Thirty two weeks pregnant, infection and early labor.

The pregnancy had been progressing well…our little boy, already loved and named, was in trouble and early delivery seemed imminent.

I remember the day I discovered I was pregnant.  It was my birthday and the news was received with such joy, such hope…I just knew our new little one would be a boy, a playmate for our other son and we had already chosen a name:

Joseph Thomas.

Named for two wonderful fathers…the foster father of our Lord and my father…it seemed the perfect combination.

But now, mom was very sick, an acute case of pyelonephritis was causing early labor, contractions were escalating and I feared for my little one. Praying, through waves of pain and tears, I begged for help:

“Please, Blessed Mother…please help me.  I give him to you.  As our good God gave you and the Holy Child you carried to the loving care of St. Joseph, I beg you to take my Joseph, my baby, as your own!  Please let me carry him a little longer…”

For several days I fought infection and fever.  Labor stopped, healing began and I eventually returned to my home, only to return a few weeks later…this time for the delivery of a healthy newborn, 8 lbs. 12 oz, 22 inches long, born on September 11th at 11:56 p.m.

It never failed...Feast Of All Saints, he'd always be St. Joseph!

And, of course, we named him Joseph Thomas.

Since then, our Lady has given me a few lovely confirmations that she has taken my offering seriously.   When Joseph was preparing for his First Holy Communion, it was the tradition at the parish we had been attending, for one of the little girls to crown our Lady, after the Mother’s Day Mass.  I begged our Lady to intercede…I had told Joseph about my “consecration” of him as a baby, to our Blessed Mother’s care…I wanted so much for this sweet, 7 year old boy to crown his Mother!  In an unexpected turn of events, the DRE announced that for the first time all of the children’s names would be placed in a hat.  She said “our Lady will choose who She wants to crown her.”  Yes…you guessed it…Joseph was chosen!  He was beyond happy and, after having received our Lord for the first time, crowned our Lady with such loving affection!

And it nearly didn’t happen.

I had almost not allowed him to join the First Communion class.  My own scrupulosity and fear that he didn’t really understand, had nearly kept this dear boy from receiving.   He had seemed so disinterested…I kept waiting, praying for some kind of sign, an indication of his excitement or anticipation…but, alas…nothing.  I appealed to his heavenly Mother.  A few days later, as I was reading him a story from one of his Catholic readers, he expressed his great joy that he was about “to receive Jesus.”  Ah…the sign!  His “earthly” mother, so lacking in faith, had received the green light…

Of course, as Catholic parents, we’ve always entrusted all of our children to our Lord and His Blessed Mother.  But I, as mother, had never “consecrated” or “set aside” with such deliberateness, one of my pre-born children…it changed everything.  And yes…I’ve since given them all, with great trust, to Her, the Mother beyond compare.

G. I. Joe, to the rescue!

Still…there’s something special about the care our Lady has lavished upon this other Joseph.  I remind him of her special protection at every

Always the comedian...even when in "kingly" attire, he's still more Groucho Marx!

opportunity.

Today, we celebrate 14 years with our Joseph Thomas.  Incredibly intelligent, so very helpful…he serves the Traditional Mass every Sunday as an acolyte.  We’re so very proud of him, of the young man that he’s become.  The future stretches before him, like a beautiful as yet to be written scroll…I can’t wait to see the rest of the story!

Blessings,