Join our Lenten Campaign 2024.
While devotion to St. Joseph can be traced back to the early Church, there were only a handful of prayers and churches that were dedicated to him during the first millennium.
One of the oldest prayers to St. Joseph is a brief, one-sentence inscription written in Greek.
The 19th-century book by Edward Healy Thompson, The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, recalls this short prayer.
The Greek epigraph inscribed on a gem of the fourth or fifth century brought to light by Cavedoni speaks volumes for the loving confidence reposed in him by the early Christians. Thus it runs, “O Joseph, assist me in my labors and give me grace.”
This is one of the few prayers that can be traced with certainty to the early centuries of the Church, and is evidence that devotion to St. Joseph was present among the first Christians.