Prayer to St. Joseph over 1900 years old

19 03 2009

san-jose

O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your 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. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen

Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.

This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1500’s it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle.

Whoever reads this prayer or hears it or carries it, will never die a sudden death, nor be drowned, nor will poison take effect on them. They will not fall into the hands of the enemy nor be burned in any fire, nor will they be defeated in battle.

Make this prayer known everywhere.

Imprimatur
Most Rev. George W. Ahr
Bishop of Trenton


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46 responses

23 01 2019
John burnett

There’s not the slightest chance that that prayer is “1900 years old”. Or even, for that matter, 500 years old (i.e., written prior to the 1500s). Everything about it says, “written in 1900”. There’s a big difference between “written in 1900” and “written 1900 years ago”!

And of course if you think that by reciting a formula you have somehow placed God (or even St Joseph!) under obligation to grant you a pleasant death, you are practicing magic, not Christianity. No wonder there’s a Protestant Church!

“Nor is Joseph’s virginity supported by the patristic tradition, with the exception of a single polemical allusion by St Jerome. But this allusion is contradicted by a whole chorus of patristic voices, mainly Eastern, but also Western, which attest that the tradition of the ancient Church did not consider St Joseph to be celibate or a virgin. . . . This idea, which Jerome let fall in passing, has been taken up and is being developed now by Catholic theology, but it remains isolated in the patristic literature. Predominant here is an opinion expressed by St Epiphanius of Cyprus and shared by a large number of Eastern and Western fathers, including Origen, Eusebius, St Gregory of Nyssa, St John Chrysostom, St Cyril of Alexandria, St Sophronius, St Theophylact, St Euthymius, St Ambrose, St Hilary, and Gregory of Tours. According to this opinion, prior to his betrothal to the Virgin Mary, at an age of at least eighty, Joseph had been married and had had four sons (James, Joshua, Simeon, and Jude) and two daughters (Mary and Salome). St Epiphanius develops this view (in Against Heresies, no. 78) in his dispute with the ebionitic heresy. . . .

. . . .

This assertion is motivated by the desire to remove any shadow of impurity from Joseph. With regard to Christ, it is argued in favor of this thesis that the Lord, who loved virginity, would not have tolerated a “father” who was not crowned with its flower. With regard to Mary, it is argued that, since She was a virgin, the Betrothed given to Her also had to be a virgin. With regard to Joseph, it is argued that his love would have been divided if he had had other children, and thus he could not have devoted himself entirely to Mary and the Infant. It is also asserted that the Gospel does not contain any traces of other members of Joseph’s family besides Mary and Jesus— although to this one can object that the appearance in the Gospel of Jesus’ “brothers”, together with His Mother, is a sufficient refutation of this assertion, for these “brothers” were certainly part of Mary’s family after Joseph’s death.

All these considerations, which, as we have seen, are foreign to the Church fathers, are totally unconvincing and are based on an aversion to marriage and on an excessive emphasis on physical purity and celibacy. The church knows virginity not as celibacy (a Catholic invention) but only as monasticism. . . . Here the Catholics invent a celibate marriage from which the fleshly relation is banished— not only because of veneration directed at the Most Pure Virgin Mary and Joseph’s advanced age, but also in the name of virginity itself. Therefore the first among marriages becomes an implicit condemnation of childbirth in marriage, an aversion to marriage within marriage itself.”

The elevation of St Joseph to a status higher than the one Jesus accorded to St John the Baptist (“greater than all those born of woman”) was all about canonizing the bourgeois nuclear family. Europe was undergoing massive social changes because of capitalism, industrialization, and urbanization at the time, and the RCC needed to respond. In 1870, Pius IX added a Feast of St Joseph to the paschal calendar— this was just after the Knights of Labor (1869) and shortly before the Knights of Columbus were founded (1882). And of course the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker was invented in 1955 and assigned to May 1st, to counteract the radical unionist/Communist Labor Day, celebrated everywhere but America on that day (“May Day”). The stodgy, monarchic, conservative Catholic Church wasn’t too happy with urbanism, labor unions, and workers’ rights movements, and did its best to fight or to commandeer them with the weapons they had available. The same forces are still at work today, of course, although more progressive voices presently have most of the mikes.

(The quotation above is from Excursus 3 of The Friend of the Bridegroom:
On the Orthodox Veneration of the Forerunner
(Eerdmans, 2003), pp 177-188.)

