752. All Hallows

752hallows

(Today, in some Christian traditions, it is the Feast of All Saints. Some call it All Hallows. It is where we get the word “Halloween” from: “All Hallows Evening”. To commemorate this day I’m going to re-tell a traditional tale from Italy. I didn’t make it up; but it’s one of my favourite folk stories! It could be added that hagiography is a genre that today rightly suffers – mainly through its own fault – from a great deal of unpopularity…)

Saint Joseph was married to Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

There was this man who prayed only to Saint Joseph. He completely ignored God, and Jesus, and everyone else. The only person he ever prayed to was Saint Joseph.

Eventually the man died. Saint Peter met him at the gates to Heaven.

“You can’t come in,” said Saint Peter. “You only ever prayed to Saint Joseph. You never prayed to God. Only those who prayed to God can enter.”

Saint Joseph appeared at the gate.

“Let him in,” he said. “If you don’t, I’m taking my wife and Kid elsewhere.”

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