In an age in which there are many distractions from marriage and the family, the grace of the sacrament of marriage is a support and inspiration to those living out their commitments faithfully. A prayer of thanksgiving serves also as a reminder of God's plan for married couples and allows a time of reflection in the midst of a busy life.
The Novena to St. Joseph is most appropriate. St. Joseph, as the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the step-father of Jesus, is a model for all fathers, just as the Holy Family is a model for all families. Catholics are asked to pray for St. Joseph’s intercession for the preservation of the dignity and sanctity of marriage.
God of mercy and of the holy covenant,
you created every human being, male and female,
in your image and likeness,so that they may be fruitful and multiply on earth.In the beginning of our Christian era,you asked Joseph, illustrious descendant of David,
to take the blessed Virgin Mary as his wife
and to form with her a family
for Jesus, your Son, our Redeemer.Through the difficulties and trialsyou guided St. Joseph,you made him the protector of the Holy Familyand allowed the Church to recognize him
as an attentive protector for all Christian families.
During this stressful time in which we live,we ask you to safeguard marriage according to your will,and we appeal for the intercession and protectionof St. Joseph, your obedient servant,so that Canadian families of today
will be strengthened in loveand continue to live securely
in the sacramental state of marriage.
Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario
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