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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Patron Saint of Everything You Need

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph. Thank Goodness for St. Joseph is not just an aspirin slogan. What would we have done without him? Mary would have been an unwed mother!
I think my greatest admiration of St. Joseph stems from how very understandable a person he was, although technically speaking we know almost nothing about him. Most of his story actually comes from sacred Tradition, a tradition that has it's roots in books that were officially thrown out of the New Testament.

Here's the story: Mary's parents have given her over to the temple at age three to be a consecrated virgin. Mary has to leave her post at age thirteen or so and the temple elders have the sticky task of finding a husband for a girl who is a consecrated virgin. It's not like they are going to have people lining up for the job.

So the temple elders have all the eligible bachelors or widowers throw their staffs in a pile. The staff St. Joseph throws in grows a rose. Joseph is not thrilled, but he does his duty.

This is why we love St. Joseph. From here on, St. Joseph, struggling against fear and doubt and things that seem just plain crazy, always makes the right choice. It is always the most difficult choice.

Thank goodness he was one of those people who remembers his dreams! I know quite a few people who say they never dream. They are mistaken. Everyone dreams. Some people simply never remember their dreams.

Here's an interesting study: Sleep researchers found that cats deprived of sleep didn't start acting strangely for about four days. I don't know how they could tell, since they were dealing with cats, but the researchers said that cats eventually, after 3 or 4 days, developed 'paranoid tendencies'. I've never met a cat that didn't seem to think, 'They're trying to kill me!" at least once per day. But there you have it.

But cats deprived of dreaming (which can be detected by Rapid Eye Movement, REM sleep) became instantly psychotic. Again, not sure how they could tell the psychotic part.

My theory is that your brain uses dreams to 'defragment' like your computer does in the wee hours.

St. Joseph, lucky for us, remembers his dreams when on several occasions an angel comes to him during REM sleep and tells him everything is going to be okay, or to hurry up and pack and get out of town.

St. Joseph had to believe some things that were very difficult to believe. For that reason he is the patron saint against doubt and hesitation.

He is the patron saint of workers, work, carpenters and cabinet makers because he was a working carpenter. I think in recent years stone masons and brick layers have been added to his patronage list because there are scholars who believe the word for his job was misinterpreted as 'carpenter' but that the word actually means 'stone mason'.

Whatever. "Worker" certainly covers all but the incredibly lazy.

He is the patron saint of the dying and a holy death and a happy death because he disappears out of the New Testament altogether so it has been surmised that he died. And since he died with Mary and Jesus at his side, what could be happier or holier?

He is the patron saint of travel because he safely moved his family from Bethlehem to Egypt and then back to Nazareth by donkey. And you're complaining because your SUV doesn't have a video player in the back to keep the kids quiet. (By the way....if you're going on a road trip with your children and you plan to have the children watch videos in the back seat the whole time, I have a tip for you: stay home. Your children can watch videos on the couch as they normally do. You'll save money and your children will get the same amount of information.)

I'm glad that St. Joseph is the patron saint of travel since St. Christopher is kaput.

St. Joseph is the patron saint of finding a home, a residual effect of having to move three times, and by extension, the patron saint of buying and selling real estate. I think we should talk more about this later, since, if the scapular thing bothers many people, burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard to sell your house will really drive you around the bend.

And of course, St. Joseph is the patron saint of families, fathers and expectant mothers as everything he did along those lines turned out so spectacularly well!

The only patronage that escapes me is that St. Joseph is the patron saint of Italy. I'm not sure why. Maybe because our own Holy Father lives there. Whatever the reason, the Italians made a great choice!


DCMS said...

I think we should talk more about this later, since, if the scapular thing bothers many people, burying a statue of St. Joseph in the yard to sell your house will really drive you around the bend.
Yes, please. It makes me all manner of crazy (like a non-dreaming cat).

Nicotheconqueror said...

Sister, please it´s a bit off topic but I´m curious.
What´s your stand on Meister Eckhart?

Anonymous said...

I'm still around the bend over those "blessed, lucky fava beans".

june cleaver said...

Sister, St. Joe has found us every one of our homes... all in close proximity to a Catholic Church. Being married to the military (well, not the ENTIRE military, just one military man-but you get the drift) we move a lot. I never worry because I know St. Joe will lead us to where we are to go... safely.

CMinor said...

When we took our kids travelling, it was audiobooks and MadLibs.

Sister Mary Martha said...

Welcome to the convent, Gordon. That's Teddy, our cat. You'll find him in some of the earliest entries.

nicotheconqueror, I can't wade through Eckhart and explain burying St. Joseph at the same time, even though I'm an excellent multi-takser.

Sister Mary Martha said...

cris, did you actually bury St. Joseph? Or just point him in the right direction?

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your website Sister, and wonder what religious congregation you are a part of? About (St.) Christopher, I wonder where you get the information that he never existed? I know his story is a bit legendary, and possibly myth (much like St. George) but it was my understanding that he was martyred.

cattiekit said...

No wonder Mr. Teddy looks so maniacal! You *bathed* him.

*All* cats get nutty about being bathed.

I don't know. I have 6 cats and only one of them is certifiable.

