Welcome to Photo Friday! Each Friday, we share photo collections of our favourite shots from our sponsor sites around the world.
St. Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus and husband of the Virgin Mary, is a model of loving fidelity for Christians throughout the world. Catholics believe that his prayers for us in heaven are so powerful, he was made the universal patron saint 150 years ago. To mark this special anniversary, Pope Francis declared 2021 the year of Saint Joseph. Today, March 19, is St. Joseph’s feast day. In Latin America, they celebrate Father’s Day today, too!
Besides being our universal patron, St Joseph is the patron saint of many paths of life. He is the patron of all fathers for his role in Jesus’ life, and for workers, artisans and carpenters because of his dedication to his skilled craft. He watches over travelers in remembrance of his journey to Bethlehem with Mary, and he protects migrants and refugees just as he did with his family when they had to flee to Egypt. Today, we share our top 5 “St. Joseph’s Day themed” photos to celebrate this beloved saint and ask for his prayers for the children and families at our sites. St. Joseph, pray for us!
#5: Patron saint of migrants
St. Joseph is the patron saint of migrants, and protects them in honour of their struggles just as he too struggled when fleeing from Egypt with Mary and Jesus. These children from our Santiago site in Chile give likeness to Mary and Joseph during a Christmas celebration! At our sites in Chile, we work with high populations of migrant workers from neighbouring countries who have been attracted to Chile’s growing economy. Unfortunately, these families frequently do not succeed in finding work and struggle with poverty. Sponsorship allows children and families to find their footing in new communities.
#4: Patron saint of artisans
St. Joseph is the patron saint of artisans because of his skill and refinement as a carpenter and woodworker. This father and son from our Pochaiv site in Ukraine are spending some quality time building a birdhouse together. What a precious bonding moment between a boy and his dad!
#3: Patron saint of workers
St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers due to his dedication as a tradesman. May he bless trade workers at our sites! This man from our Nairobi site in Kenya makes a living as a welder, a profitable field with the right tools, skills, and training. Thanks to our projects and programs that support livelihood, young men and women at our sites are able to access the education and tools needed to hone their trades.
#2: Patron saint of travelers
For children at our Kawambwa site in Zambia, the trip to and from school was potentially long and dangerous. Many children lived out of range of public bus service, and the trek was too risky to walk alone. Thanks to our donors, the site was able to purchase a bus to pick up the most at-risk children for school! We’re sure that St. Joseph, the patron saint of travelers, watches out for them on their travels each day.
#1: Patron saint of fathers
St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers because of his blessed and essential role in the life of Jesus. May he bless all of the dedicated fathers at our sites and here in Canada! This proud father and his sons are from our Fatima site in Bolivia. His oldest son is overjoyed to have received the gift of sports shoes for gym class, and a new bookbag to hold his school supplies!