Today is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. A solemnity is a solemn feast day, in this case in honor and thanksgiving for St. Joseph. St. Joseph is one of my particular favorite saints, so I am delighted to celebrate his feast today. This feast (I think) always occurs during Lent. This means a one-day reprieve from the fasting of Lent, all the more reason to be happy for the feast.
When I think of St. Joseph, I always think of a painting that we had in our house when I was a child. It received pride of place during Advent and Christmas, but I think it was usually hanging in a not-so-prominent spot the rest of the year. It was a simple painting of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, in acrylic on velveteen or ultrasuede, with no background or fancy flourishes. I think my mother painted it. In the painting, you can see the tenderness between Jesus and Mary, and Joseph stands in the position of protector – an important role of his. He has a look on his face that some might say appears to be worried, but I always thought it looked like he was listening for God’s instructions.
And what instructions he received and heeded – to raise Our Lord and to protect Our Lady.
St. Joseph is the patron of families, of children, of fathers, of carpenters and all workers, of house hunters, of infertile women and of the universal Church. He is such an important saint that he has two feast days, the other being St. Joseph the Worker on May 1.
If I have $2 in my wallet, when I’m in my parish church, I light a candle before St. Joseph’s statue, and I ask St. Joseph to pray for my father, my father-in-law and all fathers, for my husband and my brother and all men who wish to be fathers, for the safety of our home, and for the blessing of children in it. Then I ask him to kiss Jesus for me. I am confident that Jesus will heed the intercession of the man who was his foster-father on earth.
My husband has some profound thoughts about St. Joseph and Our Lord here.
St. Joseph, pray for us!