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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.
Shortly after the great French Revolution, a bishop, returning to a dilapidated diocese, was greatly distressed to have no religious house in the territory entrusted to his care. One day he learned that some nuns, after having wandered together in different regions, without ever separating, had returned to the region from which they had been driven by the revolutionaries. The prelate wrote to the superior asking for a colony of his nuns, and some were sent to him.
When they arrived, he said to them, “I am poor myself, I can give you nothing; take boarders and you will live off their boarding with them.” To make themselves known in a city where they were hardly known to anyone but God, they began by taking poor boarders, whom they took for walks on their days off. It was a humane way…
In the meantime, as the house was not healthy, the mistresses and boarders fell ill in great numbers. Then the Sister Nurse came to the Superior, who was also the bursar, to ask for a little money to buy some sweets for the poor sick. “Ah, my dear Sister,” replied Mother, “I am very poor. – Mother, give me what you can. – But how much do you need? – Mother, since you are so poor, give me two coins. – Oh, two pennies! Two pennies! But I have only two pennies in all, and I don’t want to leave the community without money! – So, Mother, give me a penny, and I’ll see if I can buy some licorice or something for our poor patients with it.”
After the nurse left, the Superior looked sadly at the last penny she held in her hand, saying to herself, “Here you are, planted with this poor penny at the head of this numerous house!” A thought came to her, which she regarded as a divine inspiration. She got up, quick as a flash, and went to the chapel, where there was a statue of Saint Joseph about three feet high. She kneels before this image.
“My good Saint,” she said, “you have been the bursar of the Holy Family, and though poor, you have left them wanting for nothing. I have come, therefore, to choose you today to be the bursar of this other family, and, as a sign of my confidence in you, I give you the purse.” Then she placed the penny in the hand of the new prosecutor, and withdrew full of confidence.
A few moments later, a knock came at her door:
“Mother,” said the doorkeeper, “there is a man in the parlor who wants to speak to you.” She went with the Mother Assistant.
“Ladies,” said the visitor, “you know that I worked for you. – Yes, I remember, and we are pleased with your work.” The worker, continually scratching his ear: “Ladies, it is that… it is that… – Well, what is it? – It is that… you paid me twice; my conscience is not at ease, and I am obliged to return this sum to you.” It was 40 francs. Enormous sum, when one does not have anything any more! However, the new procurator did not stop there; soon he brought in a rich lady who presented her daughter as a boarder, and paid the board in advance, then a second, then a third, etc.
– Several years later, the Mother Superior testified: Look at this vast house that we had built and which cost us more than 300,000 francs, it is entirely paid for, and the penny is still in the hand of Saint Joseph. When a novice comes to us, she usually goes to sweep, dust, etc., and she finds this penny, and immediately she brings it to me in the spirit of poverty. “Mother, here is a penny I found. – And where did you find it, my child? – In the hand of Saint Joseph. – Well, it’s his place, take it back there! This is the story of a penny from Saint Joseph.
Saint Joseph was the bursar of the Holy Family. Although poor, he did not let her lack anything. It is therefore wise to choose him as the bursar of his family. He never disappoints those who entrust themselves to him with faith.”
Saint Joseph comes to our aid in our temporal difficulties.
A few months ago, I found myself in a very critical embarrassment in business matters. I had to pay a very considerable sum of money in a very short time, and this after having been warned and threatened. The creditor did not want to wait any longer, and a seizure of what I still owned was bound to take place. In this situation, as painful as it is difficult to describe, I decided to confide in certain intimate persons. They, easily understanding the full extent of my torments, urged me to resort to prayer. It was then that we began together two novenas, one to the Blessed Virgin and the other to Saint Joseph, begging them to get me out of trouble as advantageously as possible, if it were God’s will. The novenas finished, seeing the end of the indicated time, no improvement was made to my sad position. A little disconcerted, we continued to pray. In the meantime, I tried again some steps with friendly people, to ask for help by loan, but I could not obtain anything. Finally, at the last moment, great was my surprise and especially my joy, to be unexpectedly received at the home of people with whom I was in no way connected and whom I even believed to be hostile to me; they offered me advantageously by loan all the money which was necessary for me to immediately satisfy my creditor.
May these examples, in which the protection of Saint Joseph is clearly visible, increase our devotion and revive our confidence in this great Protector!