EWTN Vatican
Exploring Saint Joseph's Relic in Rome

In the Basilica of Sant’Anastasia, Rome, an extraordinary relic lies quietly: the sacred tunic of Saint Joseph. This treasure, safeguarded for over 1600 years, offers an intimate glimpse into the life of the Holy Family and symbolizes the profound role of Saint Joseph as a caretaker and guardian.

The Diocese of Rome recently allowed EWTN exclusive access to film this relic, emphasizing Saint Joseph’s significance, especially during times when the essence of fatherhood is increasingly vital. On March 19th, the Feast of Saint Joseph, the world celebrates the model of fatherhood he represents - a beacon of strength, protection, and nurturing love.

Pilgrims from across the globe, sharing their experiences in Rome, echoed the indispensable role of a father figure in ensuring the well-being of families. Elena, from Cyprus, stressed the importance of children feeling safe and loved, a sentiment reinforced by Matteo and Belen from Spain, who highlighted the father’s role in providing identity, protection, and support.

Pope Francis, in his discourse on fatherhood, underscored that fatherhood is not a status conferred by birth alone but a commitment to responsibly care for one’s child. Saint Joseph exemplifies this commitment, having silently but powerfully contributed to the nurturing and protection of Jesus.

Bishop Robert Barron and Monsignor Pietro Bongiovanni further elucidated Saint Joseph’s virtues. Bishop Barron admired Joseph’s silent obedience and action-oriented life, suggesting he is a model for all, particularly fathers, to emulate. Monsignor Bongiovanni highlighted Joseph’s qualities of strength, responsibility, and humbleness as essential attributes for any father.

Saint Joseph's story is one of silent strength, unwavering faith, and boundless love. His life teaches that true fatherhood is not merely a biological relationship but an active, devoted presence in the lives of children. Through the sacred tunic and the teachings of the Church, Saint Joseph continues to inspire and guide fathers towards fulfilling their indispensable role in the family and society.


Author Name

Benjamin Crockett is a journalist for the EWTN Vatican Bureau. 

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