In the Catholic Church, the month of March is traditionally dedicated to Saint Joseph, the foster father of Jesus. Although he is not mentioned much in Holy Scripture, he is definitely an important saint, and his role as Mary's husband and Jesus's earthly father is crucial in the shaping of Church history as we know it.
Many people turn to Saint Joseph for his intercession for different intentions, the most famous of which are for a good spouse (usually using this novena). Even Pope Francis is known to have a devotion to Saint Joseph, which he mentioned during his recent trip to the Philippines:
“I like Joseph very much. He’s a strong man of silence. In my desk, I have a statue of St. Joseph sleeping. Sleeping, he looks after the church…When I have a problem, I write it in a piece of paper and put it under the statue so he could dream about it. This means, ‘Please pray, Saint Joseph, for this problem.’”
— Pope Francis, January 16 Encounter with Families, SM MOA Arena, Manila, Philippines
As Jesus's father on earth, Saint Joseph had a momentous and important task: to protect, provide for, and pastor Jesus before He started His earthly mission. He did all of this very well, as we know from Scripture, and all husbands and fathers everywhere have a lot to learn from his example.
It is no wonder then that Saint Joseph's feast day is no ordinary feast—it is, in fact, a solemnity, which, according to Scott Richert, "is the highest ranking of any feast in the Catholic liturgical calendar." So it is truly a feast to celebrate (and yes, we can do so, even in the middle of the Lenten season. Read Fr. Z's enlightening blog post about that here for more information).
To help you and your family celebrate the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, here are a few resources:
For starters, this short video from St. Benedict Press & TAN Books can help you and your children learn a bit more about this beloved saint:
If you're looking for ways to celebrate Saint Joseph's feast day on March 19, this page on CatholicCulture.org is a good place to start, since it contains links to activities, prayers, articles and even recipes!
Also, you can use this video of the "Miraculous Prayer to Saint Joseph in Any Urgent Need" to lift up any concerns you may have:
Remember, Saint Joseph truly has a special place in the life of the Church and, thus, in our own lives as Catholics. May we constantly strive to follow his example of silent strength and unwavering obedience to our Heavenly Father.
Saint Joseph, loving foster father of Jesus and devoted husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pray for us!
Note: Parts of this article originally appeared on the Catholic Filipino Academy website, and are reprinted here with permission.
Copyright 2015, Tina Santiago Rodriguez
First photo:St Joseph and the Child, Oil on canvas, Museo Lazaro, Madrid | Francisco de Herrera the Elder, St Joseph And The Child.jpg, Francisco de Herrera the Elder, Public Domain, on Wikimedia Commons
Second photo courtesy of Sky Ortigas of http://mercygrass.com. Used with permission.
About the Author
Tina Santiago-Rodriguez is a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, and a writer and editor by profession. Among her different roles, she believes that her most important "work" is to be a helpmate to her husband, and to raise her kids to be "Kingdom-Seekers." Find out more about Tina through her website: Truly Rich and Blessed.