|The return of St Joseph Day celebrations – Mar 17|
By Vernon Khelawan
On Tuesday, March 19, the Catholic world celebrates the Feast of St Joseph. In years gone by, much was made of celebrations to honour the carpenter of Nazareth who was entrusted by God to be the protector of the Holy Family – and the earthly father of Jesus.
As a boy growing up in St Joseph, I was always struck by how keenly the people looked forward to celebrating St Joseph Day. It meant a break in the stringent Lenten observances – and they were tough in those days! The impact of the celebrations lasted long after the day had passed. The High Mass, the procession, the gaiety and the fun made the day special to the people.
I was thrilled when I heard that efforts were being made to restore the observance of St Joseph Day to its former glory. There are plans for a procession and an open air Mass today in First Capital Square in the centre of the old town. A slew of hand-painted banners and hanging lights will help create a festive feeling and resuscitate interest among the people of St Joseph in their patron saint.
The 2013 St Joseph Day plans are a vivid representation of our Catholic culture and identity, specifically our devotion to our patron saints.
The parish of St Joseph was the country’s first capital while under the rule of the passionately Catholic Spanish authorities. Its majestic church was built 198 years ago and still continues to command attention.
Congratulations go out to Fr Karol and his team for an effort long desired by the people of St Joseph. That this planned “resurrection” of the annual St Joseph Day celebrations has happened just around the time of the election of a new Pope must be regarded as significant – and it will certainly bring joy to the hearts of the people of St Joseph.