Turning to St. Joseph as Protector of Vocations

Today the Universal Church celebrates the 58th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We know that many areas of the world are in desperate need of more vocations to the priesthood and religious life, so today we pray especially for that intention, focusing on praying for vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, consecrated life, and missionary life.

The USCCB explains that this day fulfills the Lord’s instruction in Matthew 9:38 to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.” Our Church needs virtuous and faithful servants to say yes to God’s call, just as Mary did.

The Holy Father, in his message for the 2021 World Day of Vocations, urges us to look to St. Joseph, during this Year of St. Joseph, as an exemplary model of faithfully fulfilling God’s vocation for his life. Pope Francis suggests that there are three words we can find to inspire our individual vocation in life. First, dream.

Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco in Haledon, NJ
Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco in Haledon, NJ

“Everyone dreams of finding fulfillment in life. … If we were to ask people to express in one word their life’s dream, it would not be difficult to imagine the answer: “to be loved”. It is love that gives meaning to life, because it reveals life’s mystery. Indeed, we only have life if we give it; we truly possess it only if we generously give it away. Saint Joseph has much to tell us in this regard, because, through the dreams that God inspired in him, he made of his life a gift,” wrote the pope.

Secondly, service. St. Joseph lived entirely at the service of others and never for himself, says the Holy Father. Every vocation requires that we give of ourselves each day, just as St. Joseph did in service of the Holy Family.

Third, fidelity. When we make a commitment to God’s call for our life—whether it be ordained, consecrated, married, or any other vocation—that requires daily fidelity. We must choose each day to be faithful to our vows, our commitment, and persevere in serving God to the best of our abilities.

Pope Francis says that he likes to think of St. Joseph as the “protector of vocations”. He faced “life’s frequent and often unexpected journeys” with prompt action and without complaining, putting the needs of his family above his own desires and not letting fear hold him back.

St. Joseph, protector of vocations, pray for us!

Prayer for Vocations

Father in heaven, you sent us your
only Son to redeem us and to build
your kingdom on earth. Please give
us the wisdom and strength we need
to follow His call. Grant to the faithful
a spirit of generosity, that Church
vocations may flourish. Bless our
priests with holiness and courage,
that they may lead your people to
Christ. Help all sisters and brothers
to fulfill their sacred promises and so
be effective signs of your kingdom.
Lord, invite more men and women
to your service. We ask this through
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Find many more prayers for vocations at USCCB.org.

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.