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Litany of St. Joseph

Lord, have mercy on us (Christ have mercy on us)
Lord, have mercy on us, 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)
St. Joseph, (etc.)
Illustrious Son of David,
Light of the Patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful Defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen,
Glory of domestic life,
Protector of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Consolation of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of the 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 made him the lord of his household.
R. And prince over all his possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine ineffable Providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in Heaven whom, on earth, we venearate as our protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Click here for the Latin lyrics.

This is a traditional devotion in honor of St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus. He was entrusted by God with the care of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. God wanted the Holy Family to be an example to us all, so it would need a man to be its head, and to be a father figure to Jesus. Jesus wished to practice obedience to a mere man, even though He was God, to show us what we must do. Even though a father was not biologically needed in the case of Jesus (who was conceived in a miraculous way), a father WAS needed because Jesus was to live a hidden, normal human life until age 30. God wanted Jesus to be part of a proper human family in the eyes of His fellow Jews. Indeed, they could never say that He was illegitimate. They believed Him to be the son of Joseph.

It teaches us how important a father is, in the eyes of God, to a family - how the job entails so much more than just conceiving children. If that was the chief task of fatherhood, Jesus would have been able to dispense completely with an earthly father. Instead, paternity or fatherhood entails guiding the family, leadership, authority, providing support (spiritual, mental, physical), as well as other duties.

St. Joseph is the patron of families, of fathers, of the Universal Church, and of a happy death. He is the patron we should all invoke in all our difficulties, especially in married life. As Jesus obeyed Joseph as a father while He was on earth, so He chooses to obey and glorify him in Heaven today. In this glorious saint shone forth all the virtues: chastity, humility, trust in God, faith, hope, charity, obedience, generosity, meekness, poverty, etc. Joseph is lacking none of the virtues, and is the greatest saint after the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is found on the following CD(s): Chant Compendium 1.

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