Asking for a saint’s help never seemed odd to me growing up. It was like asking friends or family to pray for me. In fact, it is asking friends and family to pray for me.
God wishes to help His children grow strong and help each other. He didn’t make us to passively walk the earth and die. He made us to actively love others as one, big, joyful family on earth and in heaven.
Christians everywhere ask each other for prayers and believe in life after death, so asking my mother to pray for me is just as conceivable as asking St. Mary to pray for me.
While some Catholics get roses from St. Therese, a white feather from Padre Pio, or three knocks from St. Philomena and some Catholics become best friends with saints who lead them spiritually by the hand to God, Ryan and I have St. Joseph.
The foster father of Jesus Christ undoubtedly interceded for my family, providing jobs and moving us to Virginia and back. It was kind of like being close to your best friend (God) who has another best friend (St. Joseph) he wants you to meet. You’ll know about this other friend and maybe talk to this other friend, but then one day, you’ll suddenly become good friends, too, just like your mutual friend (God) knew you would.
Graduated from college, we sought to finalize our marriage plans in seven months. We didn’t know anything, though, for after our actual wedding day.
Ryan applied for job after job. What would we do if our plan didn’t work out? It was frustrating.
Having a distant love for St. Joseph as a good father, I began the Thirty Days Prayer to St. Joseph.
He is the patron of fathers, workers, carpenters, and families. A patron is someone who supports you in a venture, like a wealthy Duke paying for university for a talented youth, frequenting the arts at a local theater, or building a community library. In Catholicism, these are saints. Through their patronage we learn more about our huge, Catholic eternal family members and come closer to the one God we all serve.
On the thirtieth day, Ryan flew home after interviewing in Virginia for a job. He didn’t know what to expect. Thinking he had done horribly on the phone interview, he didn’t expect a second in-person interview to begin with, but turning his phone on after landing, he found an email with a work contract.
Did we want to move all the way to the east coast? Did we know anyone out there? How was it going to work?
It was worth a try, we decided! Eager for a job (and an adventure), he signed the contract, and I thanked St. Joseph for his part in the good news.
Fast-forward a little over a year, we’re pregnant, and have found a welcoming, supportive community through young adults groups and church. We had a top-notch hospital across the street from us, too, not to mention the beach down the street.
But, we always felt like we’d end up raising our family in the Midwest, so Ryan casually started looking for opportunities closer to family, thinking he wouldn’t find anything good for a while.
Remembering the Thirty Days Prayer to St. Joseph, I told my husband about it, and he suggested we start it again. We didn’t have high expectations. It seemed impossible to move anytime soon.
We prayed it diligently, but Ryan didn’t see any opportunities that fit our needs or his skills.
On the thirtieth day, he opened his internet browser, searched “jobs in Ohio,” and a youth specialist job appeared. He hadn’t typed anything about his youth ministry background, but he met the requirements, the job description was similar, and he told me about it very excitedly.
St. Joseph must’ve spoken to God and waited patiently to make it obvious what job was meant for him. Naturally, he applied.
We gratefully continued praying that St. Joseph intercede, hoping this venture wouldn’t be a waste of our hopes and time.
Ryan heard back positively that following Wednesday, the traditional day of devotion to St. Joseph, which made us smile.
With St. Joseph sent to our aide, we paid for plane tickets, and Ryan flew to take initial tests while I waited safely at our apartment, very pregnant.
He passed the tests, flew back to interview a few weeks later, and we waited eagerly to hear back.
We were nervous about the baby’s due date and the bills and the last-minute travel and leases and all, but we put it in God’s hand as St. Joseph led us to through his own life in the prayer. He moved his family to and from at the beckoning of an angel and of the orders of rulers. He was the foster father of Jesus, the Son of God, and we all know the time Jesus was lost for three days. He provided for the Blessed Virgin Mary with his carpentry. Overall, his life is full of humility; he simply obeyed God and worked hard, so we did the same.
We prayed in thanksgiving and excitement.
Despite all our questions about timing with the baby and the logistics of a new job in another state, we felt reassured that it was all in good hands. God sent St. Joseph to our aid over and over again.
Our daughter was born in March, the traditional month devoted to St. Joseph, we discovered. To that, we laughed with joy! St. Joseph was certainly in our lives for good now.
As we welcomed our baby into the world, my husband called on a Wednesday—a good day of the week for us—and discovered all he needed to do was pass a drug test, and he basically had the job. He could even choose a later start date to better leave things in order at his former job and pack up with us.
We should’ve known that with the patron of fathers interceding for us that our family would not need to separate for this move to work out and that the bills would not bury us.
The Holy Family surrounded us with peace as we said goodbye to the loving community we had become a part of in Virginia.
All the details of our move worked out that in two weeks, we found a pediatrician, a moving company, a place to live, and all this just in time for our daughter’s formerly scheduled baptism. We moved to a perfect location halfway between both sides of the family and have their much-needed help during the move. The day the moving company picked us up? A Wednesday, of course.
To express our gratitude, Jenny’s baptism party was St. Joseph themed.
Praying for his intercession, we not only became closer to him by learning how God worked in His life but also felt incredibly tied to the communion of saints. We now plan to find a beautiful St. Joseph statue to place in our home, reminding us of God’s timing, planning, and to let His Will be done—just like our patron St. Joseph did in his own life and helped us to do in a very eventful time in ours.
I encourage you to talk to others—on earth or in Heaven—asking for prayers and guidance on your own path to sainthood. You might just find a very loyal family patron to point you exactly to where you need to be, even if it seems impossible.
Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.
Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.
I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.
I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.
I ask it by the loveliness and power of that sacred Name, Jesus, which you conferred on the adorable infant.
I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.
I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt. I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.
I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country. I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows.
I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus. I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.
I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary. I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.
I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.
O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.
(make your request)
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.