Sleeping St. Joseph
By Sarah McDonald
Last year at Christmas, my sister gifted my husband, brother and brother-in-law a statue of the “Sleeping St. Joseph.” It was a figure none of us had seen before, but had been made popular by Pope Francis.
On his apostolic visit to the Philippines in 2015, the Holy Father said, “I like St. Joseph very much. He’s a strong man of silence. On my desk, I have an image of St. Joseph sleeping. Even when he is asleep, he looks after the Church. Yes! We know that he can do that. So, when I have a problem, a difficulty, I write a little note, and I put it underneath St. Joseph, so that he can dream about it! In other words, I tell him: Pray for this problem!”
According to several online sources, after this address, the statues of “Sleeping St. Joseph” saw an explosion in popularity.
In the Bible, Joseph hears from God in his dreams, in his sleep. We do not have any words from him, yet we have strong, decisive and brave actions to be the man God calls him to be as a man, a husband and a father.
What an example!
Today, my husband’s “Sleeping St. Joseph” has a central place on our dining room table. He is with us for every meal and watches over us each day. He is a constant reminder that God speaks to us in silence and that we can trust in him in every challenge. Our “Sleeping St. Joseph” is a reminder to turn to the intercession of St. Joseph for our needs, and we know he prays for us!
So, as we all prepare to make our annual pilgrimages to the incredible, beautiful St. Joseph’s Altars this weekend, let us not forget that the patron, St. Joseph, prays for us and watches over us – even in his sleep!
A Prayer to Sleeping St. Joseph
O St. Joseph, you are a man greatly favored by the Most High. The angel of the Lord appeared to you in dreams, while you slept, to warn you and guide you as you cared for the Holy Family. You were both silent and strong, a loyal and courageous protector.
Dear St. Joseph, as you rest in the Lord, confident of his absolute power and goodness, look upon me. Please take my need (mention your request) into your heart, dream of it, and present it to your son. Help me then, good St. Joseph, to hear the voice of God, to arise, and act with love. I praise and thank God with joy. St. Joseph, I love you. Amen.