It is the Lenten Season. it is the first full day of the War with Libya. It is the time of the Crisis in Japan seeming to stabilize. It is the time of the Third Round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It is the day before the Jewish Holiday of Purim. All these things have some real meaning to me. It is also the time of the Hindu holiday of Holi which does not mean much to me at all. I have nothing more to say against it than that but my life’s Hindu resonances are quite limited and largely literary. It is a few days after the companion holiday of St, Patrick’s Day. It is also the Feast of St. Joseph which is a very special time in Lent when Lenten disciplines are relaxed. That is true for Irish influenced communities and the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day but for all Catholics on St. Joseph. Nonetheless the Italians and Sicilians are the cultures who have some of the most beautiful customs associated with this feast.
My brother Joseph is celebrating his first anniversary today with his expectant bride Brooke. Their baby will soon be coming only a little after a year after their marriage. Joseph, my brother-in-law Kevin Joseph and one of my nephews are celebrating their saint’s feasts, fetes, or santos today.
Saint Joseph has been honored with three feasts in the Church but more or less they have been merged into two. The three feasts are those of Joseph the Worker, Joseph the Husband of Mary and Joseph the Patron of the Universal Church. Today he is remembered and the world’s affairs are seen in the light of this just and quiet man’s life.