Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Leni's favors from St. Joseph

My college friend, Leni, emailed to give her share of favors from St. Joseph. It is timely because we are nearing March 19th, a major major feast of St. Joseph. I will quote in full:

1. Granting of my passport
As you know this has been my biggest problem ever since we graduated.
Many opportunities were lost because the Phil. govt continued
to deny giving me my passport insisting that I am not a Filipino
because I had a Chinese-sounding family name.  And,
my very string-willed and righteous father (here on earth) does
not want to dance to the tune of (some) of our gov't agencies..
I was in a hopeless situation then: but finally through some
circumstances, I finally got a temporary passport after 5 years
of struggle--then a true passport!  I knew that it was because of my
novena to St. Joseph. -- I think if I prayed the novena 5 years before,
then I would've gotten my passport earlier.

2.  Getting a space in a family dormitory in Japan.
So, now I knew that this novena is so powerful that when I
finally arrived in Japan (because I had my passport! =), I
run to him and ask his intercession for just about anything.  This one
is one of those "big miracles" for me.  Being new in Japan, not knowing
the language, being illiterate, made every little transaction here an enormous
task! My husband and son were coming and I have to transfer to a family dormitory.
There were sooo many applicants: We were raffled. And were asked to wait for the
results.  I of course got it. Thanks to St. Joseph (with Mama Mary and St. Rita) who prayed
for me too.  I was the only Filipino who got a room!  No other Filipino family before me
or after me ever got a room in the family dorm.  Friends asked me how I did it, I
said that I had " powerful connections".  Then I told them of the novena's I made.

Monday, November 12, 2007

St. John of Avila on St. Joseph

"Just as everything said in praise of the Blessed Virgin, as St. Jerome says, results in honor of Our Lord Jesus Christ, her Blessed Son, so everything said in favor of St. Joseph results in honoring Our Lord Jesus Christ, who honored him with the title of father, and in honoring Mary, whose truest and most chaste spouse he was. Our Lord wishes his holy tutor to be honored, and Our Lady wants us to speak well of her spouse. Both He and she will be grateful and will reward it. And since it is the honor of God and also to win such a reward, we begin our history in praise of this glorious saint, spouse of the Virgin. "

Saturday, November 10, 2007

St. Joseph and Divine Filiation

Our faith is anchored in the awesome reality that God is truly our father and that he loves us and contemplates us as a real father. It is the foundation of our faith and our Christian vocation.

However, for some this reality is difficult to grasp. I wrestled with this truth my whole life.

You see, Our Father understands human nature very well, so he reveals himself slowly to us. His initial step is to give us a set of parents, both mother and father, who reflect His paternity and maternity. A child learns trust, complete abandonment, and love from both parents. He understands the firm love of a father and the gentle love of a mother and benefits from both. However, that was not my case…

My father left my mother when I was around 12 years old. I was the oldest of 4 children at that time. The marriage ended and so did his fatherhood. He had ceased to be involved in our lives. He failed to give support of any kind even financial support. So, my mother in her early 30s was alone. She raised all 4 children, supported us through school, etc. It was a tough job for her and it took a toll on all of us. It is not a secret that children are damaged by their parents’ separation.

I learned to cope all these years. I became very self-reliant. I grappled with control issues. I had to be strong because failure was not an option. When, I matured in years and re-discovered my faith, God had to slowly make me realize that he is the Father, he wants me to be happy, I have to have total confidence in Him, there is no reason for anxiety, and everything will work out for the good. I had difficulty grasping these things, since they were all very unfamiliar to me.

