19 March 2010

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary

19 MARCH 2010. Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, the principal feast day dedicated to him on the yearly calendar, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary and earthly father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

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