|Pacem Studio ~ Art by Christopher Santer|
Today, March 19, is St. Joseph's feast day. He is cited as the patron saint of many, including fathers, workers, carpenters, families, homes, dying people, as well as the Universal Church. That seems like quite a bit of ground for one patron saint to cover, but it's actually just the beginning. St. Joseph, notes St. Thomas Aquinas, can act as our intercessor with the Lord for "every necessity, in every undertaking."
One-stop shopping for every prayer? Sign me up. No wonder Joseph was my father's favorite saint, the one he believed was most powerful. Just as St. Teresa of Avila avowed, my father told me that all his prayers to St. Joseph were answered.
Catholics often pray for "a happy death," an event also under the purview of St. Joseph. That means when you die, your soul is in the state of grace and passes immediately into heaven. Dad was a devout man, so I'm fairly certain that was one of his prayers during his last illness.
Very close to midnight one St. Joseph's Day over three decades ago, Dad's final prayer was answered. It was as if a long-time friend had come to collect him at the end of that special day. Going to heaven on the feast of St. Joseph? That's a happy death, indeed.