Eternal God, the refuge and help of all your children,
we praise you for all you have given us,
for all you have done for us,
for all that you are to us.
In our weakness, you are strength,
in our darkness, you are light,
in our sorrow, you are comfort and peace.
We cannot number your blessings,
we cannot declare your love:
For all your blessings we bless you.
May we live as in your presence,
and love the things that you love,
and serve you in our daily lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Saint Joseph, you are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I come to you as an example for holiness, for you are especially close with God. Therefore, I humbly commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus and Mary, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.
Historical Background of the Saturdays in Honor of Mary
“To dedicate Saturday in honor of Mary is an ancient custom. It is based on a legendary account that Jesus appeared to Mary on the Saturday, the day after His death. He did so to reward her for her steadfast faith in His divinity, which did not waver under the Cross. Another strain of devotional thought explains that Divine Wisdom, becoming flesh of the Virgin Mary, rested (Saturday=Sabbath=day of rest) in Mary as on a bed.
‘One of the oldest customs traced to honoring Mary on Saturday in the Church of Rome took place on the Saturday before “Whitsunday” [White Sunday]. The newly-baptized members of the Church were led from St. John’s baptistry of the Lateran to Mary’s great shrine on the Esquilin, St. Mary Major [built under Pope Liberius 352-66]. St. John of Damascus’ († 754) writings testify to the celebration of Saturdays dedicated to Mary in the Church of the East. The liturgical books of the ninth and tenth centuries contain Masses in honor of Mary on Saturday.”
“On February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous–beginning a series of visions. The lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907.” -American Catholic