March 30: St. Joseph Lends a Hand to a Young Sailor

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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

St. Joseph has been regarded by many devout souls as the Patron of travelers, and the following incident is a striking example of this pious belief.

A young man belonging to the merchant service received orders to proceed from Havre to Marseilles. Before leaving his native town his sister, when bidding him farewell, put a small statue of St. Joseph in his coat-pocket, at the same time praying the great Saint to bless his voyage and bring him back safe and sound.

When the ship was off Cadiz, the captain ordered the young sailor to tighten a rope aloft. Whilst executing the order, the rope, which proved to be rotten, broke, and he fell unperceived into the sea. Being a good swimmer, be tried to regain the vessel, but it was in vain, and already was his strength beginning to fail when he remembered his sister’s prayer and the little statue she had given him of St. Joseph. The recollection seemed to give him new strength, he invoked his heavenly Protector with faith and confidence and promised to have Mass offered in his honor if his life was saved. His prayer was immediately granted, for an invisible hand seemed to support him on the waves till he was able to grasp the rope which had by that time been thrown to him from the vessel.

On his return to Havre the young sailor hastened to fulfill his promise, and together with his family assisted at a Mass offered in thanksgiving to St. Joseph for the visible protection he had vouchsafed to him.

Let us pray also to this great Saint, and beseech him to bless our journeys and defend us from all dangers.

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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.