This prayer to Saint Joseph—spouse of the Virgin Mary, foster father of Jesus, and patron saint of the universal Church—was composed by Pope Leo XIII in his 1889 encyclical, Quamquam pluries. He asked that it be added to the end of the Rosary, especially during the month of October, which is dedicated to the Rosary. It may be said after the customary Salve Regina and concluding prayer, and may also be used to conclude other Marian devotions.
During the Year of Saint Joseph
The prayer is ordinarily enriched with a partial indulgence (Handbook of Indulgences, conc. 19). During the Year of Saint Joseph, however—which lasts from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021—the use of this prayer has been included among those enriched with a plenary indulgence (see Decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary issued Dec. 8, 2020, section E). It may be said on any day of the Year of Saint Joseph, but especially on his various feast days or other devotional days dedicated to St. Joseph:
- December 27, 2020, the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
- March 19, 2021, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- May 1, 2021, the Optional Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker
- the nineteenth day of each month
- every Wednesday, the traditional day of the week for devotions to Saint Joseph
- “St. Joseph Sunday” and suitable days of other liturgical rites in the Eastern Catholic Churches
Prayer to Saint Joseph
To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.
Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.
O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.
As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.