Saint Joseph: 19th March

Saint Joseph Day

In ancient tradition, the cult of Saint Joseph had been developing closet o his house, particularly by the descendants of the family of "carpenters of Nazareth."
Joseph’s house, remembered as a place of worship by testimonies such as Epiphaneus and the Anonymous figure from Piacenza, would over the centuries lose its important. Only in the post-crusade period would it gain new worth, particularly with the arrival of the Franciscans. In the history of Franciscan spirituality, the figure of Saint Joseph has always been highlighted for the important role of Jesus’ earthly father. This was awarded particular importance in the generalship of Saint Bonaventure from Bagnoregio (thirteenth century) and with the Observance movement of Saint Bernardino of Siena (fifteenth century).
The Feast of Saint Joseph is on 19th March in the Liturgical calendar. The first to celebrate this day were the Benedictine monks in 1030, followed by the Servants of Mary in 1324 and by the Franciscans in 1399. It was finally promoted by the interventions of the Popes Sixtus IV and Pius V and became obligatory in 1621 under Gregory VI.
The feast of Saint Joseph in Nazareth is celebrated with the whole Church on 19th March with celebrations beginning the previous day with the vespertine introduction by the Custos Father at the dedicated to the Saint. On 19th, after Mass, the community performs a procession to the house of the Virgin to re-evoke her marriage with Saint Joseph. At the end of the celebration, a prayer of supplication to Saint Joseph is recited in front of the holy House of the Virgin, in which they acclaim him as Custos of the Redeemer, Husband of the Virgin and Universal Patron of the Church.

The Feast is celebrated ceremoniously by the whole Latin church of the Holy Land and begins the liturgical cycle focusing on the Sanctuary of Nazareth that ends on 25th March with the Annunciation Feast.

Annunciation Day