I just wanted to add two cents to what Bob has said.
Whenever we ask any saint in Heaven for help or honor an attribute of God: we honor God, the Father who sees His Son's image in all Christians and He marvels in the good, vocational behavior of those who remain faithful to His Church.
It's not the saint per se, it's the Lord and the saints that have gone ahead of us, working through us. It's a family affair.
Our Protestant brethren will never understand this because they don't embrace the Catholic theology behind the Eucharist.
- What do we mean when we (say/state) that St. Joseph is our protector on Earth?
We ask him for the same protections which he gave Our Lord when he raised him as his earthly son. Again, in doing so, we are honoring God the Father who is the ultimate source of the ability Joseph had to protect and raise his Earthly son and the Father's divine Son.
- What does it mean when we ask for the grace to have him as an advocate in Heaven?
It means to be motivated to ask for his help as an advocate and a protector.
Because in doing so, we again, honor the Father who marvels in the merits of His children: this includes St. Joseph, the other saints, and you and me!
- Is there a difference between protector on Earth and advocate in Heaven?
Not really, just the location.
I thought all deceased saints, (we have some living on Earth right now), are in Heaven interceding for us. This prayer uses a language that I am not comfortable with right now..
If you are not comfortable with this, then you probably have a misunderstanding of what the Communion of Saints is. Use our Site Search to find more answers: