Go To Joseph!
by Saint Teresa of Avila
(From her Autobiography, Chapter VI)
Finding myself so crippled and so young too, and earthly doctors having failed to cure me, I looked to heavenly physicians for help…
I took for my advocate and comforter the glorious Saint Joseph, and commended myself fervently to him; and I clearly saw that it was he who both cured me of my sickness and delivered me from great dangers that threatened my good name and the loss of my soul. His aid has brought me more good than I ever desired to receive from him. I do not remember at any time having asked him for anything which he did not grant. I am quite amazed at the great favours Our Lord has given me, and the many dangers, both of soul and body, from which He has delivered me through the intercession of this blessed saint. Our Lord seems to have given to other saints the power to help us in only one kind of necessity, but I know from experience that this glorious Saint Joseph helps us in all kinds of needs. It appears then that God wishes us to understand that as He was obedient to Joseph when He was on earth (for Saint Joseph was called His father and he could command Him) so now in Heaven God grants whatever Joseph asks.
Others, on my advice, have turned to Saint Joseph and they have had the same experience; and now there are many people who honour him and keep discovering the truth of what I have told them.
I strove to celebrate his feast day [March 19] with all possible solemnity, but I must admit that there was more vanity than true devotion mixed in with the celebration, for I always wanted everything to be done impressively and properly, even though my intentions were good. But it was always a fault of mine that whenever Our Lord gave me the graces to do something good, I added many faults and imperfections with it; whereas when it was a question of doing anything vain, worthless, or bad, I spent much time and effort with it. May Our Lord pardon me!
I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, because long experience has shown me what wonderful blessings he obtains for us from God. Of all those I have known with a true devotion to Saint Joseph, I have never known any who did not advance in virtue, for he assists in a very special way those souls who place themselves under his protection.
For many years now I have always asked favours from him and they were always granted. But if sometimes my petitions had something wrong about them, dear Saint Joseph granted something much better for my own good. Were I a person who had authority to write, I should gladly relate in detail all the favours this dear patron obtained both for me and others; but under obedience I must tell some things briefly, and at length those incidents suggested by my superiors. I only request, for the love of God, that those of you who doubt what I say will prove it for yourselves. And you will see, through experience, how great a blessing it is to commend yourselves to this glorious patriarch, and to be devoted to him. Those persons, especially, who are given to prayer should ever be devoted to him, for I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels, at the time when she suffered so much on account of the Child Jesus, and not give thanks to Saint Joseph for taking care of them the way he did.
Whoever wants a model to imitate on how to pray, let him take this glorious saint as a guide and he will not lose his way!
God grant that I have not committed any error in speaking as I have….for although I profess to be devoted to him, yet I feel I have always failed in imitating his virtues. But he acted like himself, and showed us his virtues when he enabled me to rise and walk, and to be no more a cripple, And I, by making so bad use of this favour, show what sort of person I am.