Bigger than St. Patrick: In Italy, St. Joseph is the man

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Pope Francis demonstrates the posture of his statue of St. Joseph. (CNS/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY — Today’s feast of St. Joseph is a big day in the Vatican.

In addition to being Father’s Day in Italy, St. Joseph’s feast day is a paid holiday for Vatican workers. It is the name day of retired Pope Benedict XVI (who was born Joseph Ratzinger). And, the guardian of Jesus is one of Pope Francis’ favorite intercessors; he formally inaugurated his pontificate on St. Joseph’s feast day in 2013.

In his homily upon taking office two years ago, Pope Francis first wished Pope Benedict a happy feast day and pledged to him the prayers of the whole church.

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