19 on the 19th – The ‘O Glorious St. Joseph’ Prayer with Father Rocky



Thanks for joining us for this special Year of Saint Joseph presentation from Relevant Radio: 19 on the 19th, a 19-minute talk on Saint Joseph on the 19th of the month, the day dedicated to Saint Joseph.

Hi, this is Father Rocky, the Executive Director and CEO of Relevant Radio bringing you our final installment of the 19 on the 19th. It’s a 19-minute talk delivered to you on the 19th day of the month and it’s about Saint Joseph in this Year of Saint Joseph.

Why do we use the 19th?

Because his feast day is on March 19th every year, so every 19th day of the month is actually dedicated to Saint Joseph. Maybe you didn’t know that, but if you’ve been following Relevant Radio now for a while, now you do know it.

And this will be the final installment for this year of Saint Joseph, which Pope Francis announced last year on December 8th, 2020. He kind of surprised us. And what’s new? Pope Francis is the pope of surprises.

Yeah, but it made sense because last year December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, actually was the 150th anniversary of when Pope Pius IX in the year 1870 declared St. Joseph as the protector of the Universal Church. And that was a big event because in 1870, things did not look very promising for the Catholic Church in Rome and Vatican because of the consolidation of the territories and the Church losing many of its properties.

But, actually, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. So, this whole year has been dedicated to Saint Joseph. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis released a beautiful letter about Saint Joseph and at Relevant Radio, we responded immediately to promote this and to keep it alive because so many times, there may be initiatives that come from the Church that they’re almost dead on arrival. People greet them with a lot of enthusiasm and the next day, the news cycle has changed and they’re on to the next thing. But we tried to keep it alive this year and I’m glad we can finish that out.

At Relevant Radio, the way we’ve observed this year of Saint Joseph is we’ve prayed the Litany to Saint Joseph after Mass on Wednesdays, because Wednesdays are also devoted to Saint Joseph, with that specific intention to pray for Christians anywhere in the world who are persecuted. And they are persecuted in certain areas of this country, this world more fiercely than others.

So, we do the Litany of Saint Joseph and Wednesdays, we provide you with this 19-minute talk on the 19th, and I want to thank a number of our show hosts and collaborators who’ve so generously given their time and provided you some outstanding talks in Saint Joseph: Cale Clarke, Patrick Madrid, Father Simon, Timmerie Geagea, and I do my best here.

And we also released a special book. All of you who received this email got that special book and I hope you keep it as a treasure because it has so many wonderful resources there to Saint Joseph.

Now just a month ago, I had the great joy of visiting the Oratory of Saint Joseph in Montreal. It’s the largest church in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph. It was inspired by a saint who’s buried there: Saint Andre Bessette. And I have had the privilege, the honor, the joy of making a pilgrimage to that shrine every year for the past 12 years except 2020 because due to COVID, the borders were shut down. And I made a resolution that as soon as the borders were opened, I’d get up there as soon as I could. So, thanks be to God, I was able to get up there just a month ago.

Yeah, it was a little bit complicated, all the paperwork you had to go through to cross the border, but once I crossed the border, it was fine. and there were a lot of people there at the Oratory that day. I mean, it’s a very cosmopolitan atmosphere. You see the Universal Church and I was so happy to go there.

And every time I go there, I do what I learned the first pilgrimage. We stay in a very modest hotel, and we walk up all the stairs to the top of the mountain. We go to Confession. We kiss the feet of Jesus on the crucifix. We go to Mass. We pray at the statue of Saint Joseph. We go to the tomb of Saint Andre Bessette. We light some vigil candles. We pray at the old church that was the original shrine there and we thank Saint Joseph for all of his blessings and then I’ve always asked for more. And that’s why I have to keep going back because he always comes through.

So, in the two years since I was there last in July of 2019, look what St. Joseph has helped us to accomplish at Relevant Radio. We are now reaching 70 million more people in this country because we have acquired or purchased more than 20 stations in those two years – big markets, too: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Tampa, Saint Pete, Jacksonville, FL, Washington D.C., Boston, Youngstown, OH, Saint Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Riverside, San Bernardino. And we attribute a lot of this growth to the powerful intercession of Saint Joseph and as well, he really helped us during the first months of COVID when everything was shut down and people were very anxious. Our audience grew by more than 50% in March and April and May of 2020 because we were determined we were going to be able to bring you the Mass every day at noon, even though all the churches were shutting down, and we could bring the Rosary every night at 7:00 PM.