In time, God gave me a human father in the figure of St. Joseph, so through this amazing saint, I began to slowly understand what God wants and who God is. My awareness of St. Joseph started when I was putting together documents for my wedding. It struck me that I was baptized in St. Joseph’s Church in Mabolo, Cebu City. I grew up in Tagbilaran City, which is under the patronage of St. Joseph. In fact, our famous fiesta falls on the 1st of May, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. I was set to be married in St. Joseph’s Church in the town of Kiangan, Ifugao. The town celebrates its fiesta on the 1st of May, as well. It was too much of a coincidence to be ignored. Therefore, I began invoking St. Joseph’s help for all kinds of favors. This blog is an attempt to put together all those favors received through him. Thinking about it, I realized that I took up my masters’ in Canada, whose special patron is also St. Joseph.

Everyday, I continue to ask for the grace living Divine Filiation well, of course with the help of Our Lady and St. Joseph.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Passing the tough 1999 Philippine Bar Exam

I completed my law degree at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon in 1999. Like the rest of my batch, I was to take the bar examinations in September of that year. The Philippine bar exam is a most difficult national exam because the passing rate can dip to as low as 20%.

Needless to say, I went up to St. Joseph one more time to entrust the intention that I pass the exam. That year has also been challenging because I was engaged in January and set a date to be married in December. My fiance (now husband) and my father-in-law took care of all preparations while I focused on my studies.

Of course the pressure of the exam was on me as well as the the pressure of well-meaning relatives who worried about my not passing the bar! Yet, I was very confident that I would make it through, after all the decision to get married was sifted through intense prayer and deep discernment with my spiritual directors. My fiance also did the same. We knew that the timing was auspicious, therefore, we made a choice despite human considerations.

The Philippine bar exam is notoriously tough not only for its low passing rate, but because a candidate has to go through rigorous written examinations on the different aspects of law for four Sundays of September. Yes, you read it right. The exams are in essay form and must be handwritten. No multiple choices or computers on this one.

Once more, I went to St. Joseph. Ite ad Joseph.

When I received my examination room assignment from the Philippine Supreme Court, I knew St. Joseph was watching over me. I was assigned to take my exam in St. Joseph's Building of De La Salle University-Manila. So, I took the exams with the usual jitters but with less anxiety and stress. I just knew I was in good hands.

I finished the exams in September. I got married in December and started working as an associate in a law firm in January. By March 2000, rumors started to surface that the exam results were out. I was not really in the loop at that time, so I just ignored the rumors.

My husband and I were in Enchanted Kingdom one time. We were with friends and family. We went through the usual rides and scared ourselves half to death. We, then, proceeded to Robinson's Mall along Pedro Gil for supper. Before we settled ourselves in a restaurant, my husband pulled me aside to inform me that he received a page (no text messages and cellphones then) hours before from a friend that the results were out. I turned numb and cold, and started going to the nearest available phone. I called up my friend, Dinah. She ecstatically declared that we both made it. She said the passing rate was about 16.59%, an all time low, and continues to be so to date.

That day was a Sunday. It was March 19th.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Denden’s Compelling Compilation of Favors Obtained Through St. Joseph

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Denden Dy

Thank you , Iris, for this website. Like you, I feel embarrassed for not doing more in spreading how Saint Joseph has been a good spiritual father to me. He passes unnoticed yet he is ever solicitous when it comes to helping those who call on his help. I bet he is also helping me even if I do not call on him.

The Powerful Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph

The favors I received from him are innumerable. Hmmmm…Let me see, my devotion and affection towards him started when I stumbled upon this Ancient prayer to Saint Joseph. What caught my attention was the note that this prayer is seldom known to fail. Also, I was attracted to the blessing and protection coming from saying the prayer especially in protection against a sudden death. I kept it as one of those rare finds I have.

Back in September 1999, I was suffering through depression because I lacked a stable job. I was desperate and I thought of going through Saint Joseph telling him that since he is the Patron for Workers, he should provide for me a job as soon as possible or else I have nothing to sanctify and I would not be culpable if I spend my time idly. Then I began my novena prayers to Saint Joseph. I remembered I was quite meticulous when I did it. I would wake up early and prepare to dress up really well so that by exactly 8 am, I was ready to make my prayers to him.

