Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19- St. Joseph

See Saint-a-day for more information on today's feast day.

In many parishes of Italian or Sicilian extraction, today is also the day of the St. Joseph's altar, which honors the saint. Many of these are elaborately decorated and include food.

This link talks about the origins of the St. Joseph altar in Sicily and includes photos.

St. Ambrose on the Hill celebrated their St. Joseph's altar yesterday according to this St. Louis Review note.
St. Ambrose Parish on the Hill will have its 35th annual St. Joseph altar on Sunday, March 18, in the parish cafeteria, 5130 Wilson Ave. Blessed bread and Italian specialties will be available. After 7 a.m. Mass pastor Father Vincent Bommarito will bless the side altar in the cafeteria and St. Joseph bread. The cafeteria’s main altar will be blessed after 11 a.m. Mass. Italian specialties will be available from noon to 3 p.m. A Mass in Italian will be celebrated at 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. Then all items on the St. Joseph Altar will be sold. The custom dates back several centuries, when Sicilian farmers prayed to St. Joseph during a severe famine. Their prayers were answered, and in gratitude the families held an open house with food on a St. Joseph Table.

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