Sunday 24 October 2010

Just a carpenter.

On the left side of St Vincent church, right in front by the Altar, just by the Sacristy door, there’s a large statue of Our Lady. On the right side of the altar, hanging on the wall, there’s a picture of St Vincent, the Patron Saint of the church.

Mother Superior found in the Convent, in an old storeroom, a large statue of St Joseph and the baby Jesus. It was exactly the same size as the statue of Our Lady.

She suggested to Father Ignatius that the statue be restored and put on the right of the Altar, and for the picture of St Vincent to be moved elsewhere in the Church.

On the appointed day the beautifully restored statue of St Joseph was put in its rightful place on the right side of the church and Father Ignatius led a short prayer meeting for all involved. A few nuns from the convent were there, as well as the restorer and a few helpers, and Mrs Davenport the priests’ housekeeper.

After leading the prayers Father Ignatius said a few words.

“I’m so glad that Mother Superior suggested we put this statue here to honor St Joseph; and I thank her for her kindness and generosity in donating the statue which was found in the convent.

“I’d like us to think for a while about St Joseph as an individual.

“Here we have a man, often depicted in pictures and statues as being a little advanced in age, we don’t know really how old he was when he met Mary … but she always looks much younger doesn’t she?

“Anyway … here we have a man intending to marry the young lady he loves and no doubt start a family which he will look after by way of his job as a humble carpenter.

“When one day he finds out she is pregnant. I don’t know about you … but I’d feel really hurt and cheated if it happened to me. How could she? And I trusted her so?

“Aren’t these the thoughts that would cross your minds … Peter, Ken and Mark?”

He looked at the three young men in the little prayer group and they smiled coyly.

“And I’d bet if it happened to you you’d run a mile in the opposite direction … wouldn’t you?” he asked them.

They did not reply.

“Oh … but there’s more …” said the priest, “not only did Joseph’s girlfriend promise him that she did not cheat on him … no, wait for it. She tells him that she is carrying the Son of God. Yes … she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit and she’s carrying the Son of God.

“Now in those days it would have been a great scandal to have a baby if you’re not married. You would have been ostracized by your family for a start for bringing shame upon them.

“Chances are you would have been stoned to death too …

“But to say that you’re carrying the Son of God from a Virgin pregnancy would have been blasphemy of the highest order. Either that, or people would have thought you’d lost your mind … simply gone mad and left to suffer the consequences.

“Yet, despite all these risks to her good name and indeed to her safety Mary had the courage and the Faith to trust in God and say ‘Yes’ when the Angel visited her. We should always be grateful for her saying ‘Yes’.

“Can you imagine? An Angel appeared to her … if it was me I’d probably fall off my chair with fright at the sight of such a visitation.”

They all laughed.

“And can you imagine poor old Joseph? His head must have been really spinning in a daze … and without the benefit of a Guinness or two!

“First she tells him she’s pregnant, then she says it’s a Virgin birth and the baby is the Son of God.

“Over to you three young men … what would you do in such circumstances?”

He paused for a second or two and did not give them time to reply.

“But the Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream … we don’t know if it was the same Angel Gabriel, but never mind. And like Mary, Joseph too has great Faith and he believes what he is told. He stays with Mary and raises the young infant as any good father would. And for this too we should be always grateful.

“I am very pleased to have the statue of St Joseph and the baby Jesus here and that of Our Lady on the other side of the Altar over there. The Holy Family on either side of the Altar reminding us of Faith in God and parental responsibility.

“I would like now to read you a short prayer to St Joseph. This prayer is said to be over 1900 years old. It was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the 1500's it was sent by the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. It is a novena to be prayed for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.

“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 do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen.”


  1. This is beautiful, Victor. Some of the saints talk about devotion to St Joseph being important to their growth in the spiritual life. A friend of mine gave me this prayer years ago.
    Mary and Joseph depict the beautiful message of the sanctity of life no matter what the circumstances.
    Thanks and God bless!

  2. Hello Karinann and Colleen,

    Thank you so much for writing in. I sincerely hope this prayer works Karinann ... I'll try it. I've been praying for so long !!!

    God bless.

