I'll be visiting my mother's grave today, to remember her and also thank St. Joseph for his continued intercession. It's been four years now, since my mother passed away, and I still think of her everyday. Losing someone you love is never easy. But losing your mother is especially difficult. She was the one who brought you into the world, created a sense of security, and nurtured you as you grew up. You are blessed if you have such a mother in your life and really blessed if you had one as loving as mine.
My family has a special connection to St. Joseph. Several family members on my mother's side have passed away on the feast day of St. Joseph. My mother's name is Josephine. She is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Cincinnati, on St. Joseph's Way. My brother's middle name is Joseph. So it isn't a surprise that when my mother passed away on the feast day of St. Joseph, I'd start looking into him.
What I didn't realize, until I was watching an EWTN program that explained it, is that St. Joseph is the patron saint of the "Happy Death." This is because by tradition, it is said he died with Jesus on one side and Mary on the other. How much better could it get?! I also discovered that St. Joseph prayers are powerful for those who are grieving the death of a loved one.
The day after my mother passed away, I visited a nearby Catholic gift shop and found a St. Joseph necklace. I bought two, one for me and one for my brother. My brother, who is away from the Catholic Church, didn't think much of it but did take it. I wore mine everyday for two years.
There have been many times when I cried out, "St. Joseph, pray for me!" as I felt overwhelmed with grief. And within minutes, I would feel comforted. His prayers still mean the world to me and when I ask for his intercession, I receive comfort and also, warm memories of my mother.
So today is a special day. I'll spend some time with my brother and we'll both be thinking warm and loving thoughts about the incredible woman who nurtured us and scolded us when we acted like jerks. She raised us better, after all. :-)