|March 19 is the date on which Christians venerate St. Joseph, husband of Mary, mother of Jesus.
It is a feast in which Joseph is celebrated as patron of the universal Church; he has another feast on May 1 on which Joseph, the carpenter, is celebrated as a worker. In countries like Portugal and Spain, Fatherís Day is also celebrated on March 19. It is a day in which children prepare gifts to give to their fathers and recognize the value of their presence in their lives. The day is celebrated close to Easter, and some years it occurs during Lent. When it does, it is much more sober feast when fasting and prayer are still observed as ordinances for the Lent Season. If it happens that it falls on the same days as Holy Week, it is moved to the next available date, since Easter takes precedence in the celebrations. In Italy this is an important day, especially in Sicily, where St. Joseph is the patron of the city. It is said that at one point, the city went through a serious drought and food was lacking. The people of Sicily prayed to St. Joseph and promised to build a big altar of food every year for him if it rained, and soon it did.
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