Archbishop Charles Scicluna has described St Joseph as a very good example of a defender of life, even in the womb, and has appealed for Christians to consider their mission in the world with the same sense of duty, justice and zeal shown by this saint.
The Archbishop was speaking during a St Joseph celebration which brought to Valletta devotees of this saint in a year which sees the celebration of the 150th anniversary since Pope Pius IX placed the Church under St Joseph’s patronage.
Two years before the Church celebrates the liturgical feast of St Joseph, all societies in Malta and Gozo which carry the saint’s name got together at the church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Valletta for the start of this year dedicated to the saint. A year which will recall the 150th anniversary since Pope Pius IX proclaimed St Joseph as patron of the universal Church.
The mass celebrated by the Archbishop was attended by confraternities of St Joseph, band clubs and other societies, including fireworks groups, who are links to this saint. The Archbishop, who referred to St Joseph as a defender of life, recalled that the saint had planned to have a family when he found out that his wife was expecting a child without his having been involved. The Archbishop added that the law gave him the right to denounce his wife, and Mary would then have been stoned to death together with the child she was carrying. Instead, Joseph put aside the honour and rights provided by law and decided to save both mother and son.
The Archbishop quoted St George Preca who had preached that true devotion means imitation and urged those present to imitate the saint by looking at their work and mission with the same sense of duty, justice and zeal of St Joseph. the Archbishop added that this saint teaches obedience towards the will of God, although God complicated his life with far from simple issues.
The main streets in the capital were transformed into a showcase of decorations with banderoles and valances from various towns, villages and communities which celebrate the saint’s feast. These decorations continued to add to the celebrations, and the mass was followed by a procession with the old statue of St Joseph venerated in the same church, and which is 325 years old. Apart from the confraternities, the procession was accompanied by various bands which joined up as one big band.