March, 2013 - Overview for the Month
The month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph. The entire month of March falls during the liturgical season known as Lent which is represented by the liturgical color purple — a symbol of penance, mortification and the sorrow of a contrite heart. The last day of the month is the beginning of the Easter season. The liturgical color is white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored).
The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of March 2013
General: That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.
Feasts for March
The feasts on the General Roman Calendar celebrated during the month of March are:
Focus of the Liturgy
The Gospel readings for March are taken from St. Luke and St. John. All are from Year C, Cycle 1.
Highlights of the Month
As we continue our journey "up to Jerusalem" during the month of March, three prominent ideas are proposed for our contemplation by the liturgy of Lent: the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, baptism, and penance.
The Solemnity of St. Joseph (March 19) is a special landmark this month in which we will celebrate the great honor bestowed
The saints that we will focus on this month and try to imitate are St. Casimir (March 4), Sts. Perpetua and Felicity (March 7), St. John of God (March 8), St. Frances of Rome (March 9), St. Cyril of Jerusalem (March 18) and St. Toribio de Mogrovejo (March 23).
The feasts of St. Katharine Drexel (March 3) and St. Patrick (March 17, are superseded by the Sunday liturgy. The feast of the Annunciation is transferred from March 25 to April 8 because it falls during Easter Week.
A Time of Penance and Promise
Here and there in the stark March landscape, a few plants and trees are beginning to give evidence of the new life that winter’s frost and chill had concealed from our eyes. The Church’s vibrant new life has been obscured, too, by the austerity of the penitential season of Lent. But that life is indisputable, and it will burgeon forth on Easter as Christ coming forth from his tomb!
During this month we will continue our journey to the cross with our acts of penitence. We will reflect on our mortality ("Remember man thou art dust") and the shortness of life ("and to dust thou shall return"). We will heed the call, "Now is the acceptable time, now is “the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).” Just like Our Lord's earthly life every moment of our lives is leading up to the last moment—when for eternity we will either go to God or suffer the fires of hell. The Solemnity of the Annunciation bravely appears in the second week of Lent; a pure white flower in the purple Lenten landscape. It seems to be, at first glance, a Christmas feast, but upon reflection we grasp that the feast is intimately linked to the Paschal mystery. For what Christ inaugurated at His incarnation in accepting to offer himself for the human race, he will complete in his sacrifice on the cross.
As the weeks of Lent progress let us not tire of doing our good works and penance, but continue with the enthusiasm of the catechumens on their way to Easter and Baptism. May our Lenten observance be a joyful journey — and not a forced march.
The Lord has put his faithful servant in charge of his household.
St. Patrick is called the "Apostle of Ireland." He established the Catholic Church throughout Ireland on lasting foundations. He traveled all over the country preaching, teaching, building churches, opening schools and monasteries, converting chiefs and bards, and everywhere supporting his preaching with miracles.
Recipe of the Month
St. Joseph's Cream Puffs
For St. Joseph's Day try this simple of version of a special dessert for the Solemnity of St. Joseph called St. Joseph's Sfinge.
Activity of the Month
St. Joseph's Table
The Solemnity of St. Joseph is celebrated in a variety of ways all over the world. The most well-known tradition is the St. Joseph's Table, started in Sicily. Here are some ideas on how to celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph in your own home.
The only record of St. Joseph is found in the Gospels where it states that he was a just man, of Davidic descent, who worked as a carpenter. His symbol is a carpenter's square and a lily of the Madonna.
St. Patrick, the Apostle of Ireland, spoke of himself both as a Roman and a Briton. The exact place of his birth is not known. At the age of fifteen, after a raid, he was carried off to Ireland. When released he traveled abroad, studied and received Holy Orders. He returned to Ireland as a bishop.
The Bishop of Jerusalem, a teacher and scholar, who triumphed in his struggle against Arian doctrines. The moneybag refers to a story that he sold the ornaments of the church to provide food for the poor.