Italiansrus.com Your guide to Italy & Italian Culture
on the Web. Enjoy as you learn more
about the traditions, heritage and way
of life that make Italians who they are.
 Where in the World are
     Antonio and Dante?

Click here to find out

Home Advertise Articles Email Forum News Store

Resources
Art, Cuisine, Famous Italians, Festivals, Folklore, Genealogy, Holidays, Hotels, Photos, Real Estate, Sports, Travel and More

Guides
  • City/Island Guides
  • Regional Guides
    Surname Collection
    Add your name to the collection.
    Recipes
    Authentic Italian recipes for you to enjoy.
    Photo Galleries
    Enjoy photos of Italy, wine making & more.
    Proverbi
    Proverbs in Italian & English.
    Our Paesani
    Weekly column dedicated to today's Italy.
    by Francesca Di Meglio

    Italian Memories
    Articles on growing up Italian.
    by Cookie Curci

    Una Mamma Italiana
    Articles for Italian mammas.
    by Tiffany Longo

    Learn Italian
    English-Italian guides
    Spanish-Italian guides.

    Molto Italiano
    Sign up for our FREE newsletter.
    Trivia
    Test your knowledge of Italy.
  • Viva St. Joseph

    by Judy Perin

    Related Articles

    Feast of St. Joseph

    St. Joseph Symbols

    St. Joseph's Altar

    Two days after we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Italians and Italian-Americans celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph on the 19th of March.

    St. Joseph is the 'Adoptive' Father of Jesus and the Husband of the Virgin Mary. He is the Patron Saint of Carpenters, house buyers and sellers, fathers, confectioners, wheelwrights, working people and numerous countries and cities including Austria, Canada, Mexico, Sicily and Turin and Florence Italy.

    The Feast of St. Joseph began in Sicily when during the middle ages the country was hit with drought and famine. The people of Sicily asked their Patron Saint, Joseph, to intervene. If he intervened and ended the drought the people of Sicily would have a feast honoring him. When the rain came and the crops grew the people of Italy saw that their prayers had been answered they began to prepare their feast in St. Joseph's honor.

    The people of Sicily created an altar with three levels representing the Holy Trinity. The altar was draped in white and decorated with flowers. The tables were full of the food that had been harvested as a result of the rains along with seafood and wine. Once they were done preparing the altar, the people of Sicily invited the poor to share in the prayers and the food of the festival.

    On March 19th each year, St. Joseph's Day Altars are erected to continue the homage and devotion for St. Joseph's intervention during the drought. As in the first feast, the Altar is set up in three tiers honoring the Holy Trinity, a statue of St. Joseph is placed on the top tier, surrounded by flowers and candles. Below his statue are a blanket of foods from pasta to olive oil to fava beans to Saint Joseph's Day baked goods. Symbolic St. Joseph's Dough Pastries filled with a fig mixture shaped as Monstrances, Hearts, Baskets, Fish and St. Joseph's staff, are also placed on the altar. No meats are placed on the altar as a result of St. Joseph's Day occurring during the Lenten season.

    St. Joseph's Day Breads or Pane di San Giuseppe or Cuccadati, are baked to be placed on the altar. The St. Joseph's Day breads are made into various shapes, such as Wreaths representing the Crown of Thorns, and St. Joseph's Staff representing his walking stick. Along with Saint Joseph's Day Breads there are also breads shaped like Doves and breads wrapped around died eggs called Dough Babies. Pastries such as Zeppole di San Giuseppe or Saint Joseph's Day Cream Puffs are made, along with Italian Doughnuts called Zeppole and fried dough balls called Strufoli. Cookies such as Biscotti and Italian Love Knots and cakes such as Sfinge de San Giuseppe, Lamb Cakes and Bible Shaped Cakes also appear on the altar.

    Once the Festival is about to begin a local Catholic priest comes to bless the altar and all of it's food. The Virgineddi or children portraying the Holy Family, are the first to taste all of the food on the altar. As each item is tasted by the Virgineddi, a drumroll is sounded and Viva San Giuseppe is shouted to cast away all of the evil spirits. As the festival ends the Virgineddi cut a blessed loaf of bread into pieces and give them to all who are in attendance. Legend has it that if you eat a piece of the bread you will have good fortune.

    St. Joseph's Day is a day of feasting, happiness and the getting together of friends and family. I hoped you enjoyed my article on St. Joseph's Day. As they say at the St. Joseph's Day Feasts, May St. Joseph Always Smile Upon Us.

    Featured Item


    LMIAO
    Shirts & Novelties


    Partner Links

    Shops/Stores

    Italiansrus Gear
    Proudly display the colors of Italy with these great products.

    RomeGiftShop
    Purchase souvenirs & gifts from Rome & Italy. Get FREE postcards from Rome.

    Italian Charms
    Huge selection of Italian charms and jewelry.

    FORZIERI.com
    The world largest online retailer for Premium Italian Fashions.


    Cuisine/Food

    CyberCucina.com
    Fine gourmet foods and more.

    Gustobene.com
    Use code Italiansruspromo to receive a 10% discount off your entire purchase.


    Travel

    Tour Italy
    Customize your trip to Italy.

    Venere.com
    Find and book hotels, B&B's and apartments.


    | Home | Email | Forum | Newsletter |

    Copyright © 1998-2013 Anthony Parente. All rights reserved.