St. Joseph Novena Study – Day 1: Fatherhood

St. Joseph Novena Study – Day 1: Fatherhood March 9, 2024

St. Joseph: Father (Photo by A. Laflamme)
St. Joseph: Father (Photo by A. Laflamme taken in Fairfax, VA)

Today we begin Day 1 of the St. Joseph Novena. If you missed it, here is my explainer of this series. For nine days we will be looking at the titles, virtues, and characteristics of St. Joseph.

In short, I am following the EWTN St. Joseph Novena and pulling out words that describe who St. Joseph is. This could be adjectives, roles, or otherwise. Each day, I’ll make a list, then reflect on what we can learn from it about St. Joseph or our own lives.

These lists and reflections can stand alone for 9 days of reflection, or you can pray along with the original novena. Here is the reading for today if you’d like to pray along: DAY 1 – FOSTER FATHER OF JESUS.

Day 1 St. Joseph List

  • Foster-father of Jesus
  • Protector of Mary’s virginity
  • Sharer in the support, upbringing, and protection
  • Genuine heart of a father (heart full of love and self-sacrifice)
  • Protector
  • To procure for Him food, clothing, and a home…living created providence which watched over the Christ-Child
  • Fatherly love
  • Foster father
  • Teacher
  • Protector
  • Unselfishness
  • Powerful
  • Great
  • Faithful protector
  • Intercessor

St. Joseph, Father

I have never loved the term “Foster Father” for St. Joseph. I get why it is used, but his fatherhood is real: to Jesus, as well as to us all. St. Joseph is a human example of perfect fatherhood, showing us patience and humility.

He can be there for us when we need assurance, example, or intercession for our own fatherhood (or motherhood).

What St. Joseph is for Jesus, he can be for us, and we can strive to be for others.

St. Joseph’s Fatherhood: Protect and Provide

In today’s list, the word “protector” appears to be the key.

Protector of the Family

Joseph had many opportunities to protect Mary and Jesus through his loving care in the home as well as in critical decisions, like to flee for Egypt.

When men think of protection, they tend to think of fighting physically. While that is good and worth being prepared for, I think St. Joseph shows that there is a deeper level to protection. St. Joseph, though I imagine he was well able to defend, he didn’t physically fight anyone. Instead, he was receptive to where God was leading his family, out of danger. Beyond that, he was protective of purity and the goodness of his household, the Holy Family.

This protection requires virtue, to act rightly in all situations so as to promote what is best for the whole family.

Protector of Us

St. Joseph’s fatherhood extends to us. He protected the Holy Family on Earth, but now he continues his fatherly role in Sainthood by offering protection to us.

Also listed are the titles of “teacher” and “intercessor”. By St. Joseph’s example, we are able to learn from him and ask for his intercession to Jesus, who is God while also being the son that Joseph raised.

St. Joseph please teach us to be great fathers (and mothers), to learn from your virtue, and to be more like you. May we live unselfishness and serve to protect those around us through our ability to live as God calls us.

Novena Prayer

In the novena prayer we ask for “a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will”, a happy death, and additional special personal intentions.

My intention through this is that myself and anyone following along can take away something to help them be a little more like Joseph.

I think this is a powerful novena and look forward to what’ll come of the next 8 days!

To close, here is the St. Joseph version of the memorare prayer.

Remember, most pure spouse of Mary, ever Virgin, my loving protector, Saint Joseph, that no one ever had recourse to your protection or asked for your aid without obtaining relief. Confiding, therefore, in your goodness, I come before you and humbly implore you. Despise not my petitions, foster-father of the Redeemer, but graciously receive them. Amen.

If you know anyone who might like to join us on this novena, feel free to share this post!

For tomorrow’s list and reflection, you can check back HERE!

About Andrew Laflamme
Andrew is a husband and father. With experience as an engineer, musician, and Catholic missionary. You can read more about the author here.
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