Here at St. Anne’s, after Vespers, we pray a few short prayers together, including one to St. Joseph, which I mentioned in a post some months back. My former teacher, Lori Barklow, graciously shared a lovely reflection and prayer based on this:
In the adoration chapel at the Church of St. Joseph in West St Paul, statues of Mary and Joseph are positioned on opposite sides of the altar, one on each side of the cross. Often when beginning a holy hour and praying for a specific intention, I start with ten memorares. (Ten because nine of them complete a novena and a final one for thanksgiving). Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC who is published with Marian Press in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, has referred to these memorares as ‘flying novenas’ because an entire novena can be prayed quickly and easily.
So what does that have to do with statues of Mary and Joseph in an adoration chapel? Well, a few months ago I asked Sister Christina to share with me her evening prayer to St. Joseph. To my surprise, as I started to read it I found it was similar to the memorare, yet still distinctly an intercessory prayer to St. Joseph. I had heard it said that if you ask St. Joseph for something and then change your mind, that it is too late. In other words, St. Joseph is quick to answer our prayers. When I put the two prayers side by side (the memorare and the prayer to St. Joseph) I began to see one combined prayer of intercession to the parents of Our Lord come into being.
Our Blessed Mother is beautifully invoked three times in the memorare: ‘Gracious Virgin Mary’, ‘Virgin of Virgins my Mother’, and ‘Mother of the Word Incarnate’. Similarly, the prayer to St. Joseph refers to him as ‘Most Pure Spouse of the Virgin Mary’, ‘beloved patron’, and ‘foster Father of our Redeemer’.
Here is the prayer when those beautiful descriptions and titles are placed throughout our requests for their combined intercessions.
Memorare to our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph
Remember, oh most gracious Virgin Mary and your chaste spouse St. Joseph that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee oh Virgin of Virgins my Mother and St. Joseph my patron and protector. To thee do I come, before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate and St. Joseph his tender hearted Father, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.