Catholic Prayers for the Month of March

The Month of St. Joseph, Foster Father of Jesus Christ

Saint-Joseph du Bessillon Monastery where St Joseph appeared to shepherd Gaspard Ricard.
Pascal Deloche /GODONG/Getty Images

In the United States, the month of March is most often associated with St. Patrick, tons of corned beef and cabbage, and many gallons of Irish stout are consumed on March 17 in his honor. However, throughout most of the rest of the Catholic world (with the exception of Ireland), the month of March is associated with St. Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary and the foster father of Jesus Christ. St. Joseph's feast day falls two days later on March 19. 

The Month of St. Joseph

The Catholic Church dedicates the entire month of March to St. Joseph and urges believers to pay special attention to his life and example. In the 20th century, several popes had a deep devotion to St. Joseph. Pope St. Pius X, pope from 1903 to 1914, approved a public litany, the "Litany to St. Joseph," while Pope John XXIII, pope from 1958 to 1963, wrote "A Prayer for Workers," asking St. Joseph to intercede for them.

The Catholic Church urges fathers to cultivate a devotion to St. Joseph, whom God chose to care for his Son. The church urges believers to teach your sons about the virtues of fatherhood through his example.

One place to start your devotional meditation is with a novena to St. Joseph. The "Novena to St. Joseph" is a good example of a prayer for fathers; while the "Novena to St. Joseph the Worker" is good for those times when you have an important assignment that you are trying to complete.

Saint-Joseph du Bessillon Monastery where St Joseph appeared to shepherd Gaspard Ricard.
Pascal Deloche /GODONG/Getty Images

In Roman Catholicism, there are six litanies, or petitions of prayer, approved for public recitation; among them is the "Litany of St. Joseph." This litany was approved by Pope St. Pius X in 1909. The list of titles applied to St. Joseph, followed by his saintly attributes, reminds you that the foster father of Jesus is a perfect example of the Christian life. Like all litanies, the Litany of St. Joseph is designed to be recited communally, but it can be prayed alone. More »

Childhood of Christ (Detail)
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A "Prayer for Workers" was composed by Pope John XXIII, who served as pope from 1958 to 1963. This prayer places all workers under the patronage of St. Joseph "the worker" and asks for his intercession so that you may regard your work as a means of growing in holiness. More »

Detail of Mary and Joseph from The Nativity by Follower of Botticelli
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As the foster father of Jesus Christ, St. Joseph is the patron saint of all fathers. This novena, or nine-day prayer, is well suited for fathers to ask for the grace and strength necessary to rear your children well, and for children to pray on behalf of your fathers. More »

Saint Joseph
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St. Joseph was a carpenter by trade and has always been regarded as the patron of workers. This nine-day prayer can help you when you have an important work project or need help finding employment. More »

An Offering to St. Joseph

The Holy Family, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Decatur, GA. (© flickr user andycoan; CC BY 2.0)
(Photo © flickr user andycoan; licensed under CC BY 2.0)

St. Joseph protected the holy family from harm. In the "Offering to St. Joseph" prayer, you consecrate yourself to St. Joseph and ask him to protect you, especially at the hour of your death.

O great St. Joseph, thou generous depositary and dispenser of immortal riches, behold us prostrate at thy feet, imploring thee to receive us as thy servants and as thy children. Next to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, of which thou art the faithful copy, we acknowledge that there is no heart more tender, more compassionate than thine.

What, then, have we to fear, or, rather, for what should we not hope, if thou dost deign to be our benefactor, our master, our model, our father, and our mediator? Refuse not, then, this favor, O powerful protector! We ask it of thee by the love thou hast for Jesus and Mary. Into thy hands we commit our souls and bodies, but above all the last moments of our lives.

May we, after having honored, imitated, and served thee on earth, eternally sing with thee the mercies of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

A Prayer for Fidelity to Work

Saint Joseph, detail from Flight Into Egypt
A. De Gregorio/De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images

"A Prayer for Fidelity to Work," is a prayer during those times that you find it hard to convince yourself to do the work that you need to do. Seeing a spiritual purpose in that work can help. This prayer to St. Joseph, patron of workers, helps you to call to mind that all of your labor is part of your struggle on the road to heaven.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who are devoted to labor, obtain for me the grace to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my natural inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honor to employ and develop, by means of labor, the gifts received from God, disregarding difficulties and weariness; to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes death, and the account which I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, patriarch Joseph. This will be my watchword in life and in death. Amen.

The Intercession of St. Joseph

Statue of Saint Joseph, Senlis Cathedral
Christophe Lehenaff/Photononstop/Getty Images

As the foster father of Christ, St. Joseph is, in a very real sense, the foster father of all Christians. The "Intercession of St. Joseph" prayer is recited to ask St. Joseph to pray on your behalf to the Son of God, whom he protected and reared.

O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of his grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by him at the hour of death.

Virgin and Child with Saint Joseph and Figure of Christ
Araldo De Luca / Contributor

"An Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph" is a novena to Saint Joseph that is often distributed on prayer cards with the following text:

This prayer was found in the 50th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves shall never die a sudden death or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them—neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy or be burned in any fire or be overpowered in battle. Say for nine mornings for anything you desire. It has never been known to fail, provided that the request is for one's spiritual benefit or for those whom we are praying for.

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Conformity to the Will of God

Creation Of The Earth
Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Throughout the Gospels, the first four books of the Bible's New Testament, St. Joseph remains silent, but his actions speak louder than words. He lives his life in service to Christ and Mary, in perfect conformity to the will of God. "The Prayer for Conformity to the Will of God" asks St. Joseph to pray for you, so that you may live the life that God wills you to live.

Great St. Joseph, to whose will the Savior subjected himself, obtain for me the grace to subject myself in all things to the will of God. Through the merits you obtained when in the darkness of night you obeyed the angel's commands, ask for me this grace, that nothing may detain me from fulfilling the will of God with perfect conformity. In the stable of Bethlehem, on the flight to Egypt, you recommended yourself and those dear to you to divine providence. Ask for me this same grace to conform myself to the will of God in discouragement and despondency, in health and sickness, in happiness and misfortune, in success and failure so that nothing may disturb the tranquility of my soul in obediently following the way of God for me. Amen.

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Richert, Scott P. "Catholic Prayers for the Month of March." ThoughtCo, Feb. 15, 2018, thoughtco.com/prayers-for-march-542767. Richert, Scott P. (2018, February 15). Catholic Prayers for the Month of March. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/prayers-for-march-542767 Richert, Scott P. "Catholic Prayers for the Month of March." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/prayers-for-march-542767 (accessed February 19, 2018).