And everyone here stayed healthy. Oh, some people got COVID, but for all of our employees, it really wasn’t all that serious. And also, Saint Joseph helped us find us a permanent home in Lincolnshire, IL. The timing was right. We bought a beautiful building with five and a half acres with 135 parking spots, 26,000 square feet, and we got it for $0.20 on the dollar and we thank Saint Joseph for that. And so, just a couple weeks ago, we were able to put some golden crowns on the statue of Saint Joseph in our conference room and one for baby Jesus as well.

So, along this year, for those who’ve been listening to these talks on the 19th, I hope you, in your own way, have discovered more about his powerful intercession. I had heard years ago that Saint Teresa of Avila, the great reformer of the Carmelite religious orders in the 1500s (she was from Spain), I’d heard she made the claim that Saint Joseph never failed to answer her prayer.

I thought that was a remarkable claim and I said, wow, that’s really something. And I always knew of Saint Joseph and my middle name is Joseph, but I never really acquired devotion in Saint Joseph until I absolutely needed it, which was about 12 years ago when I started at Relevant Radio.

And quite frankly, folks, we needed miracles and we were out of any sane solutions to our problems. We needed miracles and we prayed for them just like that. We went to Saint Joseph. And it was really quite remarkable.

The talk I want to give you is about this prayer to Saint Joseph. There are many prayers to Saint Joseph. You’ll find them in the booklet we provided you. You will find them on the Relevant Radio app, which you can get for free, on the right-side dropdown menu.

It has all sorts of prayers there, and other places on the internet I’m sure you can find prayers, but this prayer came to my attention. I forget how and I forget when. It was over 10 years ago, but probably not more than 15 years ago. It’s called a prayer to Saint Joseph and what caught my attention immediately was at the bottom, after the prayer, there was a little piece of information in italics. And the original prayer card I had also showed that it had the imprimatur from a bishop. I think it was the bishop from Pittsburgh. Imprimatur is a fancy Latin word which means the bishop gives you the permission to print this prayer.

And here’s what it says in the italics. I’ll read it to you. It says, “Some sources claim this prayer was found in the 15th year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Now that’s quite remarkable. 15th year is like 15 A.D. and then you say okay, if somebody found this prayer, who wrote it? Did Jesus write it? Did Saint Joseph write it? Did Mary write it? Now, other versions of this said it was found in the 50th year, five-oh. Okay, if that’s the case, who wrote it? Did Jesus write it? Did Mary write it? Did Joseph write it? Did any of the Apostles write it, and did they have prayer cards back then? I don’t know. These are curious questions, but it really got my attention.

Then we move on to the next sentence. In 1505, alright that’s 1500 years later, it was sent from the pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. And one of our listeners in the past year said “Father, in 1505, Emperor Charles was only five years old. How could he be going into battle?”

Well, at first I thought, yeah, that’s a real serious issue. And then I thought, well, at least he was alive in 1505 and there’s some truth to this that he could have received this letter. And a 5-year-old is always going in battle. Maybe not this moment, maybe not this year, but sooner or later he is going into battle.

And then it says, “Whoever shall read this prayer,” all right, we’re going to read it in a minute, “or hear it,” you’ll hear it, “or keep it about themselves,” and I keep it in my pocket in a little pocket calendar I have. And I got a bunch of prayer cards in there and we got a prayer card there to Our Lady of Good Health, H-E-A-L-T-H, Health. I have one to Our Lady of Good Help. I have one to Saint Josemaría. I got this one to Saint Joseph.

It says, “Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves,” now listen to this, “shall never die a sudden death…” Well folks, so far so good. I have not died a sudden death. So far, it’s working. “…nor be drowned…” I haven’t been drowned, “…nor shall poison take effect of them…” I have not been poisoned. In fact, now I can eat Brussels sprouts. That’s amazing. “…neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy…” So far, so good. “…nor shall they be burned in a fire…” So far, so good. “…nor shall they be overpowered in battle.”

Isn’t that remarkable? When I first read it, I kind of smiled and I said, oh come on. But then I said, yeah, I wonder maybe it is true. Maybe it is true, and I’ve come to believe it is true. You don’t have to believe it’s true, all right? This is not from the revelation of Jesus Christ. This is all in the area of what Father Simon would call “private revelation”. You can take it or leave it however you want, but I found, sometimes when you take it, amazing things happen.

