Whenever I address St. Joseph and ask for his intercession, I always, always, always get a clear answer, no matter what the problem (from my son not taking a nap to marriage conundrums to the insanity in my insane mind).
I credit my college friend B. for instilling in me a love for St. Joseph. Before I had committed to becoming Catholic, she would take me to the perpetual adoration chapel at St. Mary’s in Annapolis to pray. Outside the chapel was a Marian garden, and in the Marian garden, surrounded by a circle of shrubs, was a children’s garden. Inside that secret garden were a few stone benches, flower beds, and a small statue of St. Joseph holding the Child Jesus. One day she showed this to me.
“I love St. Joseph,” she said. “He took care of Mary and Jesus.”
Knowing her, I felt the full weight of her words. Her parents had been pro-life activists right after the Roe v. Wade ruling, modeling themselves on Gandhi’s way of nonviolent resistance. Her father had been arrested over thirty times in this cause. Growing up, she herself participated in many protests and rallies, responding to the bitterness of others with silence, peace, prayer, and a willingness to help others.
That she would love St. Joseph made perfect sense.
He did take care of Mary and Jesus. He would not expose Mary to the shame and condemnation of the world when, in justice, he believed he needed to divorce her. When assured of her innocence, embraced the child as his own, despite the many hardships (and there were many).
In return, he received what Dr. Michael Fonseca calls “radiation therapy” – a life lived in close communion – close quarters, literally! – with Our Lord and His Mother.
Dude, that man was made holy. No wonder my prayers to him are always answered.
Thank you, my friend, for sharing your affection. He’s found a way into my heart, too.
Happy All Saints’ Day to you.