St. Joseph and the Holy Souls

by Fr. Dan Cambra, MIC

Here's wishing you a happy, healthy, and spiritually fruitful 2019. To that end, I hereby propose that, together, we members of the Holy Souls Sodality make 2019 a year in which we especially turn in prayer to St. Joseph asking him for his intercession.

Why St. Joseph? Well, he is, of course, the Patron Saint of the universal Church, the common carpenter from Nazareth whom God the Father entrusted with the protection of His Only Begotten Son. For we who make it a point to think and pray about life beyond this world, St. Joseph is particularly "our man." After all, having died in the arms of both Jesus and Mary (as tradition holds), he is the patron saint of a happy death. Moreover, he's a saint to whom we can turn when we seek conversion for ourselves and for our loved ones.

As we enter a new year, let's face it: The world is a mess. We must acknowledge the need for conversion and the risk that so many face of an unhappy death, one that leads to eternal damnation.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: "From a sudden death and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord," to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us "at the hour of our death" in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death (1014).

Moreover, St. Joseph proved himself a powerful intercessor to our common spiritual soulmate, St. Faustina. You may recall the following words from her Diary:

Saint 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 (1203).

So, yes, there you have it. Let us members of the Holy Souls Sodality enter into our own little Year of St. Joseph — all with the intention to grow in holiness and to prayerfully aid our loved ones who may have abandoned their faith.

Knowing full well that St. Joseph rushes to answer the prayers said for suffering souls in Purgatory and for sinful souls here on earth, I have a prayer I'd like to suggest you pray each day. The prayer is attributed to the Rev. Paul J. Gorman. Here it is:

Prayer to St. Joseph to Obtain a Conversion
O glorious patriarch, St. Joseph, who merited to be called "just" by the Holy Spirit, I urgently recommend to you the soul of [state the name(s) here], which Jesus redeemed at the price of His Precious Blood.

You know how deplorable is the state and how unhappy the life of those who have banished this loving Savior from their hearts, and how greatly they are exposed to the danger of losing Him eternally. Permit not, I beseech you, that souls so dear to me should continue any longer in their evil ways. Preserve them from the danger that threatens them. Touch the heart of these prodigal children, and conduct them back to the bosom of the fondest of fathers.

Abandon them not, I implore you, until you have opened to them the gates of the heavenly city, where they will praise and bless you throughout eternity for the happiness which they will owe to your powerful intercession. Amen.

Then, when you're done with that prayer, I recommend one more short prayer, to top it all off. Actually, Jesus Himself is the One who recommends it. He said to St. Faustina:

I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.

This is the prayer:

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You (Diary, 186-187).

Together, let's begin our yearlong effort of bringing about conversion through St. Joseph's intercession. Like him, may we be steadfast in our duties on behalf of the Kingdom of God. May we serve the Lord, our loved ones, and our neighbors with hearts full of love and self-sacrifice