March 20

March 20

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Head of the Holy Family and virginal father of Jesus, St. Joseph is hailed as the Patron of the Universal Church, as well as of a good death, of families and of workers.

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Mass Readings

First Reading – 2 Sm 7:4-5a, 12-14a, 16

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said: “Go, tell my servant David, ‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm. It is he who shall build a house for My name. And I will make his royal throne firm forever. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to Me. Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before Me; your throne shall stand firm forever.'”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 and 29 (R. 37)

R. The son of David will live for ever.

The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim Your faithfulness,
For You have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in Heaven You have confirmed Your faithfulness. R.

“I have made a covenant with My chosen one,
I have sworn to David My servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.” R.

“He shall say of Me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain My kindness toward him,
and My covenant with him stands firm.” R.

Second Reading – Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22

Brothers and sisters: It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift, and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not to those who only adhere to the law but to those who follow the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into being what does not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be. That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Gospel – Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.  Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Or Lk 2:41-51a

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when He was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. Thinking that He was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for Him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding Him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him. After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for You with great anxiety.” And He said to them, “Why were you looking for Me? Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them.

Featured Saints

Blessed Francisco de Jesus Maria José Palau, priest (†1872). A religious of the Order of Discalced Carmelites. He suffered violent persecutions in the exercise of his sacerdotal ministry and, owing to false accusations, was exiled to the Isle of Ibiza. Providence richly favoured him mystical gifts, including visions of future happenings in the Church.

St. John Nepomucene, priest and martyr (†1393). A great preacher, he was called to the court o Prague by King Wenceslaus IV. For refusing to reveal the queen’s Confession to the king, the latter ordered him to be tortured and drowned in the Vitava River.

St. Martin of Braga, bishop (†circa 579). Bishop of Braga, Portugal, who converted the Spanish Seuvi of his diocese from the Arian heresy. He enriched the Church with his writings.

St. Joseph Bilczewski, bishop (†1923). He did much pastoral activity in the Diocese of Lviv, Ukraine, and with ardent charity dedicated himself to the development of customs and doctrinal formation of the clergy and the faithful.

St. Archippus, companion of St. Paul the Apostle, mentioned in the letters to Philemon and the Colossians.

St. Mary Josepha of the Heart of Jesus, virgin (†1912). Foundress of the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus in Bilbao, Spain.

Blessed Hippolytus Galantini, layman (†1619). Founder of the Brotherhood of Christian Doctrine, he dedicated himself to the catechetical formation of the poor and humble.

Blessed Jeanne Véron, virgin and martyr (†1794). Companion of Blessed Françoise Trehét in caring for the sick children of Dampierre, France. She was guillotined for sheltering priests who had refused to take the oath to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

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