As February 16, 2020 nears for the start of the Consecration to St. Joseph let us begin to prepare our hearts to encounter the man who most influenced Our Lord Jesus Christ, St. Teresa of Avila, St. André Bessette, and many others. Let us prepare for 33 days to enter St. Joseph’s workshop every day as Jesus did for 30 years.
If you have not bought the book Consecration to St. Joseph it is not too late. You can purchase it (here) If you wait for the last minute you can even purchase it on kindle. I mention this as in Austin, TX the bookstores have sold out twice. It is the best book I have ever read, and you will probably say the same thing after reading it!
I started the first Consecration to St. Joseph in December as soon as I got the book, and I didn’t want it to end in January, in fact, I felt sad when I was coming to the end of the book since I wanted to continue learning about Jesus’ dad. I love this book so much that I am doing the consecration a second time beginning on February 16, 2020. To help build community and fellowship on the digital continent about the Consecration to St. Joseph sign up for the consecration (here).
And now to the medal! I wear a medal of St. Joseph on my rosary as a reminder that St. Joseph is always with me, and during times of difficulty I can simply reach out and touch the image of St. Joseph on the medal. Both St. Teresa of Avila and St. André Bessette used a medal of St. Joseph for miracles, favors, comfort, and deep encounters with St. Joseph as he always leads you to the Holy Trinity.
You can purchase an inexpensive medal of St. Joseph (here). At Saint Mary Cathedral in Austin, TX we are giving away 1,000 medals of St. Joseph from Italy and 1,000 Cords of St. Joseph (here) on March 19, 2020, the Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary which is the end of the consecration.
For people who are very visual, you might even want one of the new inexpensive paintings of St. Joseph on this (website) https://www.consecrationtostjoseph.org/ to help you pray and meditate during the 33 days of consecration. Don’t forget Fr. Donald Calloway will be posting YouTube video meditations every day during the consecration.
Ok back to the medal of St. Joseph. St. André Bessette (August 9, 1845 – January 6, 1937) is a good saint to understand the miraculous power of the medal of St. Joseph as this is how he got the mountain to build the greatest and largest church in honor of St. Joseph – Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. He did miracles most of his life through the intercession of St. Joseph.
For miracles he used oil burning from a lamp by the statue of St. Joseph, he used a medal of St. Joseph, he would also ask people to pray a novena, other times he would pray over them, and many times he would just declare them healed immediately via the intercession of St. Joseph. When people wanted to give him credit, he would simply say he was “St. Joseph’s little dog.”
He would pray for approximately 40 people in one hour, and he prayed all day for pilgrims coming for healing with little breaks in between even though he had poor health and only ate wheat flour with water.
In 1926 alone he worked 1,611 physical cures, and after his death from 1937-1943, a total of 11,341 letters cited cures according to the book Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece. TIME magazine reported in 1973 that approximately 15,000 crippled, blind, and dying pilgrims were cured each year. The French book called Le Frère André estimates as many as 125,000 miracles during his lifetime.
No one knows the exact count of the miracles as many were cured after the novena or on the way home, and many did not return to notify the Congregation of Holy Cross which was the religious order that St. André Bessette belonged to. What is for sure is that no saint in the history of the Catholic Church has done so many physical cures.
Many who are doing the Consecration to St. Joseph from February 16, 2020 – March 19, 2020 (Solemnity of St. Joseph, Husband of Mary) are asking for miracles for themselves, spouses, children, etc. so let us learn what St. André Bessette said about the miraculous power of the medal of St. Joseph as we journey for 33 days.
“Indeed one must have faith to rub oneself with a medal…Always hold a medal of St. Joseph in your hand when making a request, having an interview, or transacting an important affair. Holding a medal in one’s hand makes one think more of St. Joseph than wearing it.” (Brother André – The Wonder Man of Mount Royal)
Touch, my guess is that Jesus often touched St. Joseph’s hand most especially as an infant and as a child. Jesus often ran to St. Joseph for a hug most especially when he got an “ouwe” with the hammer or a board. Of course, St. Joseph would always make it better by kissing the “ouwe.” Corny but true, remember he was fully human and had to learn from St. Joseph.
St. André Bessette, the Apostle of St. Joseph, would always remind the pilgrims, “Ah! If people could only realize that it is St. Joseph alone who works cures!” Below are a few of the miracles which St. André Bessette worked using the powerful and miraculous medal of St. Joseph.
Alphonse Metivier, one of the boys who will grow up to join the Holy Cross Order and become a missionary in Bengal, witnesses in 1963 that as a young student his vocation was in peril due to his deafness. Sitting under the professor’s very nose, he still couldn’t hear. “My parents,” he testified, “brought me to see Brother André at the College of Notre-Dame. We prayed together for St. Joseph’s intercession for about ten minutes while the brother rubbed my ear with a medal. My father heard a little crackling sound in my ear. I heard!” (Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece)
A young Holy Cross scholastic is brought in by a priest. “What’s that on your face?” “Eczema, and the doctor says he can’t do anything more.” He is told to rub himself with a medal and drink a bit of the oil from St. Joseph’s lamp “to purify the blood.” …The young man follows the instructions, and the next morning his skin is perfect and remains so. (Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece)
André prays for some little ones at a distance. For instance, the eight-month-old whose pneumonia has gone into meningitis; the right arm and foot are paralyzed; the poor head oscillates continuously on the pillow. The doctor says the baby will not last this night. The nurse counsels relatives to consult André. He sends word to rub the child wherever he has symptoms with the medal of St. Joseph. From the first contacts of the medal, the head stops its movement; the next morning, the limbs work again…the physician is the first to call it “a miracle.” (Nothing Short of a Miracle by Patricia Treece)
Shortly afterwards, the same man accompanied to Brother Andre’s office a woman with a stiff arm, the after-effect of a long illness. “Brother André, please rub her arm,” said the man who accompanied the woman. “No, take your medal of St. Joseph and rub her yourself.” As a matter of fact, Brother André always showed himself scrupulously reserved on this point. In vain had his enemies sent to him women who insisted on being taken care of by him so they might have a pretext to slander him. In this case, the man declared: “As I applied the medal to her stiff wrists, I kept looking at Brother André who was praying in front of me. At the precise moment that he closed his eyes, I felt her arm become perfectly flexible.” (Brother André – The Wonder Man of Mount Royal)
A friend brought Brother André to the hospital to assist the victim of an accident…Brother André ordered him (friend) to take off the dressing and to rub the sick man with a medal of St. Joseph. The man was cured. On their way back Brother André whispered to his astonished friend, “Now that you have seen how merciful the Lord is, you will not in the future have any doubts of His goodness to you.” (Brother André – The Wonder Man of Mount Royal)
PLEASE NOTE: Having a medal of St. Joseph is not a requirement of the consecration, but it is simply an aid in discovering true devotion to St. Joseph.