Saint Joseph, The Protector and Father

San Giuseppe, or Saint Joseph, pictured in this altar from Sicily, is one of the most venerated saints south of Rome. The spouse of the Virgin Mary and the guardian-father of Jesus, he is regarded as the patron saint of fathers. In fact, in Italy, Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19, is also Father’s Day. Saint Joseph is regarded as the protector of all men who earn their livings through laborious work. He was a carpenter by trade. In the 10th century, a drought caused a severe famine. Devotees of Saint Joseph prayed to him to bring rain, and in return, they promised to hold a feast in his honor. Rain and recovery from hunger did come, and since then, the ritualistic feast of Saint Joseph has been practiced.

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