Solemnity of St. Joseph the Worker

stjosephjesus 5 1Every year on March 19th, my mother’s side of the family, the Volga (Russian) Germans, recited their prayer/vow to God.

O God, whose attribute it is to be always merciful and to spare, protect us through the intercession of St. Joseph from crop failures. In order to make ourselves, at least to a certain extent, worthy of this grace, we solemnly vow to keep the feast of St. Joseph as a holy day of obligation for all time and to spend some hours of that day in public prayer.

In May, they celebrated Spring for three days. Elaborately dressed, they formed long processions and marched throughout the fields asking for God’s blessing to protect them from nature’s wrath. They prayed for “the powers that be to preserve the growing crop, destroy grasshoppers, worms and bugs and finally to mature the grain, allow a bountiful harvest and furnish a high-priced market.”

Happy Feast Day, Volga Germans!  And, as an aside, my middle name comes from the great saint.

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