This weekend, we have double celebration of Father’s Day. Of course, we celebrate our biological fathers in special way for all that they have done for us over the years. Additionally, as we continue through this jubilee year of St. Joseph, we also thank the Lord for such a holy and faithful patron of the Church.
Celebrating Father’s Day during this year of St. Joseph reminds me of something I very much appreciated from the Italian culture while I was studying there. Every year across the country, as a national holiday, the Italian people intentionally celebrate Father’s Day in March- on the Solemnity of St. Joseph.
Now, in Italy Father’s Day is celebrated in some ways that are akin to how we celebrate it here in the U.S.: preparing a nice meal for Dad, buying him a gift, doing something special for him on his day. But the idea behind celebrating Father’s Day on St. Joseph’s day is to remind us every year of the model that St. Joseph provides as the foster-father of Jesus and the earthly spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Joseph, in his great holiness and excelling in virtue, serves as a model for both biological and spiritual fathers to imitate, especially in his love for Jesus and Mary.
Much could be said here about all of St. Joseph’s manly virtues. But suffice it to say that every time we see St. Joseph in Scripture (which is very little!), we always see him strong in his faith, a chaste spouse, always willing to do what God asks him to do- even if that means he will not receive the credit or be able to see the fruits of his labors. In a few words, St. Joseph was bold, courageous, and confident in living out his faith, no matter what the rest of the world might have thought about him. Above all, he always protected Jesus and Mary from all harm and was always willing to make sacrifices for them. Isn’t this what all fathers, biological and spiritual, are called to do for the family that the Lord has entrusted to them? We have a great model to imitate in St. Joseph; may we always follow his example!
A very happy and blessed Father’s Day to all the fathers of our parish!
St. Joseph, pray for us!