A Just Man
The Gospels do not record one single word
of his. However he had the unique gift of
being in constant contact with the mystery
'hidden from ages past' and which 'dwelt'
under his roof. His name was Joseph, the
husband of Mary.
This explains why Saint Teresa of Jesus,
the great reformer of the Carmelites, promoted
the renewal of veneration to Saint Joseph
in Western Christianity. She highly recommends
him to those who want to take prayer life
seriously. He is a sure guide in things spiritual,
she says. And she claims that he is an expert
in interceding and granting us the needs
that we necessitate. Many times he helped
her when she found herself cornered. She
loved him so much that she insisted that
the nuns leave the monastery gates in his
care by putting his statue adjacent to the
Perhaps this explains the origin of these
Joe was a staunch devotee of Saint Joseph.
He would constantly pray to Saint Joseph,
he was always lighting a candle in front
of his effigy in Church, and he would keep
him in his conversation as much as he could.
Like everyone else, when this man died, he
found himself at the door of heaven, in front
of Saint Peter. Tradition has it that Saint
Peter is the doorkeeper of heaven! The saint
went through his books and he raised his
eyebrows dejectedly because the only good
thing in his favour was his devotion to Saint
Joseph. "I am sorry. You have to go
to the other side!" he finally had to
The man however did not budge from heaven's
door. He told Saint Peter, "Since I
have come so far, would you please allow
me to meet Saint Joseph in person?"
Saint Peter was rather perplexed at this
request but accepted it and had an angel
sent to look for the saint. When Saint Joseph
arrived and saw his big 'buddy' at the door,
he was jubilant. "Come in, come into
heaven", he wholeheartedly exclaimed.
The man, whilst pointing at Saint Peter,
answered: "I would love to, but he does
not want me in." "Why?" Saint
Joseph immediately enquired. "His whole
life was a mess…" "So, what? What
does that matter? He loved me so much!"
"Yes, I know, but that is not enough,"
rejoined Saint Peter firmly. A blistering
At a certain moment, Saint Joseph lost it
and declared, "Listen, Peter. You either
let this man in, without any ifs or buts
or else I will take my wife and son and we
shall leave this place…" Evidently Saint
Peter had to give in at this threat!
The other story. Jim was well-known for inviting
a poor family for dinner at his home every
Christmas day. He would do this in honour
of the Family of Nazareth. "There was
no place for them in Bethlehem, so I shall
make amends by inviting a family to spend
Christmas with us." When he died, sure
enough he found Mary and Joseph waiting for
him at heaven's door. "You welcomed
us many times at your place on our Son's
birthday", said Joseph. "Now we
welcome you ourselves at our place in heaven
for ever". Love never goes un-repaid.
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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