Saint Joseph's Day today! March 19 2009
Today, March 19 2009, is a little known holiday called St Joseph' Day, also known as the Feast of St. Joseph or the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. The is the feast day of Saint Joseph, husband to the Virgin Mary.
This is a day of feasting for all people named Joseph, Josephine and for any public building bearing these names and also for carpenters - in some countries, such as Spain and Portugal, it is also Father's Day.
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.
Feasts on St. Joseph's Day often have no meat as it usually falls during Lent.
In Italy, St. Joseph is credited with preventing a famine in Sicily during the Middle Ages when the people prayed for rain during a drought. When the rain came, they credited St. Joseph with their luck and now they always throw a feast to honour him.
Many villages and towns in Itlay celebrate the day in their own way, with altars, celebrations, and sometimes burning of wood in the town square.
In the US, people in New Orleans celebrate the day with a city-wide event of building altars and distributing food. They also have parades as this port town was a point of entry into the USA for Sicilian immigrants during the late 19th century.
Are you celebrating St. Joseph's Day today?