The prayer requires that it be said in the morning. Although the prayer is to be said only once, I would say mine 9 times for 9 days. I thought I should make a lot of noise in front of Saint Joseph. Well, I started waiting for calls from the companies I have already applied for. Though I always remind myself to believe that God answers prayers, still there is a small voice of unbelief that what if my prayers would not be answered. But Saint Joseph would not want to dampen my spirit.

Around the 7th day of my novena, an acquaintance of mine called to ask me to accompany her to a job application. I gladly went with her. Upon arriving there, I was told that I can also apply even if I do not have any resume’ with me. I was hesitant at first because I was not

dressed or prepared for an interview. At any rate, I was interviewed. Right there and then, I felt a calm feeling swept over me and a certain excitement is tugging inside of me knowing that my prayers are being answered. I couldn’t believe it when on the 9th day of my novena, the company called to tell me that I got the job! My acquaintance was not even hired.

Until now, I can not help but be in a daze when I recall this favor. It is situations like this that makes me stop amidst the hassle and bustle of everyday life and think that the saints in Heaven are always in constant watch over us. I am never alone in my battles.

By the way, I was told that novena or 9 days is quite significant. It is not just a number picked out randomly. Some may ask why not 7 days or 12 days? Is this some kind of “superstitious” belief? The history of the 9 days goes back to scriptures at the time our Blessed Mother and his disciples are praying and waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. They were together in prayers for 9 days. On the 9th day, it was the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The answer to the prayers of any novena is actually the gift of the Holy Spirit Himself through the intercession and prayers of the saints in heaven.

Does he answer all my prayers? There are times when I do not get what I asked for from him. But when I sincerely probe my conscience, I realized that I am not in earnest in what I was asking for and would not be good for my soul.

Healing from Blood Cancer

Another favor I got from Saint Joseph is the healing of my father when he was first diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (a form of blood cancer) back in 2004. The cancer attacks the bones so definitely it is a very painful cancer. When I was reeling from the news of my father having cancer, I immediately set my sight on Saint Joseph. This time, my mother had bou

ght me the Ancient Prayer from Jerusalem when she made a pilgrimage there in the Jubilee year 2000.

It has seen better days now as I have used it quite a lot. Hanging from the wall of my room, I put a paper on his picture with the baby Jesus. The paper contained my one and only intention and that is to extend the life of my father as we are not ready of any eventualities. For me, it was a slow miracle that was granted. What a joy when we were able to bring my father home and eventually he was able to walk again. Though not totally cancer free, I am still happy that he became totally pain free and has a quality of life that not all last stage cancer patients usually have. I know this because as a nurse, I have witnessed how it is to see patients suffering in pain. I still have not grown accustomed to this sight and I do get affected by it.

Second Place in the Nursing Board Exams!

Then there are other temporal favors I have received through his intercession too. When I was about to take my board exam, I thought of making several novenas for me to pass the exam which I am really quite nervous about. I made novenas to Saint Jude and Saint Joseph at that time.

However, 9 days prior to my board exam, I made a heartfelt novena again to Saint Joseph asking him to give me an analytical mind and a retentive memory. I also

expressed my gratitude in advance for whatever help he is extending to me. A few months prior my exam, while praying, a thought occurred to me to ask from our Lord if I can also take the exam in flying colors. I know this sounds too much. In fact, I have doubts in my prayers if I can ever get this favor because this is really icing on the cake. I even reasoned out that I want to get this so that I can be effective in my spread of the pro-life message of God. Also, I wanted to give it as a gift to my father and to make him happy.

Unbelievably, when the results of my December 2005 exams came out, I placed 2nd out of the approximately 13,000 people that passed the exam. To say that I was overwhelmed is a clear understatement. I was ecstatic to say the least. But more importantly I was humbled by the experience since I clearly knew that I do not deserve the blessing at all knowing the kind of preparation and lack of functioning brain cells I have when I was taking the examJ.

