Celebrating St. Patrick and St. Joseph

On March 17, the Church honors St. Patrick, who in the fifth century came to Ireland as a missionary and converted all the country in a span of 33 years. He changed Ireland forever. Not only did St. Patrick convert Ireland, his influence was universal. With his work, religious orders and monasteries were established and spread. These orders preserved the faith during the period often referred to as the “Dark Ages.” And his work continues for many centuries. As the Irish emigrated, they took their faith with them all over the world.  In the eyes of the Church his sanctity isn’t about the marvelous accomplishments of his life, but the actual living his Catholic faith. He was saintly. In other words, he lived the Gospel and loved Christ above all things. And that is what makes his life exemplary.

March 19 marks the Solemnity of St. Joseph on the Universal Calendar of the Church. This is the other great saint of March, actually considered after Mary to be one of the greatest saints of the Church. St. Joseph is now included into the Eucharistic Prayer at every Mass. St. Joseph was the foster-father of Jesus and the husband of Mary. He had such a privileged position to be in such intimate company of the Son of God and Mother of God. But he also had such a great responsibility to care for his wife and foster-son. There is not one recorded word of St. Joseph. We know so little about him, and yet his silence, his obedience, his tender care speaks volumes of his sanctity … So many people think of St. Joseph as the Italian saint, but almost every nationality and religious order have great devotion to St. Joseph. The Church universally honors St. Joseph’s Day as a solemnity, which is counted among the most important days.

Condensed from www.CatholicCulture.org