During the first three years of my law practice (1983 to 1986), I rented an office from some other attorneys. In addition to the use of an office, I was allowed to use the other attorneys’ receptionist to answer a separate telephone line that I had set up in the reception area. My agreement also included an arrangement in which I was able to use one of the secretaries to prepare legal documents. She kept track of the time she spent doing my work, and I paid an agreed-upon hourly rate to the attorneys for her services.
I moved out of the attorneys’ office and rented my own small office suite in the fall of 1986. At that time, I hired my own part-time secretary. About a year later, my part-time secretary started working for me on a full-time basis.
Because I was responsible for paying for my own office, a full-time secretary, and other office-related expenses, I quickly fell behind on my bills. After struggling financially for several months, I began a 30-day novena to St. Joseph. During the novena, I asked St. Joseph to increase my business so I could get caught up on my bills.
Shortly after I finished the novena, I received a telephone call from a local banker whom I had previously assisted with some legal work. The work I had done for him involved collecting money from bank customers who were behind in their credit card payments.
When I got on the phone with the banker, he told me that he had recently been hired by another bank and was in charge of refinancing previous home loans and loaning money to first-time home buyers.
The banker asked if I had ever considered performing title searches and issuing title insurance policies through Attorneys’ Title Guaranty Fund. I told him that I was familiar with Attorneys’ Title, but had never given any serious thought to getting involved with that type of work.
The banker explained to me that for every loan the bank made, in order to guarantee that there were no liens filed against the borrower’s real estate, a title insurance policy was needed. He said that the bank was referring all its title insurance business to a local attorney who was authorized to issue policies through Attorneys’ Title.
He told me that he would prefer to give the business to me if I was willing to become a member of Attorneys’ Title and learn how to perform searches and issue title insurance policies. I told him that I was definitely interested and that I would contact Attorneys’ Title to arrange to become a member and to be trained to perform title searches.
After I hung up the telephone, it occurred to me that the banker’s phone call was an answer to my prayers to St. Joseph. Then it hit me. The name of the banker who called me was Joseph, which was a confirmation to me that St. Joseph was working behind the scenes on my behalf.
I followed through with Attorneys’ Title and began doing work for the bank. Within the next several months, I started receiving title insurance work from some local Realtors and other local bankers. Because of all the title insurance work I was getting, my monthly income increased substantially. A few years after Joseph called me, I was able to hire my first associate attorney. It was because of the income I was earning from the title insurance business that I was able to afford the attorney.
Last week when I realized that March 19 — the Feast Day of St. Joseph — was approaching, I thought of the novena to St. Joseph and the call from the banker.
There have been numerous times over the past 30 years that I have turned to St. Joseph for assistance. He is the saint I think of whenever I need help that relates to my role as a father or a husband. He was the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the foster father of the Son of God. It was St. Joseph’s responsibility to protect and provide for Jesus and Mary. Fr. John A. Hardon had this to say about St. Joseph:
“The dignity of the Mother of God is so sublime that nothing created can rank above it. But as Joseph was united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, we may believe that he approached nearer than anyone else to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses all human persons in holiness. Marriage is the most intimate of all unions, which from its essence confers a sharing of gifts between those joined together in wedlock. Thus, in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as his spouse, God appointed him to be not only the witness of her virginity, the protector of her honor, but also, because they were truly married, a sharer in her exalted sanctity.”
In the event that you ever have a need to reach out to St. Joseph for assistance, here’s the text of the 30-day novena:
Thirty Days’ Prayer to St. Joseph for Any Special Intention
Ever blessed and glorious Joseph, kind and loving father, and helpful friend of all in sorrow! You are the good father and protector of orphans, the defender of the defenseless, the patron of those in need and sorrow. Look kindly on my request. My sins have drawn down on me the just displeasure of my God, and so I am surrounded with unhappiness. To you, loving guardian of the Family of Nazareth, do I go for help and protection.
Listen, then, I beg you, with fatherly concern, to my earnest prayers, and obtain for me the favors I ask.
I ask it by the infinite mercy of the eternal Son of God, which moved Him to take our nature and to be born into this world of sorrow.
I ask it by the weariness and suffering you endured when you found no shelter at the inn of Bethlehem for the holy Virgin, nor a house where the Son of God could be born. Then, being everywhere refused, you had to allow the Queen of Heaven to give birth to the world’s Redeemer in a cave.
I ask it by that painful torture you felt at the prophecy of holy Simeon, which declared the Child Jesus and His holy Mother future victims of our sins and of their great love for us.
I ask it through your sorrow and pain of soul when the angel declared to you that the life of the Child Jesus was sought by His enemies. From their evil plan you had to flee with Him and His Blessed Mother to Egypt. I ask it by all the suffering, weariness, and labors of that long and dangerous journey.
I ask it by all your care to protect the Sacred Child and His Immaculate Mother during your second journey, when you were ordered to return to your own country. I ask it by your peaceful life in Nazareth where you met with so many joys and sorrows.
I ask it by your great distress when the adorable Child was lost to you and His Mother for three days. I ask it by your joy at finding Him in the Temple, and by the comfort you found at Nazareth, while living in the company of the Child Jesus. I ask it by the wonderful submission He showed in His obedience to you.
I ask it by the perfect love and conformity you showed in accepting the Divine order to depart from this life, and from the company of Jesus and Mary. I ask it by the joy which filled your soul, when the Redeemer of the world, triumphant over death and hell, entered into the possession of His kingdom and led you into it with special honors.
I ask it through Mary’s glorious Assumption, and through that endless happiness you have with her in the presence of God.
O good father! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows, and joys, to hear me and obtain for me what I ask.
(Make your request.)
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Finally, my dear patron and father, be with me and all who are dear to me in our last moments, that we may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.