Marvels of St Joseph
In order to increase our devotion to St Joseph during our Novena up to May 1st, here are some true stories.

In Holy Mass, Jesus Prays and Obtains Graces For Us 

A young boy, to whose heart Jesus had spoken in his First Communion, observed with grief that both his parents had abandoned the practice of going to Mass. Although he begged them to go, his entreaties were in vain.

He resolved to go to Mass himself twice during each week, once for his mother, and once for his father. His mother became curious about his early rising and one morning she followed him as he left the house. When she came to the church she discovered him kneeling in angelic recollection and praying fervently. She waited for him at the door, and moved to tears by the sincerity of his devotion, she questioned him. Embracing her joyfully, the child exclaimed:

"Mother, yesterday's Mass was for Father; today's is for you." The sequel may easily be imagined. On the following days the boy went to Mass in company with his parents, and the three knelt together before the altar. The favour the child desired had been obtained through the Holy Mass.

Holy Mass Wards Off Calamities 

On the morning of May 31, 1906, an attempt was made upon the lives of the King and Queen of Spain. The fatal bomb which was intended to serve for the crime burst with a loud explosion scattering death in all directions, but King Alfonso and his consort were miraculously unharmed. It was later announced that on that very day, and at about the hour of the tragedy, a Mass was being celebrated for the royal couple at the famous shrine of Our Lady of Bavaria, it having been requested by them some time before. In memory of the occurence the King and Queen ordered one of the fragments of the bomb which had penetrated the carriage encased in gold and sent to the shrine. It was inscribed: "In token of thanksgiving to our well beloved Lady, the Queen of Heaven." Alfonso XIII, King of Spain, and Victoria. May 31, 1906. 

Holy Mass Remits Sin 

A young nobleman of Lucca, named Baldassare Guinigi, was passionately devoted to gambling. He set out one day in accordance with his habitual practice to spend long hours in his favourite gambling den. As he passed the Church of St. Michael, he heard a voice within himself say: 'Enter the Church, hear Mass, and make your peace with God." After a few moments of struggle with his lower inclinations, he went in, made a general confession to Father Franciotti, and assisted at Mass. Shortly after he left the church, he met some of his friends. They gazed at him in surprise and horror as upon one risen from the dead, and exclaimed in unison: "How can you be here? Are you not Baldassare Guinigi? And can you be living again? Have we not mourned you as dead?"

His amazement almost equalled theirs, for he knew nothing of the event to which they made allusion. While he was in church, the house in which his evil companions were gambling had fallen in and they were all buried beneath the ruins. His friends, thinking him to be in his usual place at the gambling table, grieved for him as for one who had perished miserably.

Guinigi righthly ascribed to the Lord's inspiration the motive which had caused him to hear Mass, and, being grateful to the grace which had preserved him from the fate of his companions, he was fully converted, and lived a holy life until his death.

From this story, dear reader, we may learn how necessary it is to follow divine inspiration and how great is the benefit which we derive when we assist at Holy Mass.

Holy Mass Obtains For Us The Grace Of A Happy Death 

A poor vine-dresser, who supported his small family by the sweat of his brow, was in the habit of hearing Mass everyday before going to work. One morning, having arrived at the church rather earlier than usual, he remained to hear two Masses instead of his usual one. The result was that he was late in getting to the market-place and found that all the desired labour had been hired. He set out for home with a heavy heart, and on the way met a man who asked him the reason for his sadness.

"How can you expect me to feel?" queried the vine-dresser. "This morning I remained in church a while longer than usual, and the result is that I am unable to work."

"Do not be grieved," said the gentleman. "If you will return to the church and hear Mass for me, I shall be glad to pay you a day's wage." The vine-dresser went happily to church and heard not only one Mass but all the Masses that were celebrated successively in that church on that day for the intention of his benefactor. That evening he was able to congratulate himself on receiving a full day's wage.

During the night Our Lord appeared to the gentleman and told him that had it not been for the graces which the prayers of the labourer had obtained for him, he would that same night have been cast into Hell in punishment for his evil life. Because of the Masses which were heard for his welfare, he would receive time for penance. And so Our Lord Himself gives us reason to know that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is most efficacious in warding off the danger of a sudden and unprovided death. When to our attendance at Mass we unite reception of Holy Communion, the surge pledge of heavenly glory, we may feel an even greater assurance of attaining that desirable end.

Holy Mass Shortens Our Purgatory 

A story is told by St. Leonard of a rich merchant who died without having made any provision in his will for Masses to be said for the repose of his soul. It was a cause of great wonder that a man so wealthy, who was known to have good and charitable, should have been so thoughtless, even cruel, with regard to himself. But sometimes after the funeral, a book was found in which he had recorded the fact that over a period of years he had had more than 2000 Masses offered for himself. At the end of this book were written the words: "Let him who desires help, help himself in life instead of placing his trust in those who are left behind."

In concluding his narration of this story, St. Leonard exclaims: "Masses! Masses!" And he goes to remind us that only by means of the Mass can we nourish the hope of being received into Heaven immediately after death, without having to pass through the cleansing flames of Purgatory. 

Holy Mass Is The Greatest Relief For The Souls In Purgatory 

A touching story is told of a mother who lost her only son, a boy of ten. Her grief was so great and she would not be consoled. She mourned him all day, and at night her dreams were of him. In one of those dreams she saw her beloved child in a barren field that was completely scorched by the rays of a strong sun. The little boy was trying vainly to drink from a pool of muddy water. He cried and begged for help, but, to her anguish, no one paid any attention to him. When she awoke from this horrible dream, she thought that it must be an indication that her son was suffering in Purgatory and in need of prayers. Therefore, she had several Masses said for him. For three consecutive nights, at the same hour, she again dreamt of the field, but it was a field changed, being now verdant and blooming with flowers, the water was clear and limpid, and her son, as beautiful as an angel, was radiant with happiness. She heard him say: "Thank you, Mama, thank you!". After this she was no longer disturbed by the evil dream, and she lived peacefully in the knowledge that her son was surely in Heaven.

* * * * * 

The renowned French orator, Father Lacordaire, who died in 1861, used to tell of a certain unbelieving Polish prince who had written a book denying the immortality of the soul. One day, while walking in his garden and meditating on the publication of his book, he was approached by a poor woman who cast herself at his feet and sobbed out her sorrow at being unable, because of her poverty, to have Masses said for her husband who had recently died. The prince, although he thought the woman superstitious, did not feel harsh enough to spum her plea for aid and gave her a gold piece. In great joy the woman took it and, hastening to the church, made necessary arrangements to have some Masses celebrated for the repose of her husband's soul.

Five days later, the prince was reading in his study. Raising his eyes, he saw before him a man dressed as a farm labourer. "Prince," said the stranger, "I have come to thank you. It was my wife to whom you gave alms the other day in order that she might have Masses said for my soul. Your charity is pleasing to God, and He has permitted me to come here to thank you."

This said, the man vanished like a shadow. The prince burnt his manuscript instead of sending it to the publisher, and yielding to the grace of God, he believed and led a good Christian life. 

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