Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saint Joseph


St Joseph has many names-- patron of workers, of fathers, of families, of house hunters and many more. He has interceded for us under many of these titles, often teaching us spiritual lessons along the way and providing for us beyond our expectations. More than any other Saint, St Joseph is near and dear to our hearts.

A little more than a year ago, I was praying this remarkable novena to St Joseph. I love the daily "visits" with the holy family this novena requires and the simplicity with which it is prayed. I was praying for a new baby and the circumstances necessary to handle it well. After Nicholas' birth, I had a bout of PPD and it took me a long while to fully recover. Although I felt well again, I worried a new baby might throw me off.

It wasn't long after completing this novena that we learned we were expecting and when I dated the pregnancy, I discovered it was March 15th. If you remember, the solemnity of St Joseph was moved to the 15th last year as the 19th coincided with Holy Week. I was overjoyed to see St Joseph's mark on this pregnacy and took it as a good sign.

I went into labor a few short days before Christmas. Labor was strong, but sporadic through one long night. I was alone in the livingroom by the light of our nativity scene. I thought of Mary and the long ride she had on a donkey's back and all the bumps she must have felt along the way. I passed in and out of sleep. I thought of St Joseph and his concern for Mary as he searched for fitting shelter. I passed in and out of pain. I thought of Mary and how her view must have been St Joseph's back as he led that donkey. I watched him with her, the sway of his robes, the curls of his hair, the arch of his strong neck. What a comfort he was that night, leading the way.

By morning, I was ready to go in to the doctor's office and there we were told to get to the hospital quickly. When we arrived, there were no beds in Labor and Delivery. They sent us to triage. Labor picked up and the doctor came by, "There's no room at the Inn," he joked. No words could have been more comforting to me at that time. St Joseph's mark was on this delivery and Micah was born two short hours later in triage.

Micah was born on the 19th as though St Joseph wanted to reaffirm that this blessing came through his intercession. So, today, Micah Benedict Joseph turns three months old. Though I am sad to say he is no longer an official newborn, I am thankful because these last three months have been among the very happiest of my life. Thank you, St Joseph!