Now a question for those of you who can testify for this prayer, that “it really doesn’t fail”— Seriously!— have you died yet?

1 09 2015
KSeidl

AD, Anno Domini, in the year of Our Lord, from Jesus’ birth.

25 10 2014
Anonymous

Very encouraging

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13 08 2014
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12 02 2013
Scotus

What a lovely prayer to the Quiet Man! As to date quibbles, any historian will tell you that very few symbols can flicker and fail quite like numeral strings. Who cares. God lives in an eternal NOW.

11 02 2013
Edward.Fullerton

are you a Catholic priest.the I”ve encountered ?. nothing wrong with piety. None the less ,whoever believes.

11 02 2013
Edward.Fullerton

Yep ” we have been living with the Novus Ordinance Missed curse for the last fifty years.Churches togetherness tori.

11 02 2013
Edward.Fullerton

AD , every year. from Jesus’resurrection .Read more.
.

12 01 2013
Edward.Fullerton

I recite this prayer from time to time.Praise you Jesus.

20 04 2012
Nicholas

I was brought up Catholic, and I attended church sometimes as a youth. I went to catechism until 8th grade and then strayed further and further from the truth (God) as I got ‘smarter’ and become enamored with material things and other lustful desires. I was hitting my late twenties when I realized it was time to become a man and get a real job, on my own and stop leeching off my parents. I went through extensive training with my new company. I failed. They gave me a second chance. I failed again. My father gave me this prayer, and I followed its instructions on back. On the tenth morning, I passed my test, got the job and was emancipated from my parents. I don’t really care what people say or ‘believe’, but i’ll tell you this: I BELIEVED in this prayer, and I will NEVER forget calling my parents up from the parking lot after passing my test on the 3rd and final attempt and was overcome with tears and emotion. God is REAL. And he will never beg for you to come to him. God helps those who helps themselves and try to make a difference in this world. I have only followed this prayer as instructed once, because I hate asking God for things that most of think are important (I guess I believe he has better things to do and other souls to help), I guess I will never know if it was this prayer that got me what I wanted, but I will tell you this much, I don’t know if I would even be alive without St. Joseph’s intercession. God Bless you.

27 03 2012
Mulekwa A. M.

Nice prayer

25 03 2012
Andre m. mulekwa

Good prayer

18 03 2012
Andre m. mulekwa

Dear St. Joseph intercede for in all my daily life.

18 03 2012
Andre m. mulekwa

St. Joseph intercede for in all my daily life.

15 03 2012
Kim

I love the prayer I will always carry it with me. Thank you Lord for the gift of St. Joseph

22 12 2011
Joe Barrett

What sort of thing do you worry about RC — a disassociated headline?
The body of the “note” attached to the prayer states that it was sent by a medieval Pope to a medieval monarch. And, hey, real scholarship re-inforces the Faith practically to the point at which faith is scarcely tested. Joseph was considered instrumental to the Hypostatic Union — that explosive interaction between the Divine Persons and their human creations by which God became flesh and blood man. Ref. Francesco Suarez SJ. On the human plane Hebrews gave great reverence to holy objects never mind holy people (ok they stoned a few prophets also and crucified Jesus Christ) so what makes you think a man like Joseph wasn’t asked for prayers at Nazareth? We know he was a builder trading close to a town razed by romans for insurrection and being rebuilt. He was close to a roman garrison town. He was probably very good at his trade and therefore almost certainly well off. Why did he and Mary bring the offering of the poor to buy back Jesus from the Temple — pigeons rather than a white bull, say. could it have been poverrty as a result of great largesse? All the first Christians were Jews, many knew the holy family. They probably knew all about Joseph’s death. Gossip is a form of folk news. Suddenly RC is worried about the liveliness of Catholic cupidity concerning sacred things. Heck RC, we know the name of the Very God. Not just that, we know we are his actual sons by adoption. The divine is so close that if I die at this PC I would not need to leave it to be judged. That’s close to the traffic of Heaven my friend. No simple Roman Catholic could possibly add to the loving activity within the Divine economy or guess at the detailed involvement in our lives and destinies by “the cloud of witnesses” we call the Saints. But St. Joseph? Wow!
Big Joe

2 07 2011
A

Hi its me again and just an update, my toe is totally 100% healed! Dear Saint Joseph, thank you so much for your intercessions for the healing of my toe’s condition. The blackness in the skin of my toe is totally gone and the skin is back to being healthy once more. Thank you soo much! Thank You also, Lord God and Lord Jesus for hearing and answering my prayers through the intercessions of Saint Joseph!

