One neat aspect of the Catholic Church is that there is always a reason to turn our attention back to God. We have every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation, which are great because we are able to go to church and participate and receive the Holy Eucharist. Then there are feasts, solemnities, and observances — specific days in which we celebrate a particular saint. A few of my favorites are June 13 for the feast of St. Anthony, September 5 is the feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta, and October 22 for St. John Paul II. The calendar is replete with a commemoration to a saint. When we look to them they are always pointing us to Jesus.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the many devotions the Church has for months in the year. June is devoted to The Sacred Heart of Jesus. May is devoted to Mary the Mother of God. February is devoted to the Holy Family. October devoted to the Holy Rosary and of course without further adieu March is devoted to none other than St. Joseph! And to top it off, his feast day is on March 19th. In fact, it seems almost wholly appropriate. If February is the month devoted to the Holy Family — Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Then, in March we devote our attention to Joseph, the head of that most holy family. April is consumed with the Holiest of Holy months when we celebrate the Feast of Easter, which is then followed by May where we settle our gaze on Mary, the Mother of Lord. Joseph, Jesus, Mary all in three amazing months.
There are three ways to make this March a special devotion to Joseph, especially during this year dedicated to him.
First, in preparation for his feast day on March 19th, you can commence the 9-day novena to St. Joseph. This novena can be said at anytime throughout the year, but one may find it edifying to commence the novena on March 10 leading up to his feast day on March 19. Each day is focused on a particular aspect of St. Joseph’s life. What a great way to fall further in devotion to him and learn about him through prayerful reflection. Follow through by attending mass on that day dedicating the celebration in honor of St. Joseph and any other intention you bring with you.
Second, if you are slightly more daring you can concurrently commence a 30-day novena, which would start at the front of the month. Unlike the 9-day novena, this one is the same prayer recited daily for thirty days. It is a very methodical prayer where you offer your intention to St. Joseph and then ask it by the numerous ways in which St. Joseph endured all that he endured for Jesus and Mary. It is very sweet. There is a consoling reassurance to know that our intentions will be brought before the Lord by Joseph and he will intercede for us. Let us not squander the graces. As St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us:
Finally, make an act of consecration to St. Joseph. This can be as simple as saying, “St. Joseph I consecrate myself to you this day.” The prayer I have found goes like this:
O Dearest St. Joseph, I consecrate myself to thy honor and give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart and a fervent love of the interior life. After you example, may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary! And do you, o blessed St. Joseph, pray for me that I may share in the peace and joy of thy holy death. – Amen.
There are 31 days in March, so March with St. Joseph this month and every month!