Feast of Saint Joseph: an example of perseverance and responsibility

Wednesday, 19 March. Adhering to tradition, the entire Church celebrated the Feast of Saint Joseph. In Nazareth, the Latin parish gathered in the front court of the Basilica of the Annunciation to the sound of the scouts’ pipe and drum corps. There, Fra Bruno, guardian of the sanctuary, flanked by the parish priests Fra Amjad and Fra Ossama, welcomed Fra Pizzaballa. This solemnity is marked by the evening entrance of the Father Custos into the basilica. He was escorted in procession as far as the grotto and then vested to celebrate mass in the upper basilica.

The children of the parish who are preparing for Confirmation, dressed in white and holding flowers, took part in this sumptuous liturgy that was enriched by the parish choir under the direction of the Haig Vosgueritchian. Fra Amjad preached the homily, in which he recalled the example of perseverance, work and that Saint Joseph presents to Christians: Saint Joseph, who asked for nothing and was willing to give everything. He beckons us to action. He invites to have the courage not to be afraid of what we cannot understand or that seems inconceivable or inexplicable to us. A model for every father, he is also a model for every friar and priest because he watched over Mary and Jesus.

Clouds of incense and uplifted voices accompanied the procession in which Father Custos carried the icon of Saint Joseph to the church dedicated to him. Veneration of Saint Joseph developed around his house, atop which several churches had been built, up to and including the Franciscans’ church in 1914. The Franciscans were also one of the first communities to celebrate the “carpenter of Nazareth”, at the end of the 14th century. The earthly father of the Savior, foster father of the Redeemer, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin – Franciscan spirituality accords a special place to this patron of the Church.

The Feast of Saint Joseph opens the liturgical season when the Sanctuary of Nazareth is particularly honored, ending on this coming Tuesday with the Feast of the Annunciation celebrated with mass in the presence of Patriarch Fouad.

Click the link to see the Feast of Saint Joseph in images.


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