Wife eyes similarities between late husband and St. Joseph - Catholic Courier
Holy Family statue Ed gave Leonor for their wedding anniversary. (Photo by Leonor Rivera) Holy Family statue Ed gave Leonor for their wedding anniversary. (Photo by Leonor Rivera)

Wife eyes similarities between late husband and St. Joseph

After my husband, Ed, passed away, I felt vulnerable. A trusted priest friend said, “You’ve lost your protector. Go to St. Joseph. Do the St. Joseph Consecration.” I did.

I learned that St. Joseph was not only an amazing husband to Mary, like Ed was to me, he also was a remarkable father who taught Jesus how to be a human man, like Ed taught our sons to be wonderful men.

God spoke to St. Joseph through dreams. God told him it was OK to marry a pregnant Mary. God told him to leave to avoid the massacre. God also told him when to return from Egypt. Ed, like St. Joseph, slept, listened to God, rejuvenated, and took wonderful care of me and our sons.

Cover of “Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father” book by Father Calloway.

I wondered if St. Joseph was an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy, like Ed. Did he cheerfully jump out of bed in the morning? Did he fall asleep in bed while Mary was talking to him about serious topics, like Ed sometimes did? Did St. Joseph snore like Ed? Now that Ed is gone, I miss watching him sleep. I even miss the snoring. Most of all, I miss our bedtime conversations about our hopes and dreams as I struggle to figure out how to serve God without Ed.

I shared this struggle with a dear kindergarten teacher friend, and she invited me to help in her classroom. Once a week, I literally “Go to Joseph,” since it turns out my friend teaches at St. Joseph School.

As I drive to school, I play the song “His Name is Joseph” to remind me of how blessed I am that God chose my sleepy Ed for me like he chose dreaming Joseph for Mary. Ed was my Joseph.


Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera were members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community for 32 of their 34 years of marriage until Ed unexpectedly died of a genetic heart defect on Aug. 1, 2020.

The last 2024 Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is Oct. 11-13 at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.

To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.

Tags: Catholic Marriage
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