Conversations with the Saints: St. Joseph Pt. II

In my last conversation with St. Joseph (Click here to read first interview) I spoke specifically with him about the events that surrounded the birth of Jesus.  In this conversation I will highlight the hidden life of Jesus.

Me: " Hello, it is nice to see you again.  I really enjoyed our first conversation."

St. Joseph: " It is also my privilege to see you again.  I enjoyed our first conversation also very much.  How are you doing in your life?"

Me: "It is very interesting that you ask.  Unfortunately I am not doing too well I am struggling greatly with my faith.  Particularly I am struggling very much since I have not been able to find a job."

St. Joseph: "I know that you have been struggling greatly.  I have been praying for you constantly, that the Lord give you the faith necessary to overcome this trial.  Can I speak to you more about this matter?"

Me: 'Sure, you can speak more about it I need the encouragement, it has been a brutal journey."

St. Joseph: "I remember very well when I was in a similar predicament as yourself.  This happened almost immediately after Mary gave birth to Jesus.  I was sleeping one night when all of a sudden I was interrupted by a voice from an angel.  The angel commanded me saying, " Rise , take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." (Matthew 2:13) At first I was terrified by the prospect that Jesus' life might be endangered.  So I immediately woke Mary and we departed immediately.   After we were on the road to Egypt another greater fear began to take shape in my being; how would I provide for my family in a foreign country.  I had never been to Egypt before, I had no relatives there and worse off I did not even speak the language." 

Me: "Can you elaborate more about this uncertain period?"

St. Joseph: " The first thing that I did was seek a place for us to stay.  This was very difficult since almost no one spoke our language and worse off no one wanted to give us shelter since they were not fond of Hebrews.  I literally went to about 20 houses speaking with different owners, and they all replied the same way, that there was no room for us.  Desperate I kept praying,  I had to fight back my temptation to despair and anger.  Mary was very helpful in that she was able to keep encouraging me.  She also would lead us in our prayers.  We were so destitute that I finally decided that I would stand on the street corners offering my services as a day laborer.  We were desperate I needed to do anything in my power to provide for my family.  So when we arrived in the city of Said I waited on a street corner gesticulating with the inhabitants, by showing them my tools.  Finally after doing this for several hours a person motioned to us to follow him.  The person's name was Akkiki.  He was a kind person and he spoke a little Hebrew.  He explained to me that he needed help in his shop.  He also told us that Mary, Jesus and I could stay at his place while I was working with him.  He also had a family; he had three children and a wife,  2 daughters and a son. His wife was named, Khepri and  his daughters were named, Hagar, Hasina and the son who was the youngest was named, Sadiki."

Me: "Can you explain more about your stay at Akkiki's?"

St. Joseph: "Sure I would love to because I believe that your situation is similar and that hopefully you could draw from our struggles to give you hope and a greater faith." 

"Akkiki was a wonderful man, me made us feel right at home.  I worked in his shop daily for about 4 years. I mostly did basic carpentry work.  We were blessed with good fortunes and his business became profitable.  Those were fond years, where Jesus grew up amongst his children.  Even Mary helped out with household duties.  Mary even looked after the children educating them in our Hebrew faith! Can you imagine the grace and providence of our Lord calling us to evangelize in a foreigners home in Egypt! Mary particularly loved speaking with Hagar, who was the eldest, about how her name was important in the history of our Hebrew faith. Mary also enjoyed retelling the tales of such great women such as Ruth, Esther, and Judith.  Jesus loved playing chasing and fishing games with Sadiki.  They would spend hours and hours in the water catching fish and telling each other tales.  The Lord was very good to us, he blessed us tremendously during our stay in Egypt.

Me: "So when did you know that you could return back to Nazareth?"

St. Joseph: " I was sleeping one night when I was awakened by a voice of an angel.  The voice said, "Rise take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." (Matthew 2:20)  After the dream I approached Akkiki and told him that we needed to go back.  He was very saddened but he understood.  He was a very gracious man he even arranged that we would return back to Judea by caravan.  After we exchanged our good byes and cried we began our new journey.  I was saddened when I left because I had grown so close to Akkiki and his family. They gave us a parting gift of a painting of the eye of  Horus which was a Egyptian good luck symbol for us and our family. We graciously accepted the gift and we treasured  it by keeping it in our home throughout Jesus' life."

"As for the journey  I was worried because once again we were uprooted in our lives. We had to begin once again from scratch.  It was very difficult establishing a carpentry business in Galilee.  First off because Galilee was not an area with wealth.  Also Galilee was heavily taxed by the Romans.  So it was very difficult earning a living when the people did not have the resources necessary to pay for services. But I dismissed these fears, and Mary once again consoled me in my struggles and we prayed the entire journey back.  Jesus particularly enjoyed the journey because he was able to see the water, the deserts, and the surrounding towns.  When we finally arrived home we went into my home in Nazareth which we had abandoned 4 years prior. "

Me: "Thanks so much for your retelling of your trials and difficulties.  It both inspired and uplifted me, giving me a new hope to keep trudging through my current difficulties.  As I was speaking with you I found out another piece of bad news that one of the jobs that I thought that I was getting was postponing my interview till the end of the week.  This disappointed me greatly since I thought for sure that I would be working possibly this week."

St. Joseph: "Don't despair, God will provide.  Remember what I told you today, keep it in your heart, reflect often on the faithfulness of God.  God will never abandon you; only you can abandon God, you must always remember that.  God will definitely provide, keep trusting, keep praying and rest assured that I and all of your favorite saints are praying for you and Renee.  I look forward to hearing and answering your prayers.  I love you, you and Renee are always near my heart.  God Bless, Do not be afraid! Everything will work out!

Me: "Thank you so much St. Joseph, I feel a little better.  Thanks so much for sharing your trials with me.  Keep Renee and I in your prayers and I will keep praying until I finally meet you face to face after I leave this earth." 

St. Joseph: "Good bye and God be with you and Renee."


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