Novena to St. Joseph – Day 9

Joseph, A Father in the Shadows


Being a father entails introducing children to life and reality. Not holding them back, being overprotective or possessive, but rather making them capable of deciding for themselves, enjoying freedom and exploring new possibilities. Perhaps for this reason, Joseph is
traditionally called a “most chaste” father. That title is not simply a sign of affection, but the summation of an attitude that is the opposite of possessiveness. Chastity is freedom from possessiveness in every sphere of one’s life. Only when love is chaste, is it truly love. A possessive love ultimately becomes dangerous: it imprisons, constricts and makes for misery. God himself loved humanity with a chaste love; he left us free even to go astray and set ourselves against him. The logic of love is always the logic of freedom, and Joseph knew how to love with extraordinary freedom. He never made himself the centre of things. He did not think of himself, but focused instead on the lives of Mary and Jesus.

Patris Corde, 7
(Apostolic Letter by Pope Francis, 2020)


For the Needy, the Addicted and the Excluded

Saint Joseph, father in the shadows,
we ask that you intercede with your Son,
the Saviour of the world,
for the needy, the addicted and the excluded,
that these who live in the shadows of this world
may find relief through the Father’s loving mercy.

V. Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
R. Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
(Ps 130.1-2)


Let us strive to love others with freedom, to not think of ourselves, but to focus on others, especially those most in need.