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Dec 21, 2021 1398 Ghislaine Vodounou,
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He Never Left Me

That day I was feeling desperate and lonely but, little did I know, something special was about to happen…

When Pope Francis declared the “Year of Saint Joseph” starting from 8th December 2020, I recalled the day when my mother gave me a beautiful statue of this great Saint which I placed with deep reverence in my prayer corner. Over the years, I have prayed numerous novenas to Saint Joseph, but I always had a nagging feeling that he wasn’t really aware of my prayers. As time passed, I took very little notice of him.

Last year, one of my friends who is also a priest advised me to do a 30 day Prayer to Saint Joseph which I did together with the 33 day Consecration to Saint Joseph (by Father Donald H. Calloway). On the last day of the consecration, I had no idea that something special was about to happen in my life. It was a Sunday. I was feeling very depressed, although it’s absolutely not in my nature to be gloomy. But that day was very different. So right after Holy Mass, I decided to go to Adoration, seeking some relief before the Blessed Sacrament, for I had confidence that anyone who prays from the deepest recesses of their heart will always find consolation there.

Love from Above

On my way, while I waited in the U-Bahn (the underground metro rail services in Munich), I happened to notice a lady crying uncontrollably. I was deeply moved and wanted to console her. Her loud laments had attracted attention and everyone was staring at her, which put off my inclination to go and speak to her. After a while, she got up to go, but left her scarf behind. Now I didn’t have any option but to go after her. As I gave the scarf back, I told her, “Don’t cry…you are not alone. Jesus loves you and He wants to help you. Speak to Him about all your troubles…He will surely help you.” I also gave her some money. Then she asked me if I could hold her in my arms. I was a bit reluctant, but pushed it all aside, gave her a warm hug and softly touched her cheeks. I surprised myself by this act because that day I was feeling very empty and low in Spirit. And truly I can say that love wasn’t from me. It was Jesus who reached out to her!

Finally, when I reached the church Herzogspitalkirche for Adoration, I pleaded for God’s help and for a sign that He is in control. As I completed my Saint Joseph prayer and the consecration, I lit a candle in front of statue of Saint Joseph. Then I simply asked Saint Joseph whether he really cared for me, musing over why he never responded to me.

The Big Smile

On my way back to the train, a lady stopped me in the street. She looked like she was in her 50’s and that was the first and last time I saw her, but what she said to me still rings in my ears. As I looked at her wondering what she wanted from me, she suddenly exclaimed with a big smile on her face “Oh! Saint Joseph loves you so much, you have no idea.”

I was bewildered and I asked her to repeat what she said. I wanted to hear it again so much and the feeling I had is beyond words. That moment I knew that I am never alone. Tears of joy rolled down my cheeks as I told her that I had been praying and asking for a sign. With a mesmerizing smile she replied, “It’s the HOLY SPIRIT my dear…”

Then she asked, “Do you know what Saint Joseph loves the most about you?” I gazed back at her, bemused. Touching my cheeks softly (exactly as I had done to the lady in the metro earlier) she whispered, “It’s your soft and HUMBLE heart.” Then she left.

I have never seen this nice lady before or since, which was unusual because mostly in our churches we know each other, but I can still vividly remember how sweet and full of joy she was.

That day I felt so desperate that I really needed to feel that GOD really loved and cared for me. My worries were put to rest by the message from Saint Joseph who had been with me all those years even though I had often ignored him.

I firmly believe that the incident at the metro earlier that day was very much linked to my own encounter with this kind lady. She gave me a word of knowledge. Whatever we do for others, we do it for Jesus, even if we don’t feel like doing it. Jesus is even happier when we step out of our comfort zone to reach out to others. Ever since then, I seek the powerful intercession of my dear Saint Joseph every day, without fail!

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Ghislaine Vodounou

Ghislaine Vodounou loves to share her faith. She lives in Munich, Germany.

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