During this Year of Saint Joseph, Pope Francis has popularized a devotion that has been his for more than forty years. He has a small statue of Saint Joseph sleeping, placed on top of papers on his desk. The papers beneath the statue are prayers that he asks Saint Joseph to take to God.
The reason for this devotion is that, in Sacred Scripture, we see Saint Joseph getting messages from angels in his dreams. The first of these, quoted above, encouraged him not to break off his relationship with Mary, but instead to take her into his home. Another one urged him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to avoid the machinations of Herod, and later, one advising him it was safe to return to Nazareth.
So the thought is that Saint Joseph’s relationship with God is powerful enough that, especially during his resting, he is able to intercede for those he loves, including us, in his dreams. Pope Francis once explained, “I really like Saint Joseph because he is a man of strength and silence. In my office, I have an image of a sleeping Saint Joseph, and while he sleeps he takes care of the Church. When I have a problem or am faced with a difficulty, I will write it on a piece of paper and I will place it underneath Saint Joseph, so that he may dream on it. That means: for him to pray for that problem.”
Here is the prayer that he prays to the sleeping Saint Joseph:
“O Glorious Saint Joseph, you who have power to render possible even things which are considered impossible, come to our aid in our present trouble and distress. Take this important and difficult affair under your particular protection, that it may end happily. O dear Saint Joseph, all our confidence is in you. Let it not be said that we would invoke you in vain; and since you art so powerful with Jesus and Mary, show that your goodness equals your power. Saint Joseph, to whom God entrusted the care of the holiest family that has ever been, grant what we ask of you, our father and protector, and let the grace be brought to us to live and die in the love of Jesus and Mary. Saint Joseph, pray for us who have recourse to you.”
If you wish to begin this devotion in your life or the life of your family, you can purchase one of these statues of Sleeping Saint Joseph from our parish office. Each statue is blessed and available for $25.