I can never ever repay my spiritual father, Saint Joseph for all the things he has done to me. I feel shame though until now because I have not done too much in educating others about loving life especially loving life by promoting the gift of life by condemning contraception and abortion. Although in my personal dealings with others, I do try to educate them about it. But I know I should be doing more. Sigh.

Success with CGFNS and NCLEX

Naturally, in my succeeding exams such as the CGFNS and NCLEX, it was to him that I ran to for favors and true enough, I made it on both exams. Oh, I also deliberately took my NCLEX on March 19, 2007. I searched high and low to see that there is a schedule available on March 19 and that brought me to the land of Hyderabad, India. NCLEX is for me the most challenging exam and the most difficult I have experienced. For the first time after taking the exam, I saw the possibility of failing. I was assailed by fear. However, I reminded myself that it will be on account of Saint Joseph that I would pass the exam because it was his feast day. And I did pass.

Well, my love affair with my spiritual father is not yet over. I know we will always be partners in my journey towards my life here to the afterlife. To Saint Joseph, my sincerest THANK YOU. I love you, papa.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

St. Alphonsus Liguori on St. Joseph

Patron of a Happy Death
“Since we all must die, we should cherish a special devotion to St. Joseph, that he may obtain for us a happy death. All Christians regard him as the advocate of the dying who had honored him during their life, and they do so for three reasons: First, because Jesus Christ loved him not only as a friend, but as a father, and on this account his mediation is far more efficacious than that of any other Saint. Second, because St. Joseph has obtained special power against the evil spirits, who tempt us with redoubled vigor at the hour of death. Third, the assistance given St. Joseph at his death by Jesus and Mary obtained for him the right to secure a holy and peaceful death for his servants. Hence, if they invoke him at the hour of death he will not only help them, but he will also obtain for them the assistance of Jesus and Mary.”

Full Scholarship

I applied for acceptance at the Dalhousie University masters of law with the expectation that I will be awarded a full scholarship. Funding my way through graduate school in a foreign country at that has never been an option for me. In fact, I was so careful with my spending that I only applied to one university. US$50.00 is a lot to waste on university application fees. So had Dal refused to take me in, then, I wouldn't have enrolled in a masters of law program in 2003.

When Dal wrote its acceptance, I promptly applied for a Canadian government scholarship. I made it up to the Ottawa level, but was rejected at that point. I was devastated. Again, I turned to St. Joseph with a major 911 plea. Then, I received word from the faculty of law that they would nominate me to the most appropriate scholarship. True enough, I was nominated to and was eventually accepted by CIDA. It was amazing, as the scholarship covered everything--from visa application, books, tuition, allowance, airfare, etc. Thanks to St. Joseph for never failing me.

St. Teresa of Avila on St. Joseph

"I took for my advocate and lord the glorious St. Joseph and earnestly recommended myself to him. I saw clearly that as in this need so in the other great ones concerning honor and loss of soul this father and lord of mine came to my rescue in better ways than I knew how to ask for. I don’t recall up to this day ever having petitioned him for anything that he fails to grant. It is an amazing thing the great favors God has granted me through the mediation of this blessed saint, the dangers I was freed from both of body and soul. For with other saints it seems the Lord has given them grace to be of help in one need, whereas with this glorious saint I have experience that he helps in all our needs and that the Lord wants us to understand that just as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth—for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord’s tutor, Joseph could give the Child commands—so in heaven God does whatever he commands."

( Life, from The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, p. 53)

"Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint (St. Joseph), for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him in particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good... I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself--then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriach and in being devoted to him..."

-Autobiography, VI, 11-12

Fulfilling a Promise

began badgering St. Joseph for his intercession about four years ago. He has been very powerful and faithful in obtaining favors for me. About that time, I also promised that I will tell the world how much he has helped me. Weeks passed, then months, then years and I never made good on that promise. However, last week I started to pester him with yet another huge favor. Then, I remembered that promise I made a few years ago. So, here I am...