For many of our problems and difficulties in life, big and small, we ask the saints to intercede for us and to help us through our trials. Besides Mary, the mother of God, St. Joseph is a saint whose intercession is most sought after in the Catholic Church. In ways both big and small, he helps us with all our trials, if only we ask. I know this not from reading books about his life or about miracles his intercession has wrought, but from his guiding hand in my own family’s life.
When I was eight, we moved out of the suburbs into an “in-between house,” which we were renting until we could find property out in the country. We ended up staying there for nearly five years as we tried to sell our home in the suburbs. Finally, Mom decided that we would pray a litany to St. Joseph every Sunday night until we sold our house. Within a couple months of starting the litany, an offer was put on the house. We accepted it, and the house was sold. Immediately, we turned our minds to finding ourselves a forever home.
Since St. Joseph had answered our prayers for the sale of our house, Mom decided to continue our litany to St. Joseph, only this time we were praying to find a new home.
“If he answers this prayer,” Mom said, “We’ll get a statue of St. Joseph and make him an altar in the new house.”
We kids looked at each other uneasily. “Mom,” my older sister said hesitatingly, “statues like that are kind of expensive. Do you really think–“
“It’ll work out,” Mom promised. “We’ll just pray.”
So we did. And within a couple months, we had found the house we wanted and put an offer on it.
Soon after, we attended our church’s annual potluck and raffle to celebrate the feasts of St. Benedict, St. Patrick, and St. Joseph. After eating, we all sit down in our social hall, raffle tickets in hand, and listen excitedly as our pastor reads numbers off randomly drawn tickets. Number after number was called, and all the prizes but one had been claimed. That one remaining prize was the grand prize, a large statue of St. Joseph.
As our pastor began calling out numbers, people whose tickets did not match the numbers sat down. By the time our pastor had reached the last four digits, everyone in the room had sat down but one person…and the rest of my family.
Our number was called.
We had the statue for the promised altar.
On March 19, the feast of St. Joseph, the offer we placed on our forever home was accepted. A few days afterward, my dad left on a work trip in Japan.
My mom and dad had always wanted to put wood flooring in their forever home. But though mom called multiple flooring companies, none of them returned her calls. Frustrated, she began searching for more options. Three times during the month before we closed, she saw work trucks or signs for Stephenson flooring. By the third sighting, Mom decided to call them. Out of all the companies she tried to reach, they alone returned her call. Mom arranged to meet the company’s owner at his wife’s consignment shop. During the interview, I was standing beside my mom while she and the owner talked, when his nametag caught my eye. When I had a moment, I plucked my mom’s sleeve and whispered, “Mom?”
She bent down. “What?”
“Did you see the guy’s name?” I asked
Mom glanced over. “Joe?” she read.
“Joseph, Mom,” I said. “And he’s a carpenter.”
So on the day after we closed on the house, Joe the carpenter called Mom to let her know he was starting to put the wood flooring in our new house. Only a few hours later, he called her back.
“Ma’am,” he said, “you need a lawyer.”
Joe told Mom that the ‘inspection’ done on our house was faulty. The entire subflooring of our home was dry-rotted through. Several support beams under the house were rotten, and still more had been improperly repaired or were being held up by jacks. According to Joe, the house wouldn’t stand for another three years.
“So…what do I do?” asked Mom finally, after all the terrible news had been delivered.
Joe hesitated a moment. “I know they’re expensive,” he said, “but call JES. Have them come out here and do an inspection. At least they’ll give you a good opinion.”
So Mom called JES. When she gave the man on the other end of the phone our house’s address, he exclaimed, “Why, we were just at that house a week ago!”
“Really!” my Mom said. “Could you send the same guy who came before?”
They did. Mom arranged a meeting with the previous homeowner, her real estate agent, our real estate agent, the JES worker, and herself. The JES worker confirmed Joe the carpenter’s discoveries. He said he had told the previous homeowner the same thing. Using pictures he had taken of the damage on his previous visit, he confirmed his statement. After some dispute, the homeowner and her agent settled with us outside of court for some of the damages.
Through the rest of that spring and early summer, we had multiple contractors in and out to repair the support beams, crawl space, and subflooring. Joe the carpenter laid his beautiful hardwood flooring. We have been living here for nearly five years now, and, thanks to Joe the carpenter’s discovery, none of us have fallen through the floor yet!
Ever since his job on our home, I’ve never seen or heard anything about Joe or his company, Stephenson flooring. His wife sold her consignment shop and moved to a new location. They seem to have just disappeared.
We would not have the home and farm we have now had it not been for our prayers to St. Joseph and his intercession for us. He was with us every step of the way, sending us honest workmen and strength to push through even though my dad was working overseas during most of the repairs. It proved to my whole family the power of prayer and trust in God. We are still living the answer to that prayer and shall continue to do so every year we remain in this home. And we can never thank God and St. Joseph enough for their answers to our prayers.
O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God,
I place in you all my interests and desires.
O St. Joseph, through thy powerful intercession,
obtain for me through thy Divine Son,
all spiritual blessings from the throne of God.
O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you,
with Jesus asleep in your arms.
I dare not approach as He reposes near thy heart.
Press Him in my name, and kiss His fine head for me,
and ask Him to return the kiss before I draw my final breath.
O St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.