So, 2 ½ years ago, Patrick Madrid was speaking at our Lenten luncheon in Chicago about Saint Joseph, and on that occasion, everyone in the room, there may have been 500 or 800 people at that luncheon, they got a copy of this prayer card. Some months later, a woman sent us an email. She said, “It’s remarkable. I was driving my car on Lakeshore Drive and the muffler fell off. Sparks were flying everywhere. I pulled over suddenly. When the police arrived, they were amazed my car hadn’t blown up because they’d seen all of the sparks right next to the gas tank.” And she said, “And then I looked in my purse and there was that prayer to Saint Joseph where it says if you keep it with you, you will never be burned in any fire.” Isn’t that remarkable?

So, she was convinced. So here is how the prayer goes and you can get a copy on your app where you can have it in your prayer book, and it goes like this:

Prayer to Saint Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.’

All my interests and desires. Sometimes people ask, “Father, can I pray to get a good grade on my exam?” Of course you can pray for it. You’ve got to do your homework, too. But sure, that’s a good thing for you to get a good grade on your exam. You can pray for your health. You can pray for whatever you think you want that might be good for you.

‘I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.’

So, here’s the key. We don’t get these graces from Saint Joseph. He gets them for us from Jesus. Now how does that work? Well, he’s Jesus’ father here on Earth, technically foster father. And you’ve seen pictures of him holding baby Jesus next to him. How could baby Jesus deny Saint Joseph anything he asks?

‘So that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.’

Wouldn’t that be beautiful? In the moment you’re dying, that Jesus kisses you and brings you into heaven.

And it finishes,

‘St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.’

Pray for me. Very powerful personal prayer.

And then there’s another note here at the bottom. It says, “Say for 9 mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail.”

And when our team was designing this prayer card, some people said “Father, maybe you should put, ‘It has been seldom known to fail,’” and I thought about it long and hard and I said, “No, it’s never been known to fail.”

Now, let me explain that to you. You might think, “Oh really is it that easy? I just have to say that prayer 9 days in a row and I get my wish?” Well, in fact, it’s very hard for anyone to say the same prayer 9 days in a row. Most people give up after a couple of days because they really don’t want what they’re asking for.

But I found in my own personal experience, yours might be different, I admit that, that any time that I have prayed this, and it’s only been, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve prayed it earnestly 9 days in a row for something, that my prayer has been granted. But even if your prayer is not granted the way you asked for it, God does hear your prayers. God does love you and he gives you an answer to your prayers, even if it’s not exactly what you wanted, because he’s giving you something better.

Any parent knows that. Just because your 12-year-old son wants to buy a shotgun or a motorcycle, the parents may say, well, no, he’s not ready for it. He’ll hurt himself with it. Maybe some 12-year-olds could have it, but other 12-year-olds, they might not be ready for it. And a parent can grant it. In fact, the parent answers that petition by not giving the person what they asked for.

So have that confidence, you know, when we pray to Saint Joseph. We get what we need because we’re praying through God. So the question is, well, why should we pray to God through Saints anyway? Why can’t we go to God directly? Well, you can. You can go directly to Jesus. You can go to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, go to Holy Spirit, you can go to God the Father.

But I was thinking about this. So, why does God want us to go through the saints? I think there’s at least five reasons. The first is to remind us that there is a heaven and that one day you could be a saint in heaven and people could pray to you and you could be closer to Jesus and say, “Jesus, would you help them out?”

So, it’s a reminder that there is a heaven and it’s a reminder, secondly, that souls don’t die. When the body dies, the souls go to eternity, heaven or hell or for a time in purgatory.

The third reason we pray to a saint is to remind us that we are not alone. There are saints and angels in heaven who are watching our every step, who want to intercede for us if we ask them for help.

The fourth reason we pray to saints is to remind us that God the Son, Jesus Christ, is both divine and human. Two natures, one person, and for humans, the more people they have asking on their behalf, the more likely they get a positive response. This is what opinion polls are all about. This is why you have lots of fans in the stadium cheering for you. It’s called, in the basketball world in high school, it’s the 6th man. You’ve got the whole student body out there, cheering like crazy. It gives them special energy and inspiration.

And the fifth reason we pray to God through a saint is we will likely be inspired to imitate their virtues. We’ll be likely to be inspired to imitate their virtues.

So here at Relevant Radio, we thank Saint Joseph from the bottom of our heart for his powerful intercession of what he’s been able to provide us over these past 12 years. I encourage you to get a copy of this prayer of Saint Joseph. It’s in your booklet. It’s on the app.

And when you have a special need, pray it every day for 9 days and invite some people to pray it for you and to keep everybody focused and on it.

You can send an email every day with that prayer attached to the email and say, “Would you please take a few minutes and pray that prayer for this intention today?”

So, let’s finish with a little prayer today in honor of God.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Thanks for joining us for this special Year of Saint Joseph presentation from Relevant Radio.

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.