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Surprise and joy along the streets for the rediscovered procession of Saint Joseph. Numerous events are held during the Patronal Festival, with the presence of Bishop Baldo Reina, vicegerent of the Diocese of Rome. There is no shortage of questions about how to validly continue the tradition.

DAfter three years of restrictions we were able to have the feast of Saint Joseph back as tradition had transmitted it to us and as it was recorded in our memory. We thank God for this and entrust our patron Saint Joseph with joy and prayers.

The readers of The Holy Crusade in the file from last March they will have had the opportunity to view the busy program of the 2023 Patronal Festival, prepared by the Parish. However, we had only published part of the proposals, without giving adequate space to the celebrations in the Oratory  full of initiatives. Now, at the end of the Festival, we must note with satisfaction that the stasis imposed by the pandemic and which lasted three years has been overcome well. We celebrated the preparatory novena, with the preaching of the Guanellian Father Fabio Pallotta for the last three days. Above all, we had many people present in church on Sunday 19 March. All the Holy Masses, but especially those at 10.30 and 12.00, saw a large participation. 

The most moving moment was certainly the procession of the simulacrum of Saint Joseph along the streets of the neighborhood in the afternoon. A long line of faithful preceded and followed the statue. Many people stood on the sides of the road, waiting to see the image of the Saint, while many elderly people were looking out of the windows, surprised and moved to see that Saint Joseph was passing through the parish again. Sunday certainly favored the participation of the inhabitants of Rome.

At the end of the procession there was a solemn Concelebration, presided over by
mgr. Baldo Reina, vicegent of the Diocese of Rome and auxiliary bishop of the western sector of the city. Around the altar there were about ten young priests from various parts of the world, together with the Guanellian students of the Mons. Bacciarini Seminary, and the basilica was packed with faithful.

Bishop Reina led the assembly to reflect on the light of faith and love that illuminated the life of Saint Joseph and which we must invoke from his intercession (see box). 

Even the party in the oratory, which began on Friday evening with the bonfire of Saint Joseph, had moments of aggregation for the children and their families, culminating in the fireworks display on Sunday evening.

Therefore, after the closures and fears of recent years, we have found a bit of the old popular movement, present in recent decades around the feast of Saint Joseph, even if other events coinciding on the same day have made greater aggregation difficult. 

Of course, the task of rediscovering the root of popular religiosity remains to be done, which we have inherited from eras very different from ours and which inevitably suffers the challenges and even the wear and tear of our times, so far from the past. It then raises profound questions about how to rebuild a relationship between a devotion that is truly anchored in faith and the current times that require a new evangelization, which has not yet appeared, indeed not even been glimpsed.

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