It is the year of Saint Joseph! December 8, 2020, to December 8, 2021.
Solemnity of St. Joseph is March 19th. You can take a break from your Lenten Fasts and enjoy a Feast Day! I wanted to put up a few ideas on how to celebrate St. Joseph through the month of March because he is such an important and dedicated saint. St. Joseph wasn’t one to draw attention to himself he was a humble and silent servant of God. Like many fathers I rather think he prefers to go about doing the work that needs to be done without concern for recognition. It is no wonder that St. Joseph is the patron saint of many aspects of life. He is the patron saint of the Universal Church, fathers, unborn children, travelers, immigrants, families, day laborers, workmen, and a happy death.
Katherine Bogner of Look to Him and be Radiant has some coloring pages: Pure heart of St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Novena where you can color the lilies to mark off the days of prayers. Here’s a talk about three things we can learn from the life of St. Joseph: St. Joseph’s Side of the Story
There is an interesting article about St. Joseph and his quiet nature. Silence is Golden is the perfect connection to prayer during Lent. This talk by John Kinuthia Looking Closer at Joseph This Advent is a very good mini-retreat. Even with it being an Advent 2019 presentation his words are beautiful for Lent too. John Kinuthia discusses St. Jospeh’s ability to quiet his mind and heart to listen to God’s voice. St. Jospeh’s ability to find daily silence made room for God. A beautiful example and message for us to follow every day and especially during Lent.
There is a beautiful Sicilian-Italian tradition to honor St. Joseph with a “St. Joseph’s Table” . Through his intercession the people were saved from starvation due to a prolonged drought. So they honor him with a bountiful feast. Sicilian-Italian immigrants brought this tradition to America where we can see these amazing St. Joseph’s Tables on display. You can make your own at home or look to see if you can visit a St. Joseph’s Table in your community. Many Italian community groups (community centers), Italian businesses, local churches, colleges or museums often sponsor an event honoring St. Joseph’s Day. The DiCamillo Bakery in Western New York has a webpage showing all of the interesting specialized St. Joseph’s Day breads they prepare. Little Italy in Baltimore has events too.
What’s a feast without the food? Here are some ways to enjoy foods associated with St. Joseph’s Day.
- A wood cake with saw
- St. Joseph’s Day cookies
- St. Joseph’s Day soup
- St. Joseph’s cream puffs
- St. Joseph’s Day pasta
The biblical passage, “The just man shall blossom like the lily” is applied to St. Joseph and ancient legend tells that he was chosen from among other men by the blossoming of his staff like a lily. The lily symbolizes integrity and a white lily symbolizes purity. St. Joseph is frequently shown holding three lilies to represent the Holy Trinity. With these connections the lily has become a plant to be associated with St. Joseph. Here are some ways to bring a lily in to your home.
- Bring home an Easter lily for St. Joseph’s day
- Print a paper lily
- Make a St. Jospeh’s Lily from a paper plate
- Make a St. Jospeh’s Lily from paper handprints
- Lily paper art
- Craft an elegant paper lily
While the month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph we also honor another side of St. Joseph, St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. In his encyclical Laborem Exercens, Pope John Paul II stated: “the Church considers it her task always to call attention to the dignity and rights of those who work, to condemn situations in which that dignity and those rights are violated, and to help to guide [social] changes so as to ensure authentic progress by man and society.” With this in mind we can choose activities to celebrate St. Joseph’s profession.
Working and Crafting was a part of St. Joseph’s life. We know he was a carpenter and was skilled in making things. He passed on his skills to Jesus as they worked together providing for the Holy Family. While many associate woodworking with St. Joseph choosing any craft to do on St. Joseph’s day would be a way to honor his tradition of using your hands to make something. Setting aside time during the day in March to work on your craft or learn a new one is a great family activity. It can be as simple as building something. Get out buildings toys: Lincoln Logs, Legos, Tinker Toys, blocks, modeling clay/dough, magnet tiles…the list can go on. Making your own natural wood blocks from a fallen tree would be a great St. Joseph’s day project. Here is a nice St. Joseph the Worker coloring page to display.