18 06 2011
Carol

One thing Catholicism has over Reformed Protestant Evangelicalism is that, although both attempt to impose rationalistic dogmatic absolutism on us, Catholicism leaves our private devotions to our personal discretion.

Boy, do I hate Evangelicalism’s cookie-cutter *Christian* spirituality!

18 06 2011
A

Thank you St Joseph for your intercessions through this prayer for the healing of my toe. The black spot in the skin is almost gone now and the skin is healthy again! Thank You Lord God! (:

Prayer to St Joseph – can also be said over 9 days as a novena

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
O Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your 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 us.
Amen.

24 04 2011
R.C.

I worry about this sort of thing.

1. Is it at all plausible that the text of this prayer was composed (in Greek or Aramaic one would presume) any time remotely near the time popularly given for it (50 A.D.)? Does anyone know of a first-century document in which it appears?

Its presence in any ancient and well-attested Christian documents dating from that era would certainly have been used by Catholic apologists by this time as evidence for popular devotion to the saints being an apostolic-era practice. But I have read a lot of Catholic apologetics, and have seen no such thing. (Moreover, the “vibe” of this prayer is very different from the other evidences for the early Christian devotion to the saints; e.g. inscriptions on early Christian tombs. The “voice” of this prayer has a medieval and European character they lack.)

That we have no documentary evidence of a prayer like this one existing in the first century doesn’t mean it never did (but who in the world would base their convictions on that kind of logic?!)…but it certainly means that one cannot honestly claim a first-century date for the prayer.

2. Assuming that the prayer was not, in fact, composed in 50 A.D. but sometime rather later, is it not sinful for educated Catholics who ought to know better to go around claiming an ancient provenance for the prayer?

I am not calling it sinful for an illiterate Bolivian peasant, just as I don’t accuse a high-school dropout foot-washin’ Baptist teetotaler for trusting his reformed-alcoholic revival preacher when the latter tells him that Jesus made grape juice, not fermented wine, at Cana. Men — not least educated men — say all kinds of nonsense about God and still (I hope and believe) manage by God’s mercy to eke their way into purgatory or better. How much more can a person without the educational advantages of an academic be blameless in his error! And that illiterate Bolivian peasant may, for all I know, live such a life of selfless humility that, if we could but “look at the heart” the way God does, we would fall at that peasant’s feet and beg for spiritual direction.

But that doesn’t make the error be any less erroneous. And not everyone is an illiterate peasant: folk with the benefit of good brains and a knack for critical thinking shouldn’t limit their understanding of Christianity to an uneducated person’s standard. There’s invincible ignorance, and then there’s intellectual slacking.

So, shouldn’t there be a kind of Snopes.com for Catholics to prevent themselves making arses of themselves in this fashion? I suppose the CDF is too busy to undertake such a project themselves — there are far worse errors to correct than the dating of a prayer to St. Joseph — but shouldn’t somebody be doing it?

For of course this kind of thing (not the prayer, mind you, but its claim to antiquity) is Exhibit A for a non-Catholic Christian of the kind who’d like to be Catholic but fears that they cannot because they’re told that the Catholic church has allowed the true Christian doctrines to become intermixed with a lot of easily-disproven hagiographical fiction. And atheists naturally fail to distinguish believe this sort of claim (which has never been taught by the hierarchy, let alone defined as a dogma) and the claim of Jesus’ followers to have seen the Risen Christ. The claim regarding the prayer will be waved in the face of an apologist or evangelist as characteristic of the claims of Christianity in general.

3. I have no qualms about the factual basis for saying that the prayer “really works.” I am sure that many of the faithful have petitioned St. Joseph for his prayers; I am certain his prayers (being the prayers of a righteous man) are powerful and “avail much.”

But I do have qualms about how such a claim is phrased. Either St. Joseph “the Worker” is the one “working” — and really, not even he, but Christ through him — or else the faith of the believer himself (which, again, means Christ through him) is “working” in the sense of disposing the believer so that God has the opportunity to intervene on his behalf.

But it is not the words of the prayer “working,” as if they were a formula or an incantation. That sort of thing would be sorcery, not petitionary prayer. It would be pushing the right buttons on St. Joseph and/or God, to make them spit out our desired outcome like a soft-drink machine.

To conclude: I don’t doubt the sincerity of those who popped in to voice their support for the practice of asking St. Joseph’s intercession. It may be that every last one of them is saintlier than I (not a very high bar to meet, really!).

But unless someone can show me good evidence to the contrary, I am convinced that the claim of 1900 years’ antiquity for this prayer is in error, and for most college-educated folk, that it is an easily-knowable, and thus a culpable, error.

25 02 2011
gabriel

Dear Sean:

What the fiftieth year of our Lord Jesus Christ meant is that it was found in 50 AD. The english language can be confusing at times.
“Peace and all good”
St. Francis’ greeting

14 02 2011
pascale

l am in the process of saying this beautiful prayer to St Joseph. I know he will obtain my petition from the Almighty and Compassionate Father. You see Jesus said Seek and you shall find , Knock and the door shall be opened. So when Jesus says something l believe. St Joseph was Jesus’ foster father, he gave up everything to rear and protect the saviour of the world !!! So do you really think that Jesus is going to say NO to St Josephs prayer on my behalf??? I think DEFINETLEY NOT. If my petition is in accordance to Gods will then St Joseph will obtain it for me NO DOUBT. You see all you need is a little bit faith. Heaven does listen.

11 02 2011
stephen

In the previous post I didn’t mean to say at the bottom that one of the Pope’s wrote the prayer. Not sure when it was written but it was not written by the Pope at the time it was passed from the Pope to the Emperor Charles V. This could very well have been translated from a prayer written in 50 AD though. I’m sure this version was probably translated from hebrew to latin to greek to english so it could be impossible to date. good luck on that

11 02 2011
stephen

This is actually two different prayers. From “O saint joseph…” to “Amen.” is St. Joseph’s Prayer and not origianlly written together with the second part beginning “This prayer.” From “This prayer…” to “battle.” is the beginning of another prayer, I believe to be written by Pope Clement VII or Gregory XIV to Emperor Charles V, not 100% sure because in my version it just says from the pope to emperor charles also. The real prayer that goes after battle is this.

…nor shall they be overpowered in any battle; and being read over a woman in labor she shall be safely delivered, and glad. When a child is born lay this prayer on his or her right hand and he or she will not be troubled with thirty misfortunes, and if you see a man with a fit lay this prayer on his right side and he shall stand up and thank you; and he who shall write this from house to house shall be blessed from me, said the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and they that laugh at it shall suffer.

O adorable Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Dying on the gallows tree of the cross for our sins altogther. O Holy Cross of Christ, see how I believe in thee, O Holy Cross of Christ, stir up in me all good and truth, O Holy Cross of Christ, will I be in the right way to happiness? O Holy Cross of Christ, ward off from me all dangers of deaths, and always give me life, O Crucified Jesus of Nazareth, have mercy on me, that the enemy may keep off from me, now and forevermore, in the honor of Jesus Christ, in honor of His Holy Resurrection and Godlike Ascension, to which he likes to bring us in the right way to Heaven. True as Jesus was born on that day, in the stable in Bethlehem, true as Jesus was circumcised on New Years day, true as three kings brought their offerings of Him on the third day; so the honor of Jesus will spare me from all mine enemies, to be seen and not to be seen, now and forevermore, Into Thy Hands Oh Lord I offer my self. Amen.

O Jesus have mercy on me, O Mary and Joseph Pray for me, through Nicodemus and Joseph of Armathia who took Him down from the cross and buried Him, O Lord Jesus, tough and bitter agony thou suffered on the cross, Particularly when your soul was parting from the Body, have mercy on my poor soul when it parts from its mortal body and this sinful world. O Jesus, save me that I may carry my cross with Thee, and teach me that I may make all my dangers good. Amen.

I believe this prayer for certain, for it is as true as the Evangelists. They who have this prayer in their house shall nor fear thunder and lightening; they that will repeat this prayer or have it read and repeated, shall have a warning of three days before their death. I write this Prayer in honor of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, hoping the Father will think of me, the Spirit of the Son will protect me and guide my soul to the Everlasting Happiness and Life. Amen.

Thats it. I’ve had this prayer in my wallet for at least 15 years and got it from my mother. I truly believe this prayer and keep it on me at all times. Please use this prayer and spread it, if you do you will truly be blessed. Peace and Love to all. Thank God, the Father, for the gift of the Holy Spirit, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

12 01 2011
Gerry

I’m still standing because of my Christian faith and this St. Joseph’s prayer.

