Updated: Oct 1, 2020
A couple years ago, quite a few parishioners in Immaculate Conception formally consecrated themselves to Mary through a special program. Though I have not done so, many of my seminary classmates have also consecrated themselves to Mary and noticed positive changes in their lives.
Recently I was asked about consecrating oneself to St. Joseph. Yes, you can also consecrate yourself to St. Joseph. It basically means that you acknowledge that he is your spiritual father, and you want to be like him. To show it, you entrust yourself entirely into his paternal care so that he can help you acquire his virtues and become holy. Total consecration to St. Joseph means you make a formal act of filial entrustment to your spiritual father so that he can take care of your spiritual well-being and lead you to God. This is essentially the same as a person is doing when consecrating themselves to Mary. The person who consecrates him or herself to St. Joseph wants to be as close to their spiritual father as possible, to the point of resembling him in virtue and holiness. Saint Joseph, in turn, will give those consecrated to him his undivided attention, protection, and guidance.
If you have already consecrated yourself to the Virgin Mary, can you be consecrated to St. Joseph as well? Yes. God desires that all children be committed to the care of a mother and a father. You are not a member of a single-parent spiritual family. Mary is your spiritual mother, and St. Joseph is your spiritual father. The spiritual fatherhood of St. Joseph is extremely important for your spiritual growth. Total consecration to Mary is not diminished by total consecration to St. Joseph. As the official site for Consecration to St. Joseph states, Mary wants you to consecrate yourself to St. Joseph…and Jesus wants you to consecrate yourself to St. Joseph. Everything you have given to Jesus and Mary can also be given to St. Joseph. The hearts of Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph are one.
How do you consecrate yourself to St. Joseph? Very similarly to the way one consecrates oneself to Mary that is used by St. Louis de Montfort in his Marian consecration program. The preparation and program takes 33 days undertaken either on one’s own or in a group. After choosing a consecration date (preferably a feast day of St. Joseph or other saints listed on www.consecrationtostjoseph.org), spend about 20-30 minutes a day on a short exposition on one of the invocations in the Litany of St. Joseph, followed by a reading on St. Joseph, and concluding with the recitation of the Litany of St. Joseph. If you miss a day, just make it up and continue with your preparation. On the day of consecration, simply choose one of the acts of consecration you like best. All the information to follow these steps is available on the website already mentioned, or in the book, Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Donald Calloway.
St. Pope Leo XIII had this to say about it in his encyclical, Quamquam Pluries:
Joseph was in his day the lawful and natural guardian, head and defender of the Holy Family…It is thus fitting and most worthy of Joseph’s dignity that, in the same way that he once kept unceasing holy watch over they family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ.