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St. Joseph devotion helps hubby to quit smoking

man wearing st. joseph shirt breaking cigarette

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Aleteia - published on 07/12/23

The testimony of an Aleteia reader about how an article inspired her devotion to St. Joseph and helped a family member overcome a serious addiction to nicotine.

An Aleteia reader shared this testimony with us about how an article on this site helped her to rediscover her devotion to St. Joseph, which later helped her husband to quit smoking. Here is the woman’s testimony, slightly adapted for our website:

Slaves to a habit

My husband has smoked cigarettes for as long as I can remember. In the past, that didn’t really bother me. It seemed very normal, in fact. Back in the “old days,” smoking was even fashionable. Our attitudes began to change when our son was born. We grew older and wiser.

Unfortunately, in terms of my husband’s smoking habit, everything else in life came second. His smoking became the master of our time — and I dare I say, of our life. Having his morning cigarette was always his top priority. On our way to vacation or on a day trip, we would have to stop at almost every rest area. It felt like we were participating in some kind of subtle plan that seemed insignificant but was definitely demonic!

A vicious circle

My husband tried quiting many times. Once he left a packet of cigarettes on a shelf. Our young son grabbed it and crumpled the whole packet up, throwing it in the trash. In his in his innocence, it seemed very simple: “If [Daddy] doesn’t have any cigarettes, then he won’t smoke.” If only things had been that simple!

Quit-smoking medications, nicotine gum, and other aids and inventions all turned out to be just as addictive — like one more demonic trap. It was a vicious circle! My husband tried quitting many times, never losing hope. But unfortunately, nothing worked.

St. Joseph discreet, as always

But the Lord God had his plan and heard our prayers. He sent St. Joseph to help us.

The first time I met St. Joseph was by accident. A beautiful statue of him caught my eye. It stood in a corner of the sacristy of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. I stopped: he was standing in an inconspicuous, yet symbolically quite significant place. He stood off to the side, as he had all his life beside Mary and Jesus.

St. Joseph made a total gift of himself to God by directing his entire life to the work of mercy: service, care, and humility. He surrendered himself completely to God’s plans and trusted. That’s what I did too — I trusted!

Later, I came across an article on the Aleteia website, which I read regularly, about Pope Francis and his relationship with St. Joseph. That article rekindled my hope! I felt sure that it was St. Joseph who was once again claiming his own. I started doing the “Seven Sundays (or Wednesdays) Devotion in honor of St. Joseph.”

From sadness to joy

I remember the exact day it happened. My husband came home from work and said, “I’m not smoking anymore, but I don’t know how it happened.”

That was the day I finished the prayers to St. Joseph for him to be freed from his smoking addiction!

We know that this is due to St. Joseph, the protector of the Holy Family and our family!

This beautiful devotion is a great way to pray! From our sorrows, joy was born, and it keeps happening, because nothing is impossible for St. Joseph. Ask him and he will never leave you in need.

Testimony of Dorothy Niemirska

Inspiring storiesSaint Joseph
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