Maybe it's all those years of building up to being a crazy cat lady that's helped me distinguish between a *normal* cat and a *crazy* one. ;>D

cattiekit said...

cee, *yay* for making the kids *work* for their traveling fun! :>D

I wondered a bit about trying to explain about burying St. Joe in order to facilitate a successful real estate deal, too.

Oh, well. If somebody chooses to go round the bend over it, that's just how it has to be, I guess. :>)

Nicotheconqueror said...

Thanks, I actually re-read your last post and I discovered that responded to my needs more than your view point on Eckhart (still, I´m curious)

dani MarieBernadette said...

Hi there Sister Mary Martha,
I have enjoyed going over your blog entries this afternoon and even this evening. I had just finished my St. Joseph Novena on His feast day so when I came here and saw that Joseph was the headliner I knew I was hooked. We moved alot..a whole lot when I was growing up so I was taught by many different orders of Nuns over the years. I applaud you for keeping your Habit. I just love it when I see a Sister in her habit. I have noticed that even today people recognize and react with respect and awe the minute they see a Sister who wears her habit.

june cleaver said...

Sister, I bury St. Joseph every time we are moving... and then he sits on our dashboard to our next destination. Now when I complain that this house is just too small for our growing family I look to the heavens and say "thanks Joe-next time can you find a reasonably priced home with a walk-out and a three car garage?" We'll see... we have 2 years left here so he has time to search the real estate ads.
Have a blessed first day of Spring~

Anonymous said...

While looking for a house, I lit a candle at a statue of St. Joseph and was given the most wonderful feeling. Since reading your site about St. Joseph, I have started a thirty day prayer to find a home in New Jersey. I'll let you know how it works out.

Anonymous said...

Sister, what is the patron for the mentally disturbed?

Anonymous said...

Sister-Could you please tell me who is the Patron Saint of one who is diagnosed with terminal Cancer. My Dad onnly has a few months to live and I really need your help here. His name is Patrick and he is suffering. Thank-you

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I got here but there is a reason for it....I want to ask the Dear Sister and all of you that pray to pray for us to get the house....let bank of america approve the loan....this has taken 2 month already and we need a closing date....pray with us and all the Angel's of the Holy Order to help the Ortiz's family thank you so much..in Lord Jesus name I ask for your help in prayer......God Bless

Anonymous said...

Respodning to Anonymous about praying for a house. I am also applying to purchase a house and the bank I bank with turned me down. I really need to buy this house because otherwise i've only got another four months in it and will have to move with 7 dogs and umpteen cats who have just got used to it. I 've been there for 2 months. I am a teacher so am on a subsidy but I haven't got a great earning power. The current owners just want to offload the house and want me to buy it so its just a question of finance. have started my novena to St Joseph to purchase the house. Please add your prayers to mine. TO own a house is the only way to go and to be a tenant is to be a victim. Thanks - will pray for you, Anonymous.

Asta said...

My Mommi and Daddi and I have to find a new stabilized apawtment in NewYawk
cause they'we old and ouws is much mowe money than we can affowd..I'm going to cwoss my paws and have mommipway to St Joseph..Thank you Sistew Mawy
smoochie kisses

Anonymous said...

St. Dympha is the patron saint of mentally disturbed, and St. Peregrine is the saint of cancer.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sister,
I am in desperate need in buying a home for me and my four children. After a terrible year of two tradegies one my little brothers sucide and my husband little siater fatal car accident. With these events occurring things started spiraling down fast. I was fired from the nursing home where I worked as a nurse. Which forced us out of the home I rented for two years. I now live with my father home in a converter garage-one bedroom no kitchen and shared bathroom with my four children I desperately need to buy a home for my children please I am desperate. I need your help and prayers

Thank you,
Debbie V. NY

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, my daughter has taken a job in NYC and is having trouble finding an apartment . Is there a special prayer to St. Joseph that we can recite?
Thank you,
Betty in FL

Anonymous said...

Please pray for my son and daughterin law to get the home they have put the bid on !! Gratefully, thank you! God bless you for your help!

Anonymous said...

Please pray my husband and I will qualify for a home loan and we can find temporary housing near his new job until we can purchase a home. We have looked all day and could not find any place to rent and we desperately need one in the next few weeks.

Anonymous said...

I'm currently waiting to sign a lease for an apartment. I've been praying more than usual because things are pretty tough right now. I've been waiting since February, it is now July. Not only has my patience been tested so has my faith. As a Catholic and having been born raised and even blessed with going to Catholic schools, I'm wondering if there is a patron saint to restore faith? I feel as though I've hit rock bottom and I'm trying to keep it together for my son. Thank you in advance. God Bless

Anonymous said...

Please st joseph help us get our loan approved. Thank you kindly!

amy said...

Giving thanks for this blog this morning, as it it raising my spirits. I ask that you pray on my behalf, as my husband has been unemployed for a year. My faith is fading, and I am filling up with feaar. My husband is despondent, we are in financial ruin with possibly losing our home. A few years ago st.Joseph helped us sell our home, now I'm wondering if I pray to him will he help us save our home? Bless you and all that you do.

Anonymous said...

Please St Joseph help us to get our loan approved... We have been trying to buy this house for 3 yrs and can no longer stay in it if we can't get a loan with payments that are less... Please please help!

Big Brother said...

I'm not catholic but all this has me thinking, cause I'm facing some big problems and not sure how to tackle what I'm up against.