Today is the feast day of St. Joseph, husband of Mary the mother of Jesus. Today is the day we honor fathers and faithfulness to God's plans which we may not always understand. Today is the day we pray for the protection of children and weaker members of our communities.
Will this be the day that swallows return from Capistrano? Will fish return to the rivers where they were born? Some traditions say yes.
Some people will build special altars. Some people will wear red today. Interesting traditions abound around food for this day. Because we're in the middle of the penitent season of Lent, some festivals allow no meat, but others do. Many St. Joseph's Day foods are made with bread crumbs, to represent Joseph's trade as carpenter.
Here is a prayer for today, from Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime:
"O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give me grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."
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