Lent calendar prayer and reflection for 19 March – Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

London marathon - CAFOD in Lent

Parishioners run the London marathon to fundraise for CAFOD

They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, 'My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.'

Luke 2:41-51

I can’t help but feel sorry for Joseph in this passage. He must be filled with fear as he searches everywhere for Jesus, his only son.

At last, Joseph and Mary find the child Jesus sitting peacefully in the temple. We hear how his parents “were overcome when they saw him”.

But Jesus simply asks, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?” 

Perhaps Joseph feels slightly rejected. As a father, he wants to protect his son from harm. But Jesus walks away because he wants to spend time learning, and to be closer to God.

Throughout his life, Joseph humbly accepts God’s will, even though at times it is difficult.

In this way, Saint Joseph “shows great tenderness, which is not a mark of the weak but of those who are genuinely strong, fully aware of reality and ready to love and serve in humility.” (Laudato Si’ #242)  

Our worldwide family

Robert from south-east England has gone to inspiring lengths out of love for his family.

Robert ran the London marathon and raised an amazing £2,000 for CAFOD. Running such a long way was a challenge, and he was tempted to give up. But his fatherly love spurred him on. 

He says, “I think about the people CAFOD supports, and I ask myself how I would cope if my house was destroyed or if I lost my family in a war.”

“Imagining my children walking for hours to fetch water, for the very basics of cooking and washing and then missing school because they are too exhausted or scared to be late... thinking about our global neighbours is what keeps me going to the end.”

Lent prayer

Lord, help us to gladly accept what you ask of us, and care for the most vulnerable members of our family, near and far. St Joseph, pray for us.


Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Lent Appeal. Your gifts will change lives around the world. And if you donated between 13 February and 12 May, the UK Government will double your donation! 

If you raised money in your parish or school over Lent and still need to pay in the proceeds, you can still have your collection matched.

Donate to our Lent Appeal

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