We are at the end of March – the month of St. Joseph – and due to illness and phone-line/internet problems, I have not posted recently.
But I cannot let the month pass, without paying due thanks to someone who has become very dear to me – St. Joseph.
This month of March is dedicated to him and I feel he has helped me through this difficult time.
I have been repeatedly introduced to St. Joseph over the years, but only fairly recently have I come to know him myself. We now have a small statue of St. Joseph in our house and I pray to him daily.
Who is this quiet man?
God entrusted St. Joseph to be head of the Holy Family. Through a series of dreams and visions he followed the will of God, honouring Mary as his wife, naming his holy child Jesus and fleeing with them to safety in Egypt.
Later, having settled into family life in Nazareth, he tenderly cared for his Blessed Spouse and Divine Son.
Depicted holding the tools of his trade, he is St. Joseph the craftsmen. A hardworking carpenter, he passed on his trade to the child Jesus. In this role, we pray to him for help in practical situations.
Last year, Roger and I had problems with our phone and then our car. The phone-line/internet was down for nearly a month. The mechanic who fixed our car kept it for over a week and failed to let me know of his progress.
Living in an isolated location, where we are far from any shop and even mobile phones don’t work, it was nerve-wracking.
A couple of weeks ago, it all repeated itself: We again had no phone and simultaneously, a problem with the car. Would we again have to wait nearly a month for the phone to be sorted out?
On the Feast of St. Joseph, the 19th March, Roger and I prayed to him for help.
The following day, the car was fixed and the phone-line fixed!
It is said of St. Joseph that any prayers to him will be answered, as he has a special relationship with Jesus.
For, just as the Child Jesus was subject to his foster father, obeying his wishes, so too in heaven, will Jesus answer the petitions brought to him by St. Joseph.
St.Joseph therefore stands as the greatest saint after his Blessed Spouse.
His obedience was exemplary. Which is surely why he was chosen by God, to head the Holy Family.
As protector of the Child Jesus and the Virginity of Mary, St. Joseph is also honoured as patron of Holy Mother Church. In 1870, Pope Pius IX proclaimed him Protector of the Universal Church.
And lastly, St. Joseph remains Patron of a happy death. He must have experienced the happiest of deaths. For, as tradition has it, his last hours were spent with his devoted family, Jesus and Mary. We see many paintings depicting this blessed moment.
St. Teresa of Avila practised fervent devotion to St. Joseph and chose him as her patron.
She found that no prayer to him goes unanswered. When she was young, suffering a crippling illness for which no cure was to be found. Yet through prayers to St. Joseph, she was healed.
St. Francis de Sales also recommends devotion to St. Joseph. He exemplifies his attributes – in particular, his virginity, humility, constancy, and courage.
I would add to this, those qualities of strength, dependability, obedience and silence.
For St. Joseph appears to accept his roles quietly, without reserve. This is why he is so dependable.
And I have experienced him just so, throughout this month of March. His fatherly love has felt like a source of strength, constantly but quietly present.
Which is why I am so very grateful to St. Joseph and want to honour him here.