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  • Our Lady Help of Christians, Patron of China

  • St Joseph, you will recall, was always having his slumber interrupted by angels telling him to do this, go there, etc. He traveled with his pregnant wife to Bethlehem for the census, only to have to flee with her and their infant child to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod the Great. After Herod's death, the angel reappeared and told him he could return to Israel. I always find it wryly amusing that Joseph does not follow the angel's directive exactly, but settles the family in Nazareth, between Egypt and Israel, because Herod's son is ruling in his father's place. Joseph knew the realities of life better than any angel; the apple seldom falls far from the tree. This wise, selfless, and most hardworking of saints is patron of the Universal Church, the dying, carpenters, workers in general, and of several countries and localities, notably China, Canada, and Belgium.

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