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Nine Days to Joseph: Day One
By Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC (Mar 10, 2016)
For the Marian Press title Meet Your Spiritual Father: A Brief Introduction to St. Joseph by Dr. Mark Miravalle, Hearts Afire: Parish-based Programs creator Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, composed a special nine-day preparation for entrustment to St. Joseph. In this excerpt, he explains why:
When I sat down to write this preparation for consecration to St. Joseph back in 2014, I realized an amazing coincidence: It was my last day as "Fr. Joseph, MIC."
That title, "Fr. Joseph," is an honorary designation for the grueling office job I've held for the last three- and-a-half years, namely, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers. I say "grueling," because ... Well, let me put it this way: Shortly before my priestly ordination, my provincial superior called me into his office and said, "Brother Michael, how would you feel about being the next Fr. Joseph?" I replied, "What's that?" He continued, "Well, if I told you, you'd say no ... So just say yes."
Now I know what he meant! The job was not easy — but thankfully, St. Joseph helped me in a big way, a way that's related to the preparation for consecration you're about to read. Let me tell you what happened.
After two years on the job as "Fr. Joseph," I was feeling broken down and burned out. I spoke with my superior to see if another priest could fill the position or come help me in the office. Unfortunately, nobody was available, at least not for another year. So, with my health declining, spirit failing, and the work piling up, a hopeful thought suddenly occurred to me on the solemnity of St. Joseph: "Give it all to Joseph. He'll take care of it."
I knew exactly what to do. I got on my computer and typed out a consecration or "entrustment" to St. Joseph. I brought it to Mass at the office where I worked, and following Mass, I solemnly and publicly put everything — myself, my staff, the office, and our work — into the strong, caring hands of St. Joseph. And then, all heaven broke loose. Let me just say that from our Marian Helpers Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, our evangelization works rapidly multiplied, and we were able to bring the message of God's mercy and devotion to Mary to millions more people. Looking back now on that day of entrustment, I firmly believe that St. Joseph was behind this new and dramatic growth.
So, in gratitude to St. Joseph, on this my last day as "Fr. Joseph," I'm writing this brief, heartfelt preparation for consecrating oneself to St. Joseph. I say "brief," because St. Joseph was a man of few words — not one of them is recorded in Scripture! — and my guess is that he probably appreciates brevity. I say "heartfelt" because this preparation really comes from my heart, especially as I look back and clearly see how St. Joseph came through for me during my time of need as "Fr. Joseph." But before we get to these "nine days to Joseph," let me briefly explain how this preparation works.
Basically, you pray the specified prayer to St. Joseph each day, from the heart, for nine days. Then, on the last day (the 10th day), the Day of Consecration, you'll pray the prayer of consecration from the heart. It's that simple.
Of course, you'll probably want to time the days so the Day of Consecration falls on a feast of St. Joseph (March 19, May 1, ... ) or on a Marian feast (because of St. Joseph's closeness to Mary). I also recommend that on the day of your consecration, you write it out in your own handwriting, date it, and then renew it each year. And by the way, this is a perfect complement to Marian consecration, because of St. Joseph's closeness to and love for Mary. (If you haven't yet made your Marian consecration, consider using my book 33 Days to Morning Glory to do so.)
Day One — St. Joseph, Powerful Intercessor
Dear St. Joseph,
After Mary, you're the most powerful intercessor before God. In a sense, Jesus remains obedient to you and will listen to you as you bring my intentions to Him. Because of this, I especially want to entrust myself to your fatherly care, just as Jesus Himself did. And while in the past, I may have brought to you one of my intentions here or there, this time I want to do something new. This time, I want to give you all. In other words, St. Joseph, I'm not here to offer you a regular "novena" for just one of my intentions. Rather, I want to forever entrust to you all of my needs and cares, trusting that you will bring them, with Mary, to your Son, Jesus.
Dear St. Joseph, as the best of fathers, as the one God chose to be the virginal father of Jesus, I believe that you know what I need better than I do myself. So go ahead, St. Joseph. I give you permission to care for me as your child. In doing so, I trust that you will do everything in your power to make my life into something beautiful for God. I trust that you will watch over me and that your prayers will guide me, bless me, and protect me. I trust that you will now care for me with the same love and tenderness with which you cared for Jesus. I'll confirm this special relationship with you in nine days, when I make my prayer of consecration.
Saint Joseph, Powerful Intercessor, please pray for me and all my intentions.
Send your intentions to be remembered by the Marians during the St. Joseph Novena.
Nine Days to St. Joseph