O Saint Joseph!

Happy Feast Day of St. Patrick tomorrow! And happy early Solemnity of St. Joseph, which we will celebrate this Friday, March 19th!!!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the world gave as much acclaim to St. Joseph as they did to St. Patrick? Though we love St. Patrick and all of the wonderful festivities that surround his special day, this year, not only do we celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph, but we do it during the Year of St. Joseph, as proclaimed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Shouldn’t we mark this occasion in a remarkable way?

One wonderful Catholic tradition is the St. Joseph altar! New Orleans is particularly known for embracing this tradition. Many families and parishes go so far as to compete with each other, with one altar more beautiful than the next. Each is covered in festive decorations and delicious-looking breads, designed to highlight St. Joseph’s special role in salvation history and family life. Here are just a few pictures that can be found across the internet.

St. Joseph Altars in New Orleans

It is fitting that we honor St. Joseph. After all, not only was he the earthly father of Jesus and the spouse of Our Lady, he is the patron of the Universal Church, as proclaimed by Pope John XXIII on March 19, 1961. On the occasion of his proclamation, he prayed:

“O St. Joseph!

Here, here is where you belong as Protector Universalis Ecclesiae! … Always be our protector. May thy inner spirit of peace, of silence, of good work, and of prayer for the cause of Holy Church always be an inspiration to us and bring us joy in union with thy blessed spouse, our most sweet and gentle and Immaculate Mother, and in the strong yet tender love of Jesus, the glorious and immortal King of all ages and peoples. Amen.” – Pope John XXIII

This week as we pray our Rosary Crusade together, let us ask St. Patrick, and especially St. Joseph to intercede for us, as we embrace each other and our intentions in prayer.


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