On March 19, we celebrate the patron saint of the universal Church, protector of the Holy Family: Saint Joseph. The solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, is an opportunity to contemplate and pray to this great saint, humble carpenter of Nazareth, chosen by God among all men, to welcome his Son and raise him. Discover the origin of this feast and the devotion to Saint Joseph.
Saint Joseph is celebrated on March 19 by Western Christians. This date can sometimes be shifted in some years, if this solemnity falls during Holy Week. It is then celebrated on the closest day before this week.
It was in the fifteenth century that this date first appeared in the breviary and the Roman missal. In 1621, Gregory XV generalized this feast by including it in the calendar of the whole Church.
For Eastern Christians, the husband of the Virgin Mary is celebrated on July 20.
Saint Joseph is also celebrated on May 1 as the patron saint of workers. The feast of Saint Joseph the craftsman - or Saint Joseph the worker - was instituted by Pope Pius XII in 1955.
Saint Joseph is recognized as the most important saint in the Church after the Virgin Mary.
"How can a clairvoyant mind think that the Holy Spirit joined, in such a close union with the soul of such a great Virgin, another soul without this one being similar to hers by the practice of her virtues? I therefore believe that Saint Joseph was the purest of men in virginity, the deepest in humility, the most ardent in love of God and charity, the highest in contemplation" (Saint Bernardine of Siena)
His worship especially gained importance from the 17th century, especially after the recognition of the apparitions in Cotignac. Louis XIV even consecrated France to Saint Joseph and then made his feast day a non-working day.
Since then, devotion to this chaste and just man has continued to develop.
Saint Joseph has many patronages, thus becoming the favored intercessor for many intentions. He is, among other things, the:
Cotignac, in Provence, France, is one of the four places of apparitions of Saint Joseph authenticated by the Church. He appeared there to a shepherd in June 1660. To the shepherd, overwhelmed by thirst, he indicated a source of water under a rock. The news spread and pilgrims came to the place of the apparition. Healings took place.
Many pilgrimages take place every year in Cotignac, especially the pilgrimage of fathers.
Saint Joseph is a powerful intercessor, close to our daily concerns, as Saint Teresa of Avila, who had chosen him as our patron saint, reminds us: "I choose the glorious Saint Joseph for my patron and look to him in all things. I do not remember ever asking God for anything through his intercession that I did not get. I have never known anyone who has invoked him without making notable progress in virtue. His credit with God is of wonderful effectiveness for all those who approach him with confidence."
“Hail, Joseph, whom divine grace has filled. The savior rested in your arms and grew before your eyes. You are blessed among all men, and Jesus, the divine child of your virgin wife, is blessed. Saint Joseph, given as a father to the Son of God, pray for us, in our concerns for family, health and work, until our last days, and deign to help us at the hour of our death. Amen.”
"Hail, guardian of the Redeemer, husband of the Virgin Mary. To you, God entrusted his Son; in you, Mary entrusted her trust; with you, Christ became man. O blessed Joseph, also show yourself a father for us, and lead us on the way of life. Get us grace, mercy and courage, and defend us from all evil. Amen.”
There are many beautiful prayers to Saint Joseph. Here are some ways to confide in him:
And many more prayers...
You will find support on Hozana to get to know Saint Joseph better, to pray to him, and to entrust your prayer intentions to him. On the occasion of Saint Joseph's Day, or at any other time of the year, join one of these communities: