Bigger than St. Patrick: In Italy St. Joseph is the man

CNS Blog

VATICAN CITY — Today’s feast of St. Joseph is a big day in the Vatican.

In addition to being Father’s Day in Italy, St. Joseph’s feast day is a paid holiday for Vatican workers. It is the name day of retired Pope Benedict XVI (who was born Joseph Ratzinger). And, the guardian of Jesus is one of Pope Francis’ favorite intercessors; he formally inaugurated his pontificate on St. Joseph’s feast day in 2013.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis (CNS/Paul Haring)

In his homily upon taking office two years ago, Pope Francis first wished Pope Benedict a happy feast day and pledged to him the prayers of the whole church.

Then, he went on to describe St. Joseph and look particularly at the lessons he, as the new pope, would draw from him. “In the Gospels,” Pope Francis said, “St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we…

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