Saints Patrick, Joseph inspire courage in trying times


March tends to be a drab month for most Northeasterners. But if you’re a Rhode Islander, you know there is a silver lining to the calendar’s sludge to spring: St. Patrick and St. Joseph Days. Those of Irish and Italian descent, and virtually every local citizen, enjoy corned beef and cabbage and famous zeppoli as joyous testaments to these timeless cultural classics. These celebrations are much more than ethnic parties, however.

On these two liturgical celebrations, the Church commemorates two great saints for their outstanding witness to heroic virtue. Our world could use more individuals like St. Patrick and St. Joseph. They have much in common. They both experienced danger. Saint Patrick was taken captive as a slave, while Saint Joseph had to protect the Holy Family from the impending threat of Herod. Both did not cower to their oppressors, but responded with fortitude. Both were protectors and defenders of the truth.

In every situation, they acted not out of self-exaltation, but for the glory of God. As Rhode Island prepares to honor these saints, the people of this state would do well to also imitate their courage, faith and strength in the midst of adversity and trial. It’s easy to complain or lose hope when times are tough; but these saints remind us to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord. He will take care of everything. Saint Joseph and Saint Patrick will always be the right saints for our time as they continue to intercede for us on our pilgrimage toward Heaven.