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St Joseph’s Monastery Mount Carmel, Loughrea, Co. Galway, Ireland.

The feast of St. Joseph, coming up soon, is on March 19th

The Flight into Egypt

Matthew 2:13 says, “now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Rise, take the child and his mother and flee into Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” What is St. Joseph facing at this moment?

A Death Threat

Someone wants to kill Jesus, the Son of God. All Joseph knew was that someone wanted Jesus dead. Why did the Lord have to flee anyway? He is God. But to confirm that he was truly man, if he had fallen into the hands of Herod and had not been slain, it would have seemed that he had been made flesh only in appearance.

It was part of the Divine plan but Joseph was scared, but there was no time for that. He does not ask the angel any questions to clarify the circumstances like ‘what am I supposed to do about work, I do not have a work visa in Egypt and I do not speak the language and I doubt I will be able to fit all my tools on the donkey and we would need to eat.’ But Joseph said not a word.

A Long Journey

Egypt is far away. the road was not one of those paved nature trails with cool shade during the day. Also there were not many hotels. If they travelled 15 miles a day, which is pushing it, that would make it a journey of 30 days. There was still the unbearable desert heat and the strong possibility of bandits. Suffice to say this was a dangerous journey, not to mention journeying with a young child. So there is Joseph, in the middle of the night being told by an angel to pack up and travel 430 miles to a foreign land, a land he has never been to and the same land where his people were persecuted for 215 years. Again Joseph did not ask how he was supposed to do this, he did not ask for directions. He just went.

A One Way Ticket

Joseph did not get a time line. he was not told ‘ go to Egypt for six months’ instead ‘remain there until I tell you’. It is unlikely that Joseph had reserves of money. he had no emergency fund. this was a total and complete act of faith and obedience to the will of the Father.

St. Joseph was a true man. He did what the Lord asked of him every time and without delay. He is a model of obedience that we should all aspire to more closely follow.

Reflect on this story of St. Joseph. Now think about your own life.

St. Joseph, patron of workers, pray for us.

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We are contemplative, Teresian Carmelite nuns,dedicated to a life of prayer and sacrifice for the Church and for the whole world.

In addition to the everyday work needed for the upkeep of the monastery, we make brown scapulars (a sign of Mary’s special protection) and we operate a Confraternity in honour of the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague and also an Association of Masses in honour of St. Joseph and another for the Holy Souls.

We are available for people who call asking to be included in our prayers. Besides we are in constant correspondance with people who write from far and near looking for comfort and support. We also support charities and the Missions in so far as we can.

Our chapel is open and available to people from before our daily Mass at 8 a.m. until after Evening Prayer 5 p.m. We keep very much in touch with the happenings in our local community.

Our bishop, Most Rev. John Kirby visits us three or four times a year and keeps us informed about his own hopes and concerns for the diocese.

We trust God to make our lives fruitful beyond our imaginings, building up His kingdom of justice, love and peace. Today, especially, we pray to God to send labourers into his vineyard – “for the harvest is great but the labourers are few”.