Tuesday, March 19, 2019

This Glorious Saint

To other Saints Our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity -- but to this glorious Saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth -- for St. Joseph bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him -- so now in Heaven Our Lord grants us all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience . . .
Pacem Studio ~ Art by Christopher Santer
---- Autobiography VI, 9 ~ St. Teresa of Avila

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.