Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph's Day and the St. Joseph's Day Table - a Repeat Blog from March 19, 2009

Because I've made some new friends since this was last posted, and also since some of the friends I did know before have a short memory, here's my post about a St. Joseph's Day Table from 2009. Unfortunately, we haven't had any St. Joseph's Day Tables around here recently. The comments still remain here from that post, but you're still welcome to add another.

Okay, here goes:

You'd have to live in a cave not to be aware of March 17, St. Patrick's Day, a day for wearing of the green, when even people who aren't Irish pretend to be.

In passing, I just happened to mention to a few people about St. Joseph's Day, an Italian feast day, celebrated on March 19, a day for wearing of the red. They'd never heard of it before. Also, they'd never heard of a St. Joseph's Day Table.

If you belong to the category of people who have never heard of or participated in a St. Joseph's Day Table, you've missed out on a wonderful event.

The St. Joseph's Day Table is said to have originated in the Middle Ages when a drought struck Sicily and families prayed to God and also to St. Joseph. To stay alive, many of them resorted to eating fava beans. When their prayers were answered and the rains came, the Italians named March 19 as a special feast day dedicated to St. Joseph. They set up a grand table of food to share and celebrate. Since it was Lent, the food was meatless, but plentiful. Flowers and other decorations added to the festivities.

From such roots the present St. Joseph's Day Table was born, traditionally celebrated sometime near March 19, consisting of a massive buffet of meatless dishes, usually with more than one variety of pasta, along with salads, breads, plus almost any kind of pastry you can think of, with lots of flowers and other decorations.

The St. Joseph's Day Table not only provides a grand feast, but also lucky fava beans, a talisman purported to prevent pantries from going bare.

I've posted a few photos of the St. Joseph's Day Table held one Sunday at our church hall.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has heard of St. Joseph's Day or a St. Joseph's Day Table. Also, have you been to one? Please share.

Morgan Mandel, who is part Italian!