8 Powerful Prayers to St. Joseph You’ve Never Heard Of

As St. Joseph once rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now may he protect God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy!

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Coronation of St. Joseph,” 1640
Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Coronation of St. Joseph,” 1640 (photo: Public Domain)

With 2021 being the Year of St. Joseph, and May 1 the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, what a perfect time to learn a new prayer to one of our most powerful patrons, St. Joseph. Here are some excellent (and little-known) prayers to consider.


1. St. Faustina, St. Joseph and the Memorare to Our Lady

This practice was recommended by St. Joseph himself to St. Faustina. It was in July 1937. She was at her congregation’s rest home because she was quite ill. In her Diary (1203) she recorded that “St. Joseph urged me to have a constant devotion to him. He himself told me to recite three prayers (the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be) and the Memorare once every day. He looked at me with great kindness and gave me to know how much he is supporting this work (of mercy). He has promised me this special help and protection. I recite the requested prayers every day and feel his special protection.”


2. The Memorare to St. Joseph

Along with the Marian Memorare, there is also a little-known Memorare to St. Joseph:

Remember, O most chaste spouse of the Virgin Mary, that never has it been known that anyone who asked for your help and sought your intercession was left unaided. Full of confidence in your power, I hasten to you, and beg your protection. Listen, O foster-father of the Redeemer, to my humble prayer, and in your goodness hear and answer me. Amen.


3. Prayer to St. Joseph for Protection

Heaven knows that today, more than ever, we need heavenly protection. There’s no need to start spelling out all the physical and spiritual dangers of our age.

St. Joseph protected the Holy Family from Herod’s wrath and who knows how many other dangers and threats to them over the years. Remember that one of St. Joseph’s titles is “Terror of Demons.” Here is a powerful, traditional Prayer for St. Joseph’s Protection:

O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so prompt, so strong,
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 me. Amen.


4. The Prayer of Confidence in St. Joseph

We have to pray with confidence. Another traditional but little-known prayer to St. Joseph is the Prayer of Confidence in St. Joseph. The traditional one goes like this:

With childlike confidence I present myself before thee, O holy Joseph, faithful foster father of Jesus! I beg thy compassionate intercession and support in this, my present necessity. [Name your petition.]

I firmly believe that thou art most powerful near the throne of God, who chose thee for the foster father of his well-beloved son, Jesus Christ. O blessed Saint, who saved that treasure of heaven, with his virginal mother, from the fury of his enemies, who with untiring industry supplied his earthly wants and with paternal care accompanied and protected him in all the journeys of his childhood, take me also, for the love of Jesus, as thy child. Assist me in my present difficulty with thy prayers before God. The infinite goodness of our savior, who loved and honored thee as his father upon earth, cannot refuse thee any request now in heaven.

How many pious souls have sought help, from thee in their needs and have experienced, to their joy, how good, how ready thou art to assist. How quickly thou dost turn to those who call upon thee with confidence! How powerful thou art in bringing help and restoring joy to anxious and dejected hearts! Therefore, do I fly to thee, O most worthy father of Jesus, most chaste spouse of Mary! Good St. Joseph, I pray thee by the burning love thou hadst for Jesus and Mary upon earth, console me in my distress and present my petition, through Jesus and Mary, before the throne of God! One word from thee will move him to assist my afflicted soul. Then most joyfully shall I praise him and thee, and more earnest shall be my thanksgiving! Amen.


5. Prayer Before Work to St. Joseph the Worker

Around the turn of the 20th century, Pope St. Pius X composed this Prayer Before Work to St. Joseph the Worker:

O Glorious Saint Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with thankfulness and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop by means of labor the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, never shrinking from weariness and trials; to work above all with purity of intention and detachment from self, keeping unceasingly before my eyes death and the account that I must give of time lost, talents unused, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all after thy example, O Patriarch, Saint Joseph. Such shall be my watch-word in life and in death. Amen.


6. The Litany of St. Joseph

Pius X also approved the Litany of St. Joseph as an official prayer of the Church. The Holy See’s official Enchiridion Indulgentiarum (Manual of Indulgences) now lists only six litanies granted a partial indulgence for their devout recital. We’re most familiar with the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also known as the Litany of Loreto). There are also the Litanies of the Holy Name of Jesus, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Most Precious Blood, and the Saints. This is the 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 Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David, pray for us.
Light of patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Watchful defender of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.

Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most valiant, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of workmen, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the afflicted, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.

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 he whom we venerate as our protector on earth may be our intercessor in Heaven. Who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.


7. Ad Te, Beate Joseph

There is another prayer to St. Joseph that the Manual also attaches a partial indulgence to for its devout recitation. The previous pope, Leo XIII, composed it and added it to his encyclical, Quamquam Pluries (On Devotion to St. Joseph). He attached the partial indulgence to it and ordered this prayer, Ad Te, Beate Joseph, to be added to the Rosary during the month of October. He also called for a triduum of prayers to St. Joseph preceding his feast on March 19:

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 propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, 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 holily, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.


8. Petition for St. Joseph’s Blessing, and More

Do not forget to ask for St. Joseph to bless you! This Petition for St. Joseph’s Blessing is a short version, and very beautiful:

Bless me, O dearly beloved father, St. Joseph; bless my body and my soul; bless my resolutions, my words and deeds, all my actions and omissions, my every step; bless all that I possess, all my interior and exterior goods, that all may redound to the greater honor of God. Bless me for time and eternity, and preserve me from every sin. Obtain for me the grace to make atonement for all my sins by love and contrition here on earth, so that after my last breath I may, without delay, prostrate at thy feet and return thee thanks in heaven for all the love and goodness thou, O dearest father, hast shown me here below. Amen.

Follow this prayer with the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and Glory Be, prayed three times, in thanksgiving to God for the graces and prerogatives bestowed on St. Joseph.

Along with all these prayers, there is the Seven Sorrows and Seven Joys of St. Joseph devotion and the 30-Day Prayer to St. Joseph prayed for a special intention. And along with Marian consecration, it is a praiseworthy custom to consecrate yourself to St. Joseph too.

St. Joseph, pray for us!