St Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni c1635
Saint Joseph's Day, March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph or Solemnity of Saint Joseph is in Western Christianity the principal feast day of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Solemnity in the Roman Catholic Church, but also a feast in the provinces of the Anglican Communion, and a feast or festival in the Lutheran Church. Saint Joseph's Day is the Patronal Feast day for persons named Joseph, Josephine, etc., for religious orders, schools and parishes bearing his name, and for carpenters. It is also Father's Day in some Catholic countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
This date was already dedicated to Saint Joseph in several Western calendars in the tenth century. It was accepted in Rome in 1479, and in 1621 it was inserted into the General Roman Calendar for celebration throughout the Latin Rite. Since it always falls within Lent, Episcopal Conferences may, if they wish, transfer it to a date outside Lent.
The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Saint Joseph on the Sunday after Christmas. Between 1870 and 1955 the Roman Rite had another feast in honour of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church, a title given to him by Blessed Pope Pius IX. This "Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Patron of the Universal Church", referred to also as the "Patronage" feast to distinguish it from that of 19 March, appears in the calendars of those years for celebration on Wednesday of the second week after the Octave of Easter (i.e. the third Wednesday after Easter) and was celebrated with an octave of its own.
Pope Pius XII abolished this feast in 1955, and at the same time established a new feast day, that of Saint Joseph the Worker (a Double of the First Class), for celebration on 1 May, a date chosen to coincide with the celebration in many countries of Labour Day (May Day). Since not every country celebrates May Day as Labour Day, the Memorial of Saint Joseph the Worker was made optional in 1969.
Labels: St Joseph Patron Saint of Workers, St Joseph's Day