Long Story Short: Hear my prayer

Last week, a good friend and Catholic priest advised me to turn to St. Joseph in my search for a job.

“St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers,” my friend, the Rev. Brian Kaskie, said. “I’ll say a prayer for you, but go get yourself a St. Joseph, and write your prayer down. He’ll take care of you.”

I am not one to miss an opportunity for a blessing.

I dutifully went to the Catholic bookstore and bought a small St. Joseph statue. I followed my grade-school-friend-turned-priest’s instructions and said a prayer. What could it hurt?

A few days later, I wished my husband good luck as he walked out the door to a job interview. Even though he worked in corporate America for decades, he hasn’t been on many job interviews. I wanted him to do well and feel good. He left, and I sat back down to work. I turned to the table behind me to pick up some papers. Accidentally, I bumped the table and sent poor St. Joseph flying.

Even before he hit the floor, I was panic-stricken.

Ka-boom.

I looked on one side of the table and saw the statuette’s body. On the other side of the table, I found his head.

This could not be good.

Frantically (and miraculously), I found Elmer’s glue in my cupboard. By my calculations, if I quickly re-attached St. Joseph’s head, maybe I could have the saint in one piece before my husband made it to his interview.

The problem was the glue wouldn’t hold the head up straight.

In my frenzied state, I tried to figure out what I could use to hold the head in place while the glue did its work?

Eureka, I have found it. Duct tape would work perfectly.

Very carefully, I glued the saint’s head back to his body and held it in place with the duct tape. Then, I said a prayer.

I had done what I could do. The next morning, I removed the duct tape and found St. Joseph looking kindly — his head leaning ever-so-slightly to the left. I deemed the surgery “The Baptist Procedure,” (honoring John the Baptist in his ill-fated demise).

I recounted the experience to a group of friends (who all happened to be Catholic) later that evening and was met with some resistance on my choice of saints.

“You should pray to St. Jude,” a friend said. “He’s the patron saint of lost causes.”

“I’m not quite to the lost-cause status,” I replied.

“St. Theresa de Avila is a good one to lean on, as well,” another sent over the Internet later that night. “One of her prayers: All things are passing. Patience obtains all things.”

I decided to do more research. Turns out, St. Cajetan (Cayetano) is the patron saint of the unemployed.

Cajetan? Theresa de Avila? Jude? Joseph?

As I mentioned, I don’t turn away prayers and blessings.

Besides, I have faith that they all end up in the same place anyway.

Jan Risher’s column, Long Story Short, appears on Sundays. She can be reached at jan@janrisher.com.

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