Go to Joseph
Posted by catholicus on June 1, 2006
Reverend Father Haggeney, S.J., in his biography of Father Petit, narrates the following incidents.
A lady in Ghent made the Spiritual Exercises under Father Petit. She belonged to a devout Catholic family, but her husband – despite her pleading and prayers – had not gone to the Sacraments for forty-five years. The thought of separation from him for all eternity, were he to die in this state, filled her with terror. Father Petit comforted the good lady: "Hope may still be had. This is the first of the month dedicated to St. Joseph. I shall remember your intention every day during this month at Holy Mass. Have the little children pray too, and then let us wait with confidence."
On March thirty-first Father Petit received a letter. "Reverend and dear Father", it ran, "he for whom we prayed so earnestly this month has come back to God. His conversion is a miracle! Help me thank the merciful God and St. Joseph."
Whenever there was question of hardened sinners, Father Petit recommended recourse to this favorite patron, St. Joseph, telling people to expect great miracles. One of his priest-retreatants spoke to him of a Freemason in his parish who was very ill and close to death, but who would hear nothing of conversion. His brother, in fact, likewise a Mason, kept constant watch to prevent any priest from approaching the dying man. Father Petit replied: "We may never despair of a soul's salvation. Let us both make a novena in honor of St. Joseph." Ten days later the pastor wrote: "Praised be Jesus! Praised be St. Joseph! A miracle of conversion has taken place! On the last day of the novena the sick man of his own accord sent for me. He was prepared to do all that was necessary to return to the arms of God. With touching piety and devotion he received the Last Rites. Everyone says: 'This is a miracle!' "
(From Sankt Josef auch dein Helfer of A. M. Weigl, 1968)