This prayer to St. Joseph is said to be dated to the year 50 A.D., which, if accurate, would make it part of the apostolic tradition. Nevertheless, it is very old and is among the most loved of our traditional Catholic prayers. It has been recited by the faithful for generations, with much positive effect. We do know that this prayer received an imprimatur in 1950 from the Bishop of Pittsburgh, Hugh Boyle.
After the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph is the most beloved and efficacious saint in heaven, and the guardian and protector of the Universal Church.
THE PROMISE ASSOCIATED WITH THIS PRAYER
This old postscript is commonly included with this prayer:
"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."
ANCIENT PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.
Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.