Today is St Joseph’s Day, celebrated throughout New Orleans by placing altars around the city. This elaborate tradition was brought with them by Sicilian immigrants in the 1800’s, much as the Irish with St Patrick. Sumptuous and lavish, the altars overflow with food, candles, figurines and flowers and are a sign of gratitude of the relief that St Joseph gave during a famine in Sicily.
I am a fan of Joseph (as those who read the blog in Advent may remember) and I return to him often. He was obviously someone who thought greatly of others. A righteous man of integrity. He married Mary and raised Jesus as his own, knowing that there was something ‘different’ and that it would be difficult. During this time, I like to think that he passed on, not only his carpentry skills, but also this righteousness. Looking after people, helping them in times of need and doing this unconditionally.
I am sure he may have questioned all these decisions. He may have thought that these decisions could be wrong, or, were going to be tough. However he knew it was the right thing for him to do. We all have this in us. We all have the need to help others, but must offer this help if it the right thing for us.
So during this Lent season when lots of us are struggling with decisions let us think of how we can help. Jesus struggled with his own decision and how it would help others, and this proved to be the ultimate sacrifice.
Let’s all celebrate St Joseph today. Give thanks to him for the decisions he made, which ultimately help us through his son. Oh, and yes, as green is associated with St Patrick, St Joseph’s colour is red. So, today, we should wear this colour with pride and thanksgiving.