Fathers Day can be difficult for people who are estranged from their father, who have grown up without a father, or whose father is aging or ill. People whose father is not present may be offered Fathers Day greetings or gifts from their children or those they have mentored.
St. Joseph’s Day can be a significant observance for some Italian American Roman Catholics, for whom family and religious ties are especially important.
This is not a government holiday. The June observance does not affect most work schedules, as it falls on a Sunday. St. Joseph’s Day, in March, may affect Roman Catholic employees in New York City and other communities with large Italian American populations; they may wish to attend mass and spend at least a part of the day with their families.
Those whose regular schedules involve working on Sunday may want to take the day off, especially if they must travel to see their father. Most people who work on Sunday will try and see their fathers before or after work.
In Thailand, the official observance of King Rhumibol’s Birthday on December 5 is sometimes referred to as “Fathers Day”- the King being considered the “father” of all Thai people. It is treated as a family day. All government offices, schools, banks and most businesses are closed.
When celebrated as St. Joseph’s Day, there may be some traffic around Catholic churches as people attend mass. In New York City, home to a large Italian American population, alternate-side-of-the-street parking regulations are suspended to accommodate celebrants.
Fathers Day: Background History
Fathers Day honors the role of fathers in everyday life. The observance serves as a national day of appreciation. The occasion is typically marked by family gatherings, special meals, gifts and expressions of love from children, mothers and other relatives. Some fathers celebrate by enjoying favorite pastimes, leisure activities or family outings. New or expectant fathers often receive special congratulations and good wishes on Fathers Day. Some Roman Catholic communities celebrate this day as St. Joseph’s Day, in honor the stepfather (or mortal father) of Jesus.
Saint Joseph was the husband of MARY, the mother of Jesus Christ. Given prominent attention in the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke, Joseph is portrayed as a carpenter in Nazareth, a righteous descendant of Bethlehem’s David, and a kind husband and father. Although little else is known of his life, Joseph’s faithful cooperation in the birth of Christ earned him sainthood. He is venerated by Orthodox and by Roman Catholics, who consider him the patron saint of workers.