine unworthy child, greet thee.

Thou art the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate thee. Thou knowest that I have special confidence in thee and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in thee, for thou art especially powerful with God and will never abandon thy faithful servants.

Therefore I humbly invoke thee and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to thine intercession. I beg of thee, by thy love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

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 thou didst in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to thee to implore thy powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request)

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that thy prayers on my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God.


Concluding Prayer

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to thy protection or asked for thine aid without obtaining relief.

Confiding, therefore, in thy goodness, I come before thee and humbly implore thee. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them.


Optional devotions and prayers

The Seven Sorrows & Seven Joys of St Joseph (can be prayed over seven days during the novena)

Day 1: Saint Joseph, chaste spouse of Mary, great was thy sorrow when, in a state of uncertainty, thou wast inclined to quietly divorce Mary. But great was thy joy when the angel revealed to thee the mystery of Christ's Incarnation.

By this sorrow and this joy, we ask thee for relief of all anxieties and doubts about the future and to fill our hearts with confidence in the powerful protection of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 2: Glorious St. Joseph, chosen foster father of the Word made flesh, great was thy sorrow at seeing the Child Jesus born in such poverty. But great was thy joy when thou beholdest the brightness of that holy night in which the angels sang, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will."

By this sorrow and this joy, we implore thee to obtain for us the grace that the Infant Jesus may again be born in our hearts and that, blessed with the sweet peace of God, we may join after our death in the joyful company of the angels.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 3: Glorious St. Joseph, thou faithfully obeyedst the law of God, and thy heart was pierced at the sight of the Precious Blood that was shed by the Infant Saviour during His circumcision. But great was thy joy when thou gavest Him the name of Jesus that would bring salvation to sinners.

By this sorrow and this joy, obtain for us the grace to be freed from all sin during life and to die rejoicing with the Holy Name of Jesus in our hearts and on our lips.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 4: Most faithful St. Joseph, great was thy grief when, at the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, thou heardst Simeon's prophecy of the future sufferings of Jesus and Mary. But how great was thy joy when Simeon foretold that Jesus would be the Light for the revelation to the gentiles and the glory of His people.

By this sorrow and this joy, we pray that, through the light and the power of the Sorrowful Mother, we may see our salvation, and praise and thank God for the grace of a happy death.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 5: Most watchful guardian of the Infant Jesus, great was thy grief when, obeying the voice of the angel, thou fledst to Egypt with Mary and the Infant Jesus. But how great was thy joy to have God Himself with thee and to see the idols of the Egyptians fall prostrate before Him.

By this sorrow and this joy, we pray that thou banish from our hearts all sinful habits so that Jesus and Mary may come and lead our souls to Heaven.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 6: Glorious St. Joseph, head and guardian of the Holy Family, great was thy sorrow when, upon the return from Egypt, thou learnedst that cruel Archelaus was reigning in Judea. But great was thy joy when the angel of God directed thee to go to Nazareth where thou livedst peacefully with Jesus and Mary until thy happy death.

By this sorrow and this joy, we ask that we may overcome all attacks of the evil spirits and die peacefully under the special protection of Jesus and Mary.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

Day 7: Glorious St. Joseph, patron of the dying, great was thy sorrow when thou lost, through no fault of thine own, the Child Jesus for three days. But how great was thy joy when thou foundst Him in the Temple.

By this sorrow and this joy, we ask not to lose our Saviour for all eternity, but to find Him who is Divine Mercy itself, in the temple of our hearts, especially at the hour of death.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be …

The Sorrows of St. Joseph

1. His doubts about Mary
2. His pain at the lowly poverty of Jesus' birthplace.
3. Watching the circumcision, Jesus' first blood spilt for us.
4. Listening to the painful prophetic message from Simeon.
5. Having to take the Holy Family into exile.
6. The hard trip back from Egypt.
7. The loss of Jesus for three days.

The Joys of St. Joseph

1. The angel's message of joy.
2. The Saviour's birth.
3. Having the honour of naming Jesus.
4. Knowing the effects of Jesus' redemptive work.
5. The idols of Egypt fell at Jesus' feet.
6. Holy life with Jesus and Mary.
7. Finding Jesus after three days.

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 (after each line) 
Saint Joseph, 
Noble Offspring of David, 
Light of Patriarchs, 
Spouse of the Mother of God, 
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, 
Foster-father of the Son of God, 
Zealous Defender of Christ, 
Head of the Holy Family, 

Joseph most just, 
Joseph most chaste, 
Joseph most prudent, 
Joseph most strong, 
Joseph most obedient, 
Joseph most faithful, 

Mirror of Patience, 
Lover of Poverty, 
Model of Workmen, 
Glory of Domestic Life, 
Guardian of Virgins, 
Pillar of Families, 
Comfort of the Afflicted,

Hope of the Sick, 
Patron of the Dying, 
Terror of Demons, 
Protector of Holy Church,

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. 

V. He has made him lord of His household: 
R. And prince over all His possessions. 

Let us pray. 

O God, who, in thy loving providence, chose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of thy most Holy Mother, grant that we may deserve to have him for our intercessor in heaven, whom we reverence as our defender on earth.

Thou, who lives and reigns forever and ever.


Prayer to St Joseph for the Salvation of a Soul (of a Wife)

O Wonderful St Joseph, I earnestly recommend to thy care the salvation of ___________. Jesus shed his blood for her; let not the precious blood of our Saviour have been shed in vain. Deliver her from the snares of the devil, heal her from the poison of the world and, I beg of thee, do not stop interceding for her until the gates of heaven are opened to her soul.

Beg thy spouse, our Mother, to place ____________ under her maternal mantle. While this soul lives on earth, grant her conversion, love of Jesus, Mary and the Catholic Church, and [a return to] full participation in the Sacraments.

Where else can I turn but to thee, my spiritual father? In thee I have confidence. In thee I have hope. Hear my prayer, my spiritual father, and take away my fears. God will listen to thee. Ask Him for me for the sake of the love thou hast for us all.


From Consecration to St Joseph, by Fr Donald Calloway

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