Prayer to St. Joseph, Our Guide and Protector

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by Jean Larkin

Prepare your prayer space with a table display that includes a Bible; a small flag of your country; a parish bulletin; a picture of St. Joseph or a hammer or other tool; a picture of the Holy Family; and a lighted candle. Divide your group into two. Group One will read the summary from Scripture, and Group Two will reflect on it. All will respond “St. Joseph, pray for us.”

Leader: Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We know Joseph was a carpenter because people called Jesus the “carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55). Let us reflect now on what else Scripture tells us about St. Joseph and on how we can learn from him.

Group One (See Matthew 1:18-21.)

Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she learned she was with child. Joseph wasn’t sure what to do. An angel came to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus” (Contemporary English Version).

Group Two

During times when we are confused and not sure what to do, we can look to you, St. Joseph. You trusted God’s message and followed it even though you didn’t understand it. From your trust in God’s word, we, too, learn to trust even if we don’t understand what is being asked of us.

All: St. Joseph, pray for us.

Group One (See Luke 2:1-7.)

Emperor Caesar Augustus gave orders that all the people in the land had to go to their hometown to be registered. So Joseph set out for his hometown of Bethlehem. Mary went with him even though she was going to have a baby. While they were there, she gave birth to a son and laid him on a bed of hay, for there was no room for them in the inn.

Group Two

How hard it must have been to obey the emperor’s order. What if the time came for the baby to be born? What if you couldn’t find a place to stay? So many people were traveling at once. Yet you were a good countryman, St. Joseph. You followed its laws. Sometimes rules and laws of the government aren’t easy or convenient to follow. From your example of good citizenship, St. Joseph, we, too, learn to be good citizens.

All: St. Joseph, pray for us.

Group One (See Matthew 2:13, 19-21.)

After the wise men left, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary and the baby to Egypt. King Herod was looking for the child to kill him. Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were to stay in Egypt until the angel came again to say it was safe to go home. After King Herod died, the angel told Joseph it was safe to return to Israel.

Group Two

Hurry, hurry! Pack fast. Run to safety, far from those who want to kill the baby. You are his protector and guardian, St. Joseph. You leave quickly and move to another country, even farther from your home in Nazareth. You obey the Lord and do what is necessary. we learn from you, St. Joseph, that sometimes it takes great courage to protect those we love.

All: St. Joseph, pray for us.

Group One (See Luke 2:41-52.)

Every year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, they took him along. After Passover, his parents left to go home, but they did not know that Jesus had stayed in the city. They searched for three days and finally found him teaching in the Temple. Then they all went home to Nazareth, where Jesus grew up wise and strong and obedient to his parents.

Group Two

Through all the years of Jesus’ young life, you were there for him, St. Joseph. Through word and example, you taught him to respect the ways of his ancestors and to be faithful to God, to family, and to community. Guide us, too, St. Joseph, as we grow. Keep our hearts and minds on becoming wise and strong, faithful and loving, trusting and obeying God in all things.

All: St. Joseph, pray for us.

Leader: We honor and praise you, St. Joseph, for being the perfect model of obedience, trust, and steadfast love. Just as Mary and Jesus relied on your protection and guidance, we ask you to protect us and guide us always closer to your son on earth, and God’s Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen.

Saint Joseph Holy Card

[CLICK HERE] for an image of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus. Children of all ages (even adults) can color this image of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus. Make as many copies as needed. Invite children to write their own prayers to St. Joseph on the back, and then “laminate” the holy cards by covering the card, front and back, with heavy- duty packing tape.

Jean Larkin has worked in Catholic publishing for over 30 years. She is a contributing editor to the Pflaum Publishing Group, Peter Li, Inc.

Permission is granted to reproduce for use with your students and their families.

Copyright 2012, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, February 2012.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 153536591

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