The Feast of Saint Joseph is observed on March 19. This is an annual celebration in honor of Saint Joseph. St. Joseph was the legal guardian of Jesus Christ and was venerated by the Catholic Church as a patron saint of workers.
The Lutherans celebrate this day in admiration of his work and put up altars outside their homes with food items. These items can be eaten by anyone who needs a meal. The day is also known as the Solemnity of Saint Joseph. This holiday is traditionally celebrated by Christians worldwide in different ways. However, some people from other faiths have adopted the celebration as well.
History of Feast of Saint Joseph
According to Christian beliefs, Saint Joseph was a first-century man of Nazareth who married the Virgin Mary after the birth of Jesus Christ. He is honored by the church as the lifelong partner of Mary but remains chaste and virgin until his death which took place in the presence of Jesus and Mary.
The context of Saint Joseph as the legal father of Jesus is present in Luke and Matthews, which trace him as a descendant of David. The Catholic Church under Pope Pius IX declared Joseph to be the patron and protector of the Catholic Church.
Every country that has a strong catholic presence celebrates this day during Lent. They observe a strict fast and abstinence on this day while caring for the poor and needy by providing them with food.
These iconic traditions originate from Italy, Malta, Spain, and Poland. Unlike other holidays whose traditions have changed over the years, Saint Joseph’s days remain the same. This is because the holiday has traveled to countries with a strong catholic presence.
The traditional way of celebrating the feast has been to wear red clothing, give food to the needy, and observe fast on this day. In some parts of the world, people have a rather symbolic interpretation of this day.
Since Joseph was a father to Jesus, his life is considered an example of what a father figure should look and be. Hence some cultures celebrate Father’s Day by honoring Saint Joseph and fathers together. The day is also celebrated by rehearsing a mixture of English, Italian and Spanish scriptures.
Feast of Saint Joseph timeline
He is born in Nazareth, present-day Israel.
Western European nations celebrate Saint Joseph’s Day as a principal feast day.
Pope Pius IX declares Saint Joseph the patron and protector of the Catholic Church.
Pope Pius XII retitles the feast to the Solemnity of Saint Joseph.
Feast of Saint Joseph FAQs
What do we do on the Feast of Saint Joseph?
We decorate altars with food for the needy, fast, practice abstinence, and pray collectively.
Can we eat meat at the Feast of Saint Joseph?
Yes, you can. There is no rule against eating meat on this day. However, some Catholics find it respectful to abstain from meat or processed foods.
What was the religion of Saint Joseph?
There is no revelation of his faith, but the facts surrounding him are full of sources that describe him as a very pious man who had a peaceful death. There are no written accounts of what faith he followed.
How to Observe the Feast of Saint Joseph?
Set up an altar
Set up an altar with lots of food outside your house so that any needy person can have food to eat on this special day.
Wear red clothing
It is traditional to wear a red robe or red clothing on this day or simply decorate the feast table with a red cloth.
Attend a mass
Take some time out from your schedule and attend a mass in a church to listen to some praise in honor of Saint Joseph.
5 Facts About Saint Joseph Everyone Should Know
The patron saint of the Universal Church
Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the Universal Church, families, expectant fathers, and mothers.
Year of Saint Joseph
On the 150th anniversary of Joseph’s declaration as a patron of the Universal Church, the year of Saint Joseph was announced by Pope Francis, starting on December 8, 2020.
Annual Day of Giving
Saint Joseph’s University (Philadephia, U.S.) celebrates its Annual Day of Giving on this day.
Old with grey hair
In most of the pictures of Jesus and Mary, the older man with grey hair is Saint Joseph.
Quotes in the “Bible”
The “Bible” has no quote from Saint Joseph, there are only a few details of his life mentioned in the 2nd century A.D.
Why the Feast of Saint Joseph is Important?
Care for the needy
Your altar of food can feed the needy and poor. The spirit of celebrating this feast is to care for such people.
Saint Joseph is known to be chaste and had great control over his morals and actions. The best way to celebrate the day would be to honor him by abstaining from any immoral activity or sin.
It brings people together
Any religious festival or observance brings people closer. They gather at a mass to listen to a sermon, or they visit each other, which cultivates a culture of people caring for each other and celebrating togetherness in the name of Saint Joseph on this day.
Feast of Saint Joseph dates