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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
Exclusive Representation of the Nativity Scene.
During the plague of 1638, a child from the city of Lyon, named Martin, was attacked by this cruel disease. His desolate mother was already mourning him as if he were dead, when it was suggested to her that she recommend this child, who was only four years old, to Saint Joseph. “Oh, yes,” she said, “I will recommend him to Saint Joseph, for it was on his feast day that he came into the world.” Immediately she began to invoke him. However, her father, having come to see the sick child two hours later, found him in such a sad state that he thought he was lost without resources. He informed his wife. The latter recognized that indeed, it seemed to touch his last hour. Nevertheless, she did not lose courage, and, prostrate at the foot of the bed, she continued to invoke the Saint. She was still praying, when suddenly the dying boy asked to eat, and then to get up: he was completely cured. The mother, full of joy and gratitude, offered to the altar of Saint Joseph a small picture showing the illness and healing of her son. This miracle singularly increased public confidence and devotion, and thus became the principle of a multitude of graces no less marvelous, which the Saint liked to spread over the city. (Father de Barry.)
In the early years of the seventeenth century, the plague was wreaking havoc in the city of Avignon; the clergy and the magistracy turned to Saint Joseph and made a vow to celebrate his feast day solemnly every year if he would deliver them from this cruel epidemic. From that moment on, there were no more victims, and the plague disappeared entirely, but it was to go and wreak its havoc in Lyon. The invasion was terrible and for a moment it was believed that the city would be completely depopulated.
Enlightened by the example of the people of Avignon, the inhabitants of this city turned to Saint Joseph, and soon their prayers were answered, and the plague ceased. It is from this time that the devotion of the people of Lyon to this glorious patriarch dates. Father de Barry, a contemporary, reports in his book a good number of miracles obtained by this great Saint, in this circumstance. “This past year,” he says, “when the contagion was wreaking the most havoc in Lyons, I know that several of the inhabitants wore rings with the name of Saint Joseph engraved on them, in order to be preserved from the plague, and God, blessing their faith and trust in this lovable name, did not allow any of them to be afflicted.”
Saint Joseph was created by God to take the place of a father to His divine Son and to be the guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Who better than he can come to our aid in the countless difficulties of our troubled times?