Author Anonymous as presented by WQPH Radio 89.3 FM
My grandfather had a special devotion to St. Joseph. He carried with him the St. Joseph prayer which he would hand out to anyone who seemed receptive to it, regardless of their faith or lack thereof. He carried with him prayer cards with this prayer and encouraged others to do the same because he had experienced first-hand a remarkable miracle from St. Joseph.
My grandfather was an extremely kind and loving man. Anyone who knew him would describe him this way. But make no mistake, he was also a strong man, a former fullback in the NFL, a fighter. And knowing his own nature, as an officer in the U.S. Navy, he was greatly troubled with military orders he had received for World War II. At that time, his wife, my grandmother, was pregnant with their first child, and he knew that if he went to war, he would die fighting, leaving his wife a widowed mother of their new baby.
The Prayer to St. Joseph states that it, “…was found in the fifteenth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, not shall poison take effect of them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy; or shall be burned in any fire, or shall be overpowered in battle.” It also states that if you say the prayer for nine mornings for anything you desire, “it has never been known to fail.”
My Grandfather, a lifelong Catholic, began to pray the St. Joseph prayer as a Novena, imploring of the saint to release him from his military orders.
The days past and soon he was just one day away from the beginning of his active duty, when he was to leave for war.
As my Grandfather told it to me; furious, and filled with bitter disappointment, he walked into his church, and approaching the statue of Saint Joseph, who was holding the baby Jesus in his arms, my grandfather began to curse at it for letting him down.
In that moment, my grandfather witnessed a miracle that changed his life and instilled in him his great devotion.
Before his eyes, the statue of St. Joseph bent its head and looked down at the baby Jesus in his arms, and said simply, “this man has little faith.”
Upon seeing this, my grandfather was not scared but rather moved to tears. After a time he returned home. It was a Saturday, and there on his porch was a telegram from the U.S. Navy stating that his orders were canceled; he would not have to go to war. Adding to the remarkable turn of events, he also relayed to me that it was unusual for mail to be delivered on Saturday, but the telegram had arrived all the same, the day before he was to report for duty.
His prayers had been answered.
Since that time, my grandfather deepened his devotion to Saint Joseph, and began handing out cards to friends.
One of his friends happened to be my math tutor. He himself was not a believer but he cared deeply for my grandfather, was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and part of the platoon division. One day, my teacher relayed to me that my grandfather, knowing of his deployment to Vietnam, had given him a card with the Saint Joseph prayer, advising him to keep it on him at all times. Out of respect for their mutual friendship and trust, he received the card and did keep it with him at all times.
During the war, platoons saw heavy casualties; some units with comrades of my teacher had lost most of their men. However, my teacher had not only kept the prayer card, but had distributed copies of it to all the men in his unit. They were in nine major battles and suffered not a single casualty throughout their tour of duty, and all of them returned home safely.
My teacher, though not a man of faith, was convinced of the power of this prayer, and without prompting relayed this story to me.
This prayer had not only spared my grandfather of his deployment, but had ensured the protection of all those who received it from him.
Now I carry this card, and the story behind it, which I am sharing on behalf of my grandfather, who had entrusted so much hope and life to it.
Click HERE to read the prayer.