Pope Francis gave us an early Christmas gift last week. He proclaimed a year in honour and celebration of St. Joseph. Canada claims Joseph as her Patron Saint and it is 150 years since he was named patron of the universal Church. But of all the titles and names by which his help is invoked, it is probably as Joseph the Worker that he is loved most among us.
Making a living and providing for families was always hard work in our home province. People who harvested the bounty of the sea and the land and those employed in refining, manufacturing and transporting what the handiwork of our parents, grandparents and ancestors provided often worked too hard and paid dearly with loss of health or life. Inside the home it was no easier. Without modern conveniences and often with many children (some with chronic illness or conditions) strong, smart, selfless and resourceful women literally held it all together. How did they all do it?
With faith in God and openness to His providence they also looked to Joseph, provider and protector of his family. And like Joseph, in dreams they saw what might be and let go of fears and were reassured of God’s constant presence, grace, and help. During this special year we can all remember with gratitude and fond admiration those we loved. And we can let Joseph inspire us, too!