1 11 2010
Gil

When I was a a very small boy, I said this prayer for nine mornings, I did it again when i joined the military, both times saved me. This one small prayer has shaped the very fabric of my life. When I left behind God, and this prayer my life began to fall apart. I’ve heard it called superstition before, but never doubt the fire of God inside you; the one flame made from the supreme fire that shapes our lives here. I believe this prayer can make that visible to all.

19 10 2010
Alex

This prayer protected me and my men in over 50 firefights. Strangely enough I found it on a prayer card on my rack when I arrived at my firebase. There were only three of us (Americans) and about 25 Afghan Soldiers. I still carry it with me.

3 07 2010
tomoe

I can testify for this prayer. It really doesn’t fail.

26 02 2010
pueblo native

Welcome to an encounter with members the other “one true church”. Like encounters with right wing by the book and the pope catholics there is no conversation ever going to happen. I would recommend obtaining “a statement on the book of Mormon” the Smithsonian museum in washington dc issued.
Mormonism is the perfect religion for white republicans. They claim the US constitution is divinely inspired. I was once asked by a Mormon professor in Utah If I had ever read the book of Mormon. I replied “yes” I thought it was important for me to know about the beliefs of the people in am living with here” He replied ” Well, I don’t see why any American Indian who has read it does not accept it. it is the history of your people. They were once a proud hard working people until they fell into idolatry and false religion and God cursed them with brown skin. But there is hope if you join the church and are baptized when you died and go to heave your skin with turn white”
Check the book “Now man knows my history the life of the prophet Joseph Smith by Fran Brody.

26 02 2010
Miguel

LOVE this prayer. A favourite of mine for years.

19 10 2009
Susan

I love this prayer. It is very comforting. I am hoping to send it to my mother to pray with my father in his waning weeks of life.

6 07 2009
Steven Wedgeworth

Have any of you guys ever held a conversation with a Mormon? I’m just curious as to how you’d get over the impasse, as both parties say, “But it works!”

6 07 2009
John

I believe in the power of prayer and this one has never let me down. Why don’t people try it before they knock it? Try it sincerely and watch the miracle.

16 06 2009
bitmapBOB

How can anyone say anything negative about this prayer.

I love St. Joseph,

A man truly not appreciated enough. He sets a great example for any Father, or step Father. Sacrificing so much for Mary and Jesus. Most men/fathers leave and do what they selfishly want, forgetting their children…

31 03 2009
Maureen

I think the point is that it’s a perfectly good prayer, but that also it’s a bit odd that people feel the need to attach a story to it that it’s a gazillion years old. There’s something about Catholicism that allows this sort of pious fiction to be expressed and believed by many, many people. Is it a bad thing? Is it just cutely human?

At any rate, asking St. Joseph for his intercession is a good idea.

25 03 2009
Adam

This Prayer brought 22 of my soldiers and I back from war. It also brought more than 100 others that didn’t report to me home.

22 03 2009
Fr Paul

This is pious garbage, laughable indeed. The apotheosis of the sentimental piety which softened up Latin catholicism so that modernism could crush it.

20 03 2009
FrGregACCA

“Perhaps one day you’ll actually pray to Pope St. John Paul II”

Some of us do already…

20 03 2009
elysia

Arturo,

Perhaps one day you’ll actually pray to Pope St. John Paul II:

“Pope John Paul II could be beatified on April 2, 2010, according to a report in the Polish newspaper Dziennik, which claims the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints has already made the decision.

At the beginning of this month, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow said the beatification process of Pope John Paul II was about to be concluded and that Benedict XVI himself wanted to close the process “as soon as possible” because that “is what the world is asking for.”

The beatification process of John Paul II began on June 28, 2005, two months after the death of the Pontiff thanks to a dispensation granted by Pope Benedict. The dispensation waived the normal five-year waiting period after a person dies that the Church requires before a cause for canonization can be opened.”

19 03 2009
Sean

This was what I found funny:

“This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. “

19 03 2009
Christopher Orr

Do you have more information on the purported history of this prayer? AD 50 is quite early. Is it mentioned in a relatively contemporary source?

19 03 2009
J.S. Bangs

This was beautiful, and tears came into my eyes as I prayed it this morning.

What’s Sean’s problem?

19 03 2009
MCH

I love this prayer. God bless grandmothers and their penchant for giving Pieta prayer booklets.

19 03 2009
Arturo Vasquez

Shut up, Sean.

19 03 2009
Sean

I laughed out loud at this!

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