Who's your hero?
Mine, for the most part are like the stars- too numerous to count.
Of late, I have to say, it's my "baby brother", Jim.
Through hard work in his career Jim has provided his wife, Eileen, and their four children with a comfortable home and lifestyle. Recently, the fruits of his labor have provided critical healthcare for his 12 year old son, Andy. In November 2007, Andy was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Andy is receiving his treatment from an institution that is roughly two and a half hours away from his home. His regimen has required travel and intermittent stays nearer to the treatment facility. Jim for the most part has stayed at home maintaining his work commitments and helping grandparents with the other three children. His wife mostly stays with Andy. In the middle of each weekly stay, Jim would leave work at the end of the day and head to Andy and Eileen, spend the night, and travel back home late the next evening. I was visiting on one such evening while Jim was preparing to depart for home at 9pm. He mentioned that he was going to do some final preparations for a presentation for work in the morning. It was cold, dark, and late, and I wanted to cry for him. But he wasn't complaining at all, in fact he seemed happy. He was full of gratitude for for the enjoyable time he had at Red Lobster with his wife and son. That special time made all of his sufferings worth it. As he embraced Andy he gently lifted him saying "I love you Andy, you're the best!" And off he went into the hostile night. But something in his mood and spirit was almost reminiscent of the joy of Singin' in the Rain
A seriously ill child is difficult for any parent. You want never to leave their side and it's painful when you must be apart. Jim says over and over that Andy is his hero.
Of course Eileen, Andy's mother is wonderful too. She holds a special place of nurture in my heart. She is very special to a lot of people. I think that we naturally run to the side of the mother in times such as these and the father maintains a quieter, behind the scenes role of strength, comfort, providence and assurance. St. Joseph modeled this role for us as parent and provider for Jesus. Hence he is the patron saint of fathers and workers.
Over the last three months my baby brother has journeyed through terror, tears, searches for treatment, anguish and more prayer. He has lifted himself to the heights of hope. Through his love for his family he lives in the moment with joy.
I fix my eyes upon him and I see
May your love grace your moments as well.
Peace and All Good!
The Litany of St. Joseph
The Litany of Saint Joseph is a traditional, indulgenced prayer, often recited in public with one person introducing each invocation, and everyone responding with the conclusion ("have mercy on us," "pray for us"). For a wallet-sized copy of the litany, click here, print, clip, and fold.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Renowned offspring of David, pray for us.
Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most strong, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of artisans, pray for us.
Glory of home life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of families, pray for us.
Solace of the wretched, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. He made him the lord of his household.
R. And prince over all his possessions.
Let us pray.
O God, in your ineffable providence you were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of your most holy Mother; grant, we beg you, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector: You who live and reign forever and ever.
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