Wording of a prayer to St Joseph

I have just started the 30 day Holy Cloak novena to St Joseph. It is a very beautiful set of prayers however there is one section I am a bit unsure of:

“From this moment on, I choose thee as my father, my protector, my counselor, my patron and I beseech thee to place in thy custody my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I possess, my life and my death.”

The section in italics I am a little unsure of…I am a great devotee of St Joseph and of course he only wills good for us, but it somehow doesn’t feel right to make this pledge. Could we even do it as our bodies and souls belong to God?

Can we adapt the wording of novenas? I would really appreciate any views on this as I was looking forward to doing the novena but this has just given me slight pause for thought.

There’s nothing wrong with the traditional Holy Cloak Novena, it’s approved by the Church since the late 19th century, and the wording is pretty much the same/ similar to a consecration to Mother Mary or St. Joseph.

If you’re not comfortable with the wording, then since it’s a private devotion, you can change it. However, the fact that you’re uncomfortable with it doesn’t make a novena that people have been doing for many decades, and that is Church-approved and was started by St. Luigi Guanella, somehow wrong to do.

1 Like

Thank you, I wasn’t worried about it not being approved by the church, I guess I just didn’t realise it was a consecration type novena.

The reasoning given for wording like this in prayers to St. Joseph is that God put St. Joseph in charge of God’s own son, the most important thing ever. So if St. Joseph can take charge of God’s own son, he can take charge of us. There’s also a parallel with the Joseph of the Old Testament who was in charge of Pharaoh’s household; Joseph of the New Testament was likewise in charge of the Holy Family’s household. His job is to be the good steward in charge of God’s important things - like ourselves, and our bodies, our possessions etc.

Like I said, if you’re not comfortable with it, you can tweak it, or you can choose another St. Joseph novena. There are many out there, and they don’t all use that wording.


That makes a lot of sense, thanks for the explanation. There’s always so much to learn about the saints!

1 Like

That’s a nice prayer.

What’s the connection to St Joseph? This is a thread about prayers to him.
I have many favorite prayers to Jesus and God, including the ever popular “God, Bless this day” but they do not seem to be on topic to a thread where someone is specifically asking about the Holy Cloak Novena.

He or she was uncomfortable with the prayer that they were using because they were committing themselves to Joseph, so I provided an alternative prayer. Given this is a spirituality thread about prayer I don’t see that its off topic at all. And as you yourself pointed out, given its a private devotion, one is able to adapt it to their preference.

It’s not a spirituality thread about “prayer in general”, it’s a question about a specific prayer to St Joseph.

I’m not going to flag a post with a prayer in it, but the subtle underlying message here seems to be a suggestion that one should pray directly to God and not to St Joseph.

I’ll leave it at that.

Is there anything un-catholic about praying directly to God? If not, then I’m not sure why you would take offense given I made no such application in my answer.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.