March - The Month of St. Joseph

The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. We don't know much about him except what is mentioned in the Gospels. Joseph was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. Holy Scripture proclaims him as a "just man," and the Church has turned to Joseph for his patronage and protection. Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Quamquam Pluries (On the Devotion to St. Joseph) in 1889 explains why we place so much trust in this saint:

"Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honor, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. ...It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."

One hundred years later John Paul II echoes his predecessor in his 1989 Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos (Guardian of the Redeemer), hoping "that all may grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church and in love for the Savior whom he served in such an exemplary manner ... In this way the whole Christian people not only will turn to St. Joseph with greater fervor and invoke his patronage with trust, but also will always keep before their eyes his humble, mature way of serving and of "taking part" in the plan of salvation." St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Currently the Church is celebrating a year in honor of St. Joseph.

Litany of St. Joseph

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.
V. Christ, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy.
V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Lord, have mercy.

V. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, hear us.
V. Christ, graciously hear us.
R. 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 .

Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious son of David,
Light of the patriarchs,
Spouse of the Mother of God,
Chaste guardian of the Virgin,
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Watchful defender of Christ,
Head of the Holy Family,
Joseph most just,
Joseph most chaste,
Joseph most prudent,
Joseph most valiant,
Joseph most obedient,
Joseph most faithful,
Mirror of patience,
Lover of poverty,
Model of workmen ,
Glory of domestic life,
Guardian of virgins,
Pillar of families,
Solace of the afflicted,
Hope of the sick,
Patron of the dying,
Terror of demons,
Protector of Holy Church,

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Jesus!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Jesus!

V. He made him the lord of His household,
R. And prince over all His possessions.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who in Your ineffable providence did choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most Holy Mother, grant that as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in Heaven, We ask this of You Who live and reign forever and ever. R. Amen.

Prayer Intention of the Holy Father for March, 2021

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.


As in the Roman year, so in the English ecclesiastical calendar used till 1752, this was the first month, and of the legal year commenced on the 25th of March.  Scotland changed the first month to January in 1599.  This month was called Martius by the Romans, from the god Mars, and it received the name “Hlyd Monath,” i.e. “loud” or “stormy month” from the Anglo-Saxons.

March 1: St. David
March 12: St. Gregory
March 17: St. Patrick
March 25: Lady Day

“A peck of March dust is worth a king’s ransom.”
“So many misties in March, so many frosties in May.”
“March’ll search ye; April try ye.  May’ll tell whether live or die ye.”
“March hack ham comes in like a lion goes out like a lamb.”

“March borrowed from Averill
Three days and they were ill.
The first it shall be snow and sleet,
The neist is shall be rain and weet,
The last it shall be sie a freeze
Shall gar the birds stick to the trees.”

The stormy march is come at last
With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
I hear the rushing of the blast
That through the snowy Valley flies.

Ah! Passing few are they speak
Wild stormy month in praise of thee;
Yet though thy winds are loud and bleak
Thou art a welcome month to me.

For thou, tossed northern lands again
The glad and glorious sun dost bring
And thou hast joined the gentle train,
And wear’st the gentle name of spring.

And in they reign of blast and storm
Smiles many a long, bright summer day
When the changed winds are soft and warm
And heaven puts on the blue of May.

- Bryant.

What did Spring-time whisper?
O ye rivulets,
Waking from your trance so sad,
Pleased to welcome fisher-lad
With his little nets,
Speed, for summer’s in the air,
Prattle, for the breeze is warm,
Chatter by the otter’s lair
Bubble past the ivied farm;
Wake the primrose on the banks
Bid the violet ope her eyes
Hurry in a flood of thanks
Underneath serener skies!
What a revel’s coming soon
Fairies trooping o’er the leas,
Making magic by the moon,
Crowned with wood anemones!
What a haunted heart the thrush
Nurses in the blackthorn bush,
Full of splendid songs to sing,
Cheery welcomes of the Spring – 
Spring is come!

- Norman Gale

How sweet the hedge that hides a cunning nest,
And curtains off a patient bright-eyed thrush,
With five small worlds beneath her mottled breast!

Though life is growing nearer day by day,
Each globe she loves, as yet is mute, and still
Her bosom’s beauty slowly wears away.

At last the thin blue veils are backward furled,
Existence wakes and pipes into a bird
As infant music bursts into the world.

And now the mother-thrush is proud and gay
She has her cottage and her pretty young
To feed and lull when western skies turn to grey.

- A Creed, Noman Gale

I heard a thousand blended notes
While in a grove I sat reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts,
Bring sad thoughts to the mind;

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has mad of man.

Through primrose tufts in that green bower
The periwinkle trailed it’s wreathes,
And tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure, --
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan
To catch the breezy air
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

Lines written in early spring, W. Wordsworth


St. Joseph