Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 20 March - Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Jhonny with his green tomatoes in his greenhouse

Jhonny grows fresh tomatoes in his greenhouse, Bolivia

Counting on the promise of God, he did not doubt or disbelieve, but drew strength from faith and gave glory to God, fully convinced that whatever God promised he had power to perform.

St Paul to the Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22

Today we remember Saint Joseph, who just like Abraham before him, drew strength from his faith in the most trying circumstances.  It took enormous faith to believe what the angel of the Lord told him (Matthew 1:16, 18-21): that Mary would conceive a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Jhonny Mamani, a father of two, lives in the mountains of Bolivia in Latin America. He, too, shows great faith. A few years ago, Jhonny built a house for his young family. But he found it was a constant struggle to get by. “There were times when there wasn’t enough to eat. I used to say to my wife: ‘One day we will have enough to eat.’”

Jhonny kept faith that things would get better. Today, he is able to provide for his family. Through the support of CAFOD partner, CIPCA, Jhonny grows rich, nutritious vegetables in his own greenhouse.  

“It’s a dream we had that has come true,” he explains. “Going into the greenhouse is like walking into a light. We see our lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers growing and we feel happy. It’s been a total change for our family.”   

Jhonny never gave up hope, and now his prayers have been answered. Blessed be God.


Lord, in the midst of darkness and uncertainty, help us to keep the flame of our faith alive. Amen. Saint Joseph, pray for us.


If you have a loved one who loves to garden, you could give them an Easter gift of a Greenhouse, a Vegetable garden or Trees for life from our range of World Gifts. Each gift goes to help someone in poverty and you receive a beautiful card to pass on to your friend or family member.

Buy a World Gift

This reflection was written by Rachel McCarthy from CAFOD’s Theology Programme. 

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