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How one man’s incredible life and death echoed that of St. Joseph

Paul Coakley

Knights of Columbus Supreme Council | YouTube | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 11/08/21

Take inspiration from the growing call to #livelikepaul.

In a recent video shared on Youtube by Knights of Columbus, we get a glimpse of the incredible life of Paul Coakley, a young father and husband who died at the age of 35.

While his death is heartbreaking, it offers us an opportunity to learn more about a loving family man who devoted his life to living like Christ and taking inspiration from St. Joseph — which we are all called to do.

Coakley’s wife, Ann, shares the story of their life together — a union that came from Ann’s daily prayers to the Blessed Mother to meet her very own St. Joseph.

After praying for years, Ann’s prayers were answered in May 2007. She met Paul and within a few months they knew they were called to marry each other and create their own “domestic church.”

As part of their desire to create a truly Catholic family life, the couple prayed to St Joseph for his intercession to help Paul find a job that would provide for the family. While praying the novena to St. Joseph the Worker, the couple discovered that they would soon be welcoming a foster son into their family.

After suffering three miscarriages, this was a sign to them that their prayers were being answered, especially as St. Joseph was the “best foster parent ever.”

Paul worked extremely hard for his family and in his ministry work. Just as St. Joseph had shared his son with the world, Paul wanted to share Christ with others by encouraging them to live like Him.

In Spring 2014, Paul felt a pain in his chest that turned into a lump. By Christmas he was told that he had so many tumors in his lungs they were impossible to count. The tumors had metastasized to his brain, resulting in two strokes.

While in the hospital caring for her husband, Ann discovered the #prayforpaul going around the world. She received “overwhelming strength” knowing that so many people were joining in prayer for her husband. It was God’s gift to them in their time of need.

Not long before Paul’s death, Ann saw a glow in her husband’s eyes, a radiance that she sensed was a miracle. Her husband was returning to his Heavenly Father with a sense of joy. As she shared, he was “running to Our Lord,” having experienced a “good holy happy death” — just like his intercessor St. Joseph.

Now Ann is taking great comfort from the hashtag, #livelikepaul, calling people “to live in way that brings you closer to Christ.”

If you have a few moments, take a look at the video and help Paul to continue his work by encouraging others to live a life honoring St. Joseph and growing closer to Christ.

Catholic LifestyleDeathSaint Joseph
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