St. Joseph Novena 2022: Introduction

Especially during Lent try to have periods of solitude, silence, and recollection alone with Jesus in the desert. Minister to him with the angels, work for him after the example of St. Joseph in the home of Nazareth…”

Servant of God Hermann Cohen

Each year the Solemnity of Saint Joseph marks a special time of the year for Catholics and especially for Carmelites. In our lives of faith, in our cultures, even as we mark the progression of the seasons, no matter whether spring or autumn, we look to Saint Joseph as the one who leads us on the journey that we follow day by day.

But the preparation for the feasting involves fasting: we observe the novena during Lenten days of prayer and penance. This year, the wise words of the Servant of God Hermann Cohen—Father Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament, OCD—set the tone for our novena meditations.

In our 2022 Saint Joseph Novena we will read excerpts from the writings of several of our Carmelite Saints, Blesseds, and Servants of God. These are excerpts that describe their personal experience, devotion, or attitude toward Carmel’s patron, the one who Saint Teresa called “my father… the glorious St. Joseph” (Cf. The Book of Her Life, 33:14). 

Selected scripture references will accompany the excerpts from these writings of our beloved Carmelites and our novena prayer again this year comes from the Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa of Bangalore, India. Our hymn for this year’s novena is the motet “Joseph, Fili David”, which is based on the message received by St. Joseph when the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:20).

May Saint Joseph intercede for us all as we entrust ourselves to his loving care. 


Day One
In St. Joseph’s Home
– Servant of God Hermann Cohen

Day Two 
In St. Joseph’s Hands
– Blessed Titus Brandsma

Day Three 
St. Joseph’s Work
– Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Day Four
St. Joseph’s Feast
– Saint Teresa of the Andes

Day Five 
St. Joseph—an Angel?
– Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew

Day Six 
Vision of St. Joseph
– Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew

Day Seven 
St. Joseph Speaks
– Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Day Eight 
St. Joseph the Intercessor
– Saint Teresa of Avila

Day Nine
St. Joseph the Real Estate Agent
– Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified


Holy Joseph, 
Man according to the Heart of God 
you whose heart was afire with ardent charity 
and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, 
direct us in the way of perfection. 
Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need,

(mention your request)

in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called 
particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, 
and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.


Joseph, fili David, noli timere accipere Mariam conjugem tuam: quod enim in ea natum est, de Spiritu Sancto est.

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:20).

“Joseph Fili David” is a motet composed by Gail Gillispie for the Schola Cantorum of St. Peter’s in the Loop, Chicago; J. Michael Thompson, director. We thank Maestro Thompson for sharing this recording with us for this year’s novena.

Featured image: Saint Joseph by James Tissot (French, 1836–1902) comes from the series The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ (La Vie de Notre-Seigneur Jésus-Christ) in the European Art collection at the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Tissot executed the work ca. 1886–1894 in France; his medium was opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper. On the museum website, you can see his signature in greater detail at the bottom left of the artwork: “J. J. Tissot.” The Brooklyn Museum acquired over 400 works on paper by James Tissot, devoted to The Life of Jesus Christ, by public subscription in 1900. Because their copyright has expired, they are available for download on the museum’s website.

All scripture references in this novena are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America as accessed from the Bible Gateway website.

Don’t become discouraged and give up prayer, says St. John of the Cross. We offer varying novenas to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, as well as novenas to St. Teresa of AvilaSt. John of the CrossSt. Thérèse of LisieuxSts. Louis and Zélie MartinSt. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Edith Stein and St. Joseph.


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