19 March 2010
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Today's date has been dedicated to Saint Joseph on Western Church calendars since the tenth century. Rome accepted this date as the feast day of Saint Joseph in 1479, and in 1621 the celebration was inserted on the General Roman Calendar. As the solemnity always falls during Lent, canon 1251 provides that anytime a solemnity falls on a Friday during Lent, the obligation to abstain from meat and do penance is lifted.
In 1870 Blessed Pope Pius IX declared Saint Joseph to be the patron of the universal Church.