I am a middleaged woman who loves the Orthodox tradition. My beloved husband and I live on a little farm in the forest outside a small village in Sweden. In this blog I will try to tell You about the process we are going through building a chapel to venerate the “step father” of our Lord Jesus Christ: Saint Joseph.
Why is it that we want to venerate him of all saints? There are so many holy persons that are worthy of praise and veneration and that all are rolemodels for us… But St. Joseph has made a special impression on me…
One thing is that he lived close as FAMILY with our Savior Jesus Christ…
I am also impressed with his willingness to believe what to anybody would sound as UNBELIEVABLE.. Just think of the situation he found himself in when his fiancee was found to be pregnant and he knew he was not the father… he wanted to leave her. Then an angel visited him and said: Do not fear to take her in your house… She is pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So he did!
Then all their experiences in Betlehem not finding a proper room for the night… and all what they experienced during the night when the baby was born… Then his obeidiance again to take his little family to Egypt when an angel told him not to go back to Nasareth..
In Egypt he must have struggled to find a home, and a way of supplying his family in a totally unknown situation, with unfamiliar circumstances and a foreign language… Then again an angel visited him and told him to go back to his former village and he obeyed.
Those are some of the situations I have thought about and that have made an impression on me.
I have also been told by my beloved Spiritual Father, Bishop Johannes, here in Sweden, how St. Joseph helped the young Johannes in Holland when he as an art student had nowhere to stay… St. Joseph worked a real wonder to the young Johannes… and also payed him a visit and sent a greeting later in life too… Hearing my spriritual Father telling about this and also having travelled with him o the city in Holland where he as a young man experienced this made a strong impact on me… Since then, maybe the year of 2003 or -4 I have had the lust to build a chapel to venerate St. Joseph.
But of course one of the main reasons for my love to St. Joseph is the LOVE he has to our Mother of God; Theotokos!
In the year of 2011 Bishop Cyprian also told me that St. Joseph is a patron for those who work with their hands. … I overwhelmed with joy! Because I love working with my hands, and for example here on our little farm I build houses with clay…
And actually we started to build a chapel in his honor already in July our first summer at this little farm, 2010. But many things went wrong and last year we had to tear down what we had built up to a height of 2 meters. Now we start again! and we start it RIGHT – with the blessing of a hierarch – Bishop Cyprian who in his short visit in Sweden once year took time both 2011 and this year to visit us. Already last summer he made a promise to come back and conduct the ceremony before we start building. Now our goal is to have the chapel ready for his visit next Year so we can celebrate liturgy in it in june 2013.
We are not monastic people but this little picture inspires me to identify with people of all ages that has taken on the task to build a little chapel in which to pray and hopefully by the grace of God develop into a more sensitive and loving person and seeing the guidance of Him in everything that happens in our lives.