  3. Victor,
    The friend who gave me that prayer has tremendous devotion to St Joseph and goes to him for everything! So I have no doubt this great saint will work for you as well.
    Remember that patience you said you were going to add to the mercy prayer... :)

  4. Victor

    It is so ironic that you posted on this topic today.

    In mass this morning, I found myself looking at the statue of St Joseph at my church (ironically, to the right of the altar) and reflecting on what he went through ... the immense decision he had to make ... the tremendous faith he leaned on. It really left me in awe.

    Thanks for helping me continue my reflection ...

    God Bless you.

  5. St Joseph is such a wonderful model for us. We don't have a recorded word that he said and yet his quiet presence, faithfulness and devotion to Mary is an example for all of us. He was chosen by God to raise His Son....a good choice. Thanks for the post.

  6. I've often had the same thoughts about Joseph. He must have been a man of such integrity and courage. He would have to be, or God would not have chosen him to help bring up his Son.

  7. Hello again Karinann,

    Your wise words often make me stop and think. Yes; you are right ... I do need patience whilst awating an answer to my prayers.

    Hello Michael,

    What a coincidence indeed. I remember as a child we had at home a big statue of St Joseph and the baby Jesus. My father had someone restore it and it looked beautiful. Then when we had to move a long distance he gave it to the local convent and they put it in pride of place in the chapel.

    Hi Andie,

    Thank you for your first visit and for taking the time to comment. St Joseph is indeed an example to us of great Faith and parental responsibility.

    Hi Sarah,

    I'm sure St Joseph had great integrity and courage. What a situation to be in? To be told that your girlfriend is pregnant with the Son of God and having to make a decision based on a dream from an Angel. What great Faith.

    God bless you Karinann, Michael, Andie and Sarah.

  8. Victor,
    I enjoyed this story about St. Joseph. God must have trusted St. Joseph immensely to put the care of Jesus into his hands. And yes, his faith must have been great!

    I snickered and laughed my way through the feline fiascos in your book! I hate to be the one to break it to you but I think your cat is going to hell ;) (Where she'll find good company in my dog Zeb, aka "spawn of satan".) Thanks for the great stories! Someday, when you send me my olivewood rosary perhaps, I'll pray that God will send you special graces to outwit your demon cat.

  9. Great post my friend, there have been times I have thought about Joseph and his strong Faith, especially in those times many men could or would do what he did. Oh yes he was a very special man, set a wonderful example that many men (sadly not all) follow even today......:-) Hugs

  10. Greetings Mary and Bernie,

    It's so nice to read your comments here once again. Thank you for your visit and contributions.

    Yes, St Joseph set a great example for men today to follow. Sadly great Faith and loyalty are often lacking these days.

    I'm so pleased you liked the book "Feline Catastrophes" Mary. I thought I'd try something different for a change and a bit humourous. Please pass the book on to others. I'll leave the Link to download it FREE on the right of this post.

    God bless you Mary and Bernie, and your families too.

  11. What a wonderful post, Victor... I wonder, how many men have the faith that Joseph displayed now?

    I look around me and see so many broken families... so many women bringing up their children alone. It saddens me, and I believe that few men would have the faith to believe Mary. I find few people who believe in Angels.

    Like Bernie, this saddens me greatly, but my hope in people is not diminished.

    God bless you,

  12. Great reflection! Keep up the good work and God bless!

  13. Hello Joey,

    Too true ... many men these days have a lot to learn from St Joseph. Nice to see you here again.

    Hi Mary Elizabeth,

    It's so good to see you visiting here. I hope you return soon and often. Thanx for your kind comment.

    God bless you Joey and Mary Elizabeth.

  14. What beautiful thoughts! And I also enjoyed the comments here : )
    Incidentally I consider myself blessed to be so associated with St. Joseph...I was born in a Parish dedicated to this great saint, educated in a school in a different town again dedicated to St.Joseph, had our daughter start her first school years in Canada at St.Joseph's school and now that we are back to our homeland, we are living in yet another big town with many parishes and our area is dedicated to ... yes, you've gussed it, St.Joseph. Last but not least my Dad's name was Joseph!
    Thanks for this inspirting post and for the lovely prayer, I am copying it into my PC notepad to say often.

  15. Hello Doreen,

    Yes, you are blessed indeed by St Joseph. May he bless you and your family always and listen to your prayers.

    God bless.



God bless you.