Pope Leo XIII invoked St. Joseph as a powerful defender in our daily spiritual battles.
St. Joseph was chosen by God to be the defender of the Holy Family, the one who would protect the Virgin Mary and Christ Child from earthly enemies. He was warned by an angel to take his family and flee to Egypt, thus ensuring the Messiah would live until adulthood.
In a similar way, St. Joseph is invoked by many as a spiritual defender, a powerful intercessor against spiritual evils. Just as St. Joseph protected the Holy Family, so too can he protect us on our earthly pilgrimage to Heaven.
Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical on St. Joseph, and at the end of it composed a prayer to St. Joseph for protection from evil. The prayer reassures us that we are not alone in this daily battle and that St. Joseph is at our side, ready to help us defeat our spiritual enemies.
To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.