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Saint Joseph's Day: The Ambiguity Between Popular Wisdom and Science |  Cities

Saint Joseph's Day: The Ambiguity Between Popular Wisdom and Science | Cities

Photo: Aurelio Alves
Antonio Pereira Ponte. Saint Joseph's Day A talk about the rain on Saint Joseph's Day. What are the scientific reasons for this rain and the reasons and farmers' expectations for rainfall? (Photo: Aurelio Alves/O Bofo)

The year was 1621, when Pope Gregory XV declared March 19 a holidayI was going from Sao Jose. For this reason, thousands of faithful gather in Ceará every year to celebrate a day honoring the saint who is also the patron saint of the state. In the northern and northeastern regions of Brazil, the saint's association with rain has become part of popular culture and religious traditions.

Ciara's history with São José begins because Aquiraz, the first capital of the state, which also has the saint as its protector after the image of São José do Ribamar arrived by boat in Ceará. Thanks to this event, the first village established in the state was named after the saint.

the people I went to the municipality Itaitenga, in the community of Parque Genizar, to talk to farmers and find out what to expect from the rain on Saint Joseph's Day. “It will rain until June,” says Ceu Raymundo Pereira de Lima, a 68-year-old farmer, “and this month the highest amount of rain should fall in the state.” “It's really the blessing of St. Joseph, the blessing of rain for growing crops, right. “

The community comes together every year to carry out the procession on the day dedicated to the patron saint of the Catholic Church. Seu Antonio Pereira Ponte, 83, says they are waiting for the rain to come after the procession. “We wait here and these plants almost die from the drought, then we go to the São José parade, and then it starts to rain.” An enthusiast, he says he started farming when he was seven years old, raising his family to farm and believe in São José's rain.

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Faith is present in the eyes and smile of the farmer from Ceará, when he plants and hopes to see rain. If it rains on St. Joseph's Day, it rains throughout the rest of the rainy season, says Sio Antonio. Remember, God is the one who governs the rain, but “he gives this authority to Saint Joseph.”

Raimundo Nonato Vieira da Silva, 66, says he worked for several years in quarries, and because he was no longer in good health, he decided to return to the farm. With tearful eyes, the farmer says that he planted several times in January and that the farm died. However, he once planted it on St. Joseph's Day, and “it produced purple corn. It was Medoni corn.”

The story of Saint Joseph with the rain

According to the professor of philosophy and member of the Brazilian Academy of Hagiography – Study of the Lives of the Saints – (ABRHAGI) Order of the Carmelite Friar Descalço Seculares, Moisés Rocha Farias, there is a scientific fact that explains the association of Saint Joseph with rain, especially for the inhabitants of the Northeast at the beginning of autumn on March 20 and 21. Thus, as the date approached, a tradition was created to venerate it as a provider of good rain, with the month seeing an increase in rainfall in the northeastern region.

The tradition of rain with São José is limited to Brazil, which began in the north and northeast, but with internal migration and the exodus of the population of the northeast, it was transferred to other regions. Through culture and beliefs, traditions continue to live on.

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Moises says that the connection between rain and the saint occurred naturally, as it turned out that the dates of Saint Joseph’s commemoration coincided with the beginning of the intensification of the rainy season in the state. “If rain is a sign of abundance, then why don’t we say happiness? Attributing it to the saint of that religion who wants to establish himself is a way to get closer to it.”

Moses explains that the importance of Saint Joseph is invaluable. “Glorious Saint Joseph, who deserves our first honor before all the saints, the degree of his importance in the plan of salvation places him ahead of all the saints since the Old Testament.”

What does the weather say in Sao José?

Meteorological institution Cearense (Funceme) reported that rain is historically common in March, the month with the highest historical average rainfall, at 206.5 mm.

In his explanation of rainfall, Funceme highlights that there is a dependence on the location of the ZCIT for rainfall to be heavy in Ceará. The closer to the north-northeast, the greater the chances of rain in the state.

The Foundation explains that for science, there is no relationship between the Saint’s Day and weather phenomena or the rainy season in the state. “Whether or not it rained on March 19 does not provide an indication of the quality of the rainy season in Ceará, which runs from February to May each year,” Funceme explains in a note.

Funceme's forecast for Tuesday the 19th indicates that the central and northern regions and the metropolitan area of ​​the capital will see greater rainy conditions. However, central and southern regions indicate isolated rainfall.

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