When the Supreme pontiff does an intervention into the life of the church, faithful pause to ponder what does it mean? Recently, Pope Francis added seven new invocations to the Litany of St. Joseph. What does it mean? Yes, that the question on our minds.
How did it happen?
Let’s talk about dates. On the feast day of St. Joseph, the Worker, May 1, Vatican introduced seven new invocations to the litany is in honor of St. Joseph. Pope Francis has declared a year of St. Joseph beginning from December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021.
The Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments proposed the seven new invocations to update the Litany to St. Joseph approved by the Apostolic See in 1908. These invocations reflect St. Joseph as the patron of Universal Church.
Pope Francis has published the Apostolic Letter Patris corde (With a Father’s Heart) with the aim to increase the devotion to St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. It is the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church. As the Vatican congregation proposed these new innovations, Pope Francis approved the integration in the Litany to St. Joseph on May 1, 2021.
Why update the 112-year-old litany?
The invocation reflects the modern papal text about St. Joseph. The main text includes Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Patris corde (2020) and St. John Paul II’s 1989 apostolic exhortation Redemptoris Custos (Protector of the Redeemer). The addition is another encouragement for the faithful to seek St. Joseph’s intercession, imitate his virtues and zeal in our times.
What will happen next?
The Vatican directs the Episcopal Conferences to go ahead with the translation in local languages, without requiring the confirmation of the Apostolic See. The directive states that care needs to be taken while adding other invocations to St. Joseph according to local traditions. The new addition by bishop conferences should be done in a way to preserve the literary genre of the Litany.
What are the Seven New Invocations?
The new invocations are originally in Latin are as follows:
- Custos Redemptoris (Guardian of the Redeemer)
- Serve Christi (Servant of Christ)
- Minister salutis (Minister of salvation)
- Fulcimen in difficultatubus (Support in difficulties)
- Patrone exsulum (Patron of exiles)
- Patrone afflictorum (Patron of afflicted)
- Patrone pauperum (Patron of the poor)
New Litany of St. Joseph
With these seven additions, the invocation in the Litany to St. Joseph now will rise to 31. Why not pray the Litany of St. Joseph with the new additions?
Litany of St. Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us, Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Renowned offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Guardian of the Redeemer, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.
Servant of Christ, pray for us.
Minister of salvation, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most strong, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of artisans, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Support in difficulties, pray for us.
Solace of the wretched, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of exiles, pray for us.
Patron of afflicted, pray for us.
Patron of the poor, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus.
He made him the lord of his household, And prince over all his possessions.
Let us pray:
O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
About the Author
Feroz Fernandes, a Catholic Missionary, identifies himself as an Uncommon Priest. Father Feroz loves adventure in the apostolate. Check out his debut book The Uncommon Priest: Incredible Stories You Never Read on amazon. And also, the YouTube Channel: Feroz Fernandes to promote a better understanding of scripture.