"Big Four" Highlights


St. Joseph Stories

Amazing tales of faith on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker

By Gerald Korson

Is your image of St. Joseph based on the church statue of him holding a lily? Certainly, that is an important image, since the flower represents his purity. But St. Joseph was also a worker, a carpenter with strong and calloused hands.

However you see St. Joseph, you will be inspired by these stories of four men who encountered his powerful intercession.

Auto Faith
For Christopher Blunt, St. Joseph is a life-saver – literally.

“I was born on the feast of St. Joseph, so I have always felt a special connection to him,” Blunt said.

On the day he turned 24, while driving from Detroit to Chicago, Blunt ran into a freak snowstorm that led to a horrific accident in which a jackknifed tractor-trailer hit his car and crushed it against a guardrail. Then a second semi-trailer slammed into the rear of his vehicle, leaving it mangled beyond recognition, with Blunt inside.

“Amazingly, I walked away with only cuts and bruises. None of the emergency responders could believe anyone had survived the crash,” Blunt said. “Only when talking to the police and filling out forms did I realize where I was: St. Joseph, Michigan.”

Preemie Joe
Joseph Sales, who was explicitly named after the foster father of Jesus, was born into a devoutly Catholic family on July 7, 1985. The problem was that he wasn’t due until October. Born three months early and weighing just 1 lb., 15 oz., little Joseph “was really sick as a baby for 5-1/2 months,” he said.

“I think that St. Joseph has had a big part to play in my survival in this world,” said Sales, a member of the Knights of Columbus in Chatham, Ontario. “I believe I was named Joseph for a reason, in honor of this great and holy man.”

St. Joseph remains one of his favorite saints today, and he prays to him every morning and evening along with his daily prayers and rosary.

Patron of Home-Sellers?
Many are the stories of those who believe that burying a statue of St. Joseph in their yard will help them sell their house. Some say it really works.

When Kevin Wendt of Reading, Pa., converted to Catholicism as an adult, he took St. Joseph as his patron. Even so, when his wife, Christine, urged him to bury a St. Joseph statue when they were trying to sell their home, he was more than skeptical.

“That is just stupid,” Kevin remembered thinking. “I wanted to show my wife that it was just folklore. So I got the cheapest statue I could find and did my duty to make my wife proud.”

The day before the house was to be listed for sale, the Wendts received an offer for $5,000 more than they were asking. Kevin still shakes his head in amazement.

“Sometimes God does that stuff to just say, ‘Ha, I got ya!” he said.

Jobs and Finances
The world’s most famous carpenter has also earned a reputation for helping folks who are going through financial struggles or employment transitions.

Greg Winters, now an EMS instructor in Dallas, a few years ago found himself dissatisfied and frustrated with a stressful job situation. Taking the afternoon off one day, he visited the Oblate Missions Lourdes Grotto in San Antonio and strolled the grounds, wondering what he should do. As he did so, he happened upon a statue of St. Joseph.

“I suddenly remembered that he is also known as St. Joseph the Worker,” Winters recalled. “So I asked St. Joseph for his intercession and prayers for my career, and then went on to pray the rosary.”

The following Monday, seemingly out of the blue, he was offered a new job in another city that would allow him more time to spend with his wife and son and would move them closer to their extended family. He took the offer.

“After arriving in our new town, we went to Mass with my mother-in-law,” Winters said. “And guess what parish it was? St. Joseph.”

Father Figure
“St. Joseph is a wise intercessory choice for businessmen who are fathers and husbands,” said David Ross, a Dallas-area real-estate broker who also speaks and teaches locally on Church history and life issues. “This combines the triple facets of the saint into a single inspiration for the married man who earns a living for his family through his own hard work.”

Blunt, the miraculous car-crash survivor, said St. Joseph “absolutely” helps him in his role as a husband to his wife, Alana, and father to their three children. “Spending time in prayer, thinking about how St. Joseph might approach a given situation, has been a great help in embracing the unexpected sacrifices that God sends as part-and-parcel of family life,” he said.

For Wendt, the intercession of St. Joseph has truly deepened his faith and trust in God. “He’s the real thing,” he said of St. Joseph. “I’ve been made a believer through my doubts and growth in the faith. I look at the many gifts that come along with being Catholic. I’ve also given up trying to understand them. It’s much easier to just believe, let them happen, and marvel at them when they do. Let God take care of the rest!”

Gerald Korson is a veteran writer and contributor to Catholic Pulse.