March 19th, the Feast Day of St. Joseph, is a very special day for the Little Sisters of the Poor. St. Joseph, husband of Mary, foster father of Jesus, is the example of trusting in the Lord. St. Jeanne Jugan followed that example, placing her trust in the Lord when she took the first Resident into her home. Today the Little Sisters still follow in St. Jeanne Jugan’s footsteps trusting in God’s Divine Providence for the needs of their Homes.
Baseball has its “triple headers,” horseracing, its “triple crown” but Holy Family Residence experienced its “triple blessings” on March 19th. According to legend, a famine in Sicily many years ago prompted the villagers to pray to St. Joseph for relief. Their prayers were answered, the famine ended and a special thanksgiving feast was held in commemoration of St. Joseph. Each March 19that our Home, the traditional St. Joseph’s table is laden with a variety of baked goods provided by Residents, staff and volunteers.This year the table was blessed before the special but simple mass which was celebrated by Fr. James Perkl, a friend of the Little Sisters. All were invited to come to the table during the day to select a treat from the bountiful display.
Meanwhile, in Rome, thousands of pilgrims and tourists from many faiths and nationalities gathered to witness the inauguration of our newly elected, Holy Father Pope Francis. In his remarks, the Pope praised St. Joseph as an angel of the Lord, not only as protector of our Blessed Mother and Jesus but of Christ’s Mystical Body, the church and all creation. He emphasized the beauty of work and the trust, respect, goodness, compassion and concern that we must have for one another. Everyone at Holy Family gathered in front of their TVs to view the replays of this extraordinary occasion and to listen to the humble remarks of our new Beloved Pope.
Later that evening, several were able to attend the solemn Chrism Mass held once a year at St. Paul’s beautiful Cathedral. Priests and parishioners from all over the diocese came to witness the blessings of the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick and the oil of chrism by Archbishop Nienstedt. The oils were then placed in vessels and later transported to all the churches in the diocese to be used for the very special occasions during the church year. March 19,2013 was truly a very busy day, a day of prayer and thanksgiving, a day of great spiritual renewal and a day of “triple blessings.”