March 22: St. Joseph Teaches the Value of Suffering

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The book, The Month of St. Joseph, presents daily considerations for the month of March in the form of meditations and practical examples. The example for today is as follows.

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EXAMPLE

The following remarkable revelation regarding the value of suffering, is worthy of being narrated; it was made by St. Joseph to the Venerable Maria d’Escobar. This servant of God being in an ecstasy on the 19th of March, 1627, had a vision of the holy Patriarch, who appeared to her in great glory, and attended by myriads of angels. His countenance though majestic beamed with paternal kindness.

“He approached,” these are her own words, “and having graciously saluted me, said: ‘The Lord be with thee, I am Joseph, the Spouse of Mary, and am sent by God to visit and console thee.’

Having drawn aside the mantle which he wore, I beheld on his breast a brilliant cross about a foot in length, from which issued forth the most resplendent rays. This cross was of such exquisite beauty that I could not but gaze upon it with delight.

The saint then spoke to me thus: ‘My child, this cross, the sight of which so enraptures thy soul, constituted my happiness whilst on earth. It was my treasure—I gloried in it; I esteemed the grace of suffering then, as I now do, of far greater value in the sight of God than even the immense privilege of having been chosen Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Foster-father of Jesus. The afflictions with which God has visited thee have, I admit, been very great, and the sufferings which are to be thy portion for the remainder of thy life may surpass in intensity the torments of the martyrs who shed their blood for Christ. Learn to appreciate this favor and to thank God as he deserves for His special predilection in thy regard. The cross is of infinite value, and shines with rare splendor in Heaven; it is the distinctive mark of those chosen souls upon whom God has conferred the grace of resembling His Only Son Jesus Christ. If thou be faithful in corresponding with this grace, God will raise thee to a high degree of glory in the next life. Be consoled then, my child; for the pains and sufferings of this life are transitory, but the crown of glory and the possession of God are eternal.”

Having spoken thus, the holy Patriarch, perceiving that his client still remained in admiration of the cross suspended on his breast, presented it for her to kiss; after which he gave her his blessing by placing his hand upon her head and forehead, and disappeared, leaving her filled with excessive joy.”

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This anecdote comes from the Month of St. Joseph by Abbé Berlioux, originally published in English in the year 1887. This book contains meditations and an example story for each day of the month. In an effort to preserve short inspiring stories from our Catholic past, every day for the month of March you can find the example story for the day published on the website under people/stories.

The same author also published similar books for the months of, May (Our Lady), June (Sacred Heart), and November (Holy Souls). We are planning to post the stories for these months in the future and are working with Mediatrix Press to re-publish these as a four book collection, so be sure to check back. The Month of St. Joseph is available now.