Rome, Italy. On March 19, the General Curia community celebrated, as it does every year, the feast of its patron, St. Joseph. This year we wanted to recall the bond that unites the General Curia with this blessed Patriarch. This time, we would like to refer to the time when the Congregation acquired the house on Via Giulia, next to the church of Santa Lucia del Gonfalone, the future seat of the General Government (1934-1953).
Back in 1912, after twenty-eight years in Rome, the only Claretian community in that city was still living in an apartment in Via della Lungara, in Trastevere. Its members were discouraged to see that all their attempts to locate in a building next to a church were frustrated. It was then that the glorious St. Joseph providentially came to their aid. Fr. Felipe Maroto, a member of the community and, at the time, a young professor at various Roman universities (for thirty-nine years) and future Superior General of the Congregation (1934-1937):
“More than to these diligences practiced, we mainly attribute the good result of the proceedings to a special favor of the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph. Seeing the difficulties that were presented to reach the church of Saints Vincent and Anastasius, we thought of having recourse to the powerful help of the Holy Spouse of Mary, and among other things that we practiced to this end, it occurred to us to write a letter to St. Joseph of the Mountain of Barcelona, in which we briefly paraphrased these words: “San Giuseppe, pensateci Voi” (St. Joseph, you take care of it!), which form the title of a little book of devotion that we have at home, and which by chance came to our attention when we were thinking about how to write the letter to St. Joseph of the Mountain. What an admirable thing! Just four days after sending the letter (time enough to send a letter by mail to Barcelona and receive a reply), in the morning, without us having said anything about the steps we were taking, some devout people asked us if it was true, as they had heard it said, that they were giving us the church of Santa Lucia del Gonfalone; and having gone to the Vicariate to discuss the matter at hand, we were told clearly and definitively that it was useless to claim the other church, but that if we wanted to accept the church of Santa Lucia del Gonfalone, it was at our disposal. Great was our joy to see thus crowned our efforts, and above all to see how lend and effective had been the intervention of S. Joseph; and of course, we rendered thanks to the Holy Patriarch, and now we want to give him again public sample of our gratitude; so much more, that to him also we have to attribute to have been able to overcome the not small difficulties that came to us to hinder us the effective and real fulfillment of what so happily seemed to have begun”.
Today, remembering those events, we continue to faithfully and publicly thank St. Joseph, as General Curia, for his holy protection.