7 Special Favors You Can Receive When You ‘Go to St. Joseph’

The Solemnity of St. Joseph is a perfect time to learn from two great mystics why his intercession is so powerful.

Cuzco School, “St. Joseph and the Christ Child,” late 17th century
Cuzco School, “St. Joseph and the Christ Child,” late 17th century (photo: Public Domain)

For some centuries, the powerful intercession of St. Joseph was little known. In the 16th century St. Teresa of Ávila, a great devotee, helped spread devotion to him by joyfully proclaiming the power of his intercession.

A century later came another Spanish mystic, Venerable Mary of Ágreda, an incorrupt Franciscan nun, superior of her convent, adviser of King Philip IV, and bilocating evangelizer best known for her mystical visions of the Blessed Mother and her monumental work, The Mystical City of God, about the history of the Virgin Mary’s life. (Some scenes in the film The Passion of the Christ were based on descriptions found in her book.)

Mary of Ágreda’s ‘Seven Privileges’

In Volume Three of The Mystical City’s four volumes, Mary of Ágreda lists seven ways St. Joseph’s intercession is so powerful:

I have been informed concerning certain other privileges conferred upon St. Joseph by the Most High on account of his great holiness, which are especially important to those who ask his intercession in a proper manner. In virtue of these special privileges the intercession of St. Joseph is most powerful:
First, for attaining the virtue of purity and overcoming the sensual inclinations of the flesh; 
Second, for procuring powerful help to escape sin and return to the friendship of God;
Third, for increasing the love and devotion to most holy Mary;
Fourth, for securing the grace of a happy death and protection against the demons in that hour;
Fifth, for inspiring the demons with terror at the mere mention of his name by his clients; 
Sixth, for gaining health of body and assistance in all kinds of difficulties;
Seventh, for securing issue of children in families.

This mystic continues:

These and many other favors God confers upon those who properly and with good disposition seek the intercession of the spouse of our Queen, St. Joseph. I beseech all the faithful children of the Church to be very devout to him and they will experience these favors in reality, if they dispose themselves as they should in order to receive and merit them.

Further Enlightenment from Mary of Ágreda

Immediately follows the next chapter with enlightenment given to Mary of Ágreda by Our Lady. The mystic writes that Mary explained to her:

My daughter, although thou hast described my spouse, St. Joseph, as the most noble among the princes and saints of the heavenly Jerusalem; yet neither canst thou properly manifest his eminent sanctity, nor can any of the mortals know it fully before they arrive at the vision of the Divinity. Then all of them will be filled with wonder and praise as the Lord will make them capable of understanding this sacrament. On the last day, when all men shall be judged, the damned will bitterly bewail their sins, which prevented them from appreciating this powerful means of their salvation, and availing themselves, as they easily could have, of this intercessor to gain the friendship of the just Judge.
The whole human race has much undervalued the privileges and prerogatives conceded to my blessed spouse and they know not what his intercession with God is able to do. I assure thee, my dearest, that he is one of the greatly favored personages in the divine presence and has immense power to stay the arms of divine vengeance.
I desire that thou be very thankful to the divine condescension for vouchsafing thee so much light and knowledge regarding this mystery, and also for the favor which I am doing thee therein. From now on, during the rest of thy mortal life, see that thou advance in devotion and in hearty love toward my spouse, and that thou bless the Lord for thus having favored him with such high privileges and for having rejoiced me so much in the knowledge of all his excellences.
In all thy necessities thou must avail thyself of his intercession. Thou shouldst induce many to venerate him and see that thy own religious distinguish themselves in their devotion to him.
That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth, and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men, if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.
All these privileges were to be a reward for the amiable perfection of this wonderful saint and for his great virtues; for divine clemency is favorably drawn forth by them and looks upon St. Joseph with generous liberality, ready to shower down its marvelous mercies upon all those who avail themselves of his intercession.

Insights from St. Teresa of Ávila

The Spanish Carmelite St. Teresa of Ávila had similar insights about St. Joseph. In her autobiography, she praises and proves his powerful intercession in all ways.

She emphasizes:

I took for my patron and lord the glorious St. Joseph, and recommended myself earnestly to him. I saw clearly that both out of this my present trouble, and out of others of greater importance, relating to my honor and the loss of my soul, this my father and lord delivered me, and rendered me greater services than I knew how to ask for.

Again, she sings the praises of the reputed father of Our Lord. She writes:

I cannot call to mind that I have ever asked him at any time for anything which he has not granted; and I am filled with amazement when I consider the great favors which God hath given me through this blessed saint; the dangers from which he hath delivered me, both of body and of soul.

She adds:

Would that I could persuade all men to be devout to this glorious saint; for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was really devout to him, and who honored him by particular services, who did not visibly grow more and more in virtue; for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.

The mystic of Ávila continues:

Those who give themselves to prayer should in a special manner have always a devotion to St. Joseph; for I know not how any man can think of the Queen of the angels, during the time that she suffered so much with the Infant Jesus, without giving thanks to St. Joseph for the services he rendered them then. He who cannot find anyone to teach him how to pray, let him take this glorious saint for his master, and he will not wander out of the way.

Teresa of Ávila also emphasizes:

To other saints, our Lord seems to have given grace to succor men in some special necessity; but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, to help us in all: and our Lord would have us understand that as He was Himself subject to him upon earth — for St. Joseph having the title of father, and being His guardian, could command Him — so now in heaven He performs all his petitions.
But I ask, for the love of God, that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself — when he will see by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious patriarch, and being devout to him.

With these unassailable assurances, it’s time to ite ad Joseph — “go to Joseph.”