Go to Joseph.
This year, I'm turning with greater urgency and solemnity to our holy father St. Joseph, and I get the sense many Christians are doing so as well. Certainly the Universal Church turns to her patron with great fervor, so I unite my prayer to the prayer of the Church.
My devotion to St. Joseph developed under Franciscan and Carmelite influence and tradition - especially as promoted by St. Teresa of Avila. I too have experienced that St. Joseph helps us in every need we entrust to him.
"I took for my advocate and lord the glorious St. Joseph and earnestly recommended myself to him. I saw clearly that as in this need so in other greater ones concerning honour and loss of soul this father and lord of mine came to my rescue in better ways than I knew how to ask for. I don't recall up to this day ever having petitioned him for anything that he failed to grant.
...whereas with this glorious saint I have experience that he helps us in all our needs and that the Lord wants us to understand that just as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth—for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord's tutor, Joseph could give the Child commands—so in heaven God does whatever he commands.
This has been observed by persons, also through experience, whom I have told to recommend themselves to him. And so there are many who in experiencing this truth renew their devotion to him." - Teresa of Avila
I like to think about him, to wonder what his life must have been like. Did you know some Spanish friars once told me they believe that St. Joseph was assumed into heaven?
I think the Copts believe he wasn't a virgin but was married before. I believe he was a virgin however. He was most pure spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can only understand this by thinking St. Joseph must have been pre-sanctified - perhaps like St. John the Baptist - and was preserved from concupiscence. I like to think that.
Somewhere I read that the house where the Holy Family lived has been found in the Holy Land. It is thought that a small edifice was constructed at the mouth of a small cave, containing a few 'rooms', was the place Jesus grew up. Some speculated that the Blessed Virgin and Jesus lived in the antechamber, and Joseph slept separately in the back. I don't know how they lived, but I doubt it was in that way. I think they were well integrated as a family and they shared the space as any family would. Certainly sleeping arrangements would be different - but I wonder if they had the luxury of separate rooms? They were very ordinary people, after all.
I like to think of St. Joseph as an example, a model, a patron of chastity, for those committed to a chaste life - even in the most irregular circumstances. After all, he was husband to the most chaste Virgin Mary and foster father to the Son of God. He is a helper and model for men and women, be they single or married, living a common life, or living alone. Likewise, he is the protector of virgins - male and female.
He's a father to the fatherless, the abused, the abandoned, the desperate, the lonely.
He's a provider. He finds a home for the lonely. He finds work for the unemployed.
He's a friend for the friendless.
He teaches us to pray.
He's the patron of a holy death.
He loves us as a father and friend - he will come to our aid in even better ways than we know what to ask for. Did you know some Spanish images dedicated to his honor give him the title of "Refuge of sinners"? He is certainly that - he helped me many times - especially when I fell from grace. He never gives up - he is the preeminent saint of the impossible.
Go to Joseph!
A very good devotion in honor of St. Joseph are the prayers honoring the Seven Joys and Sorrows of St. Joseph. They can be found here.