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!


  1. Thanks for the post, Mrogan. It's nice to be reminded of all these special days. It's hard to keep track!

  2. Morgan, "Joseph" is a popular name in my family, so we always acknowledge the day, but the St. Joseph's Day Table is new to me, and I'm so glad you posted about it! Thanks :).

  3. Anonymous10:18 AM

    Any celebrated "Day" that involves an Italian Feast is OK by me! :)

  4. This is a new one for me and I lived in Italy for a while! The table looks beautiful!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  5. Anonymous5:34 PM

    Hi sassyMM

    left a message for you at your sassyINBOX regarding an interview.

    love your site:-)

    sassymamapaulak xoxo

  6. This is the first I've heard of it. Thanks for sharing about St. Joseph's Day Table, Morgan!

  7. I've never heard of St. Joseph's Day. I'm glad to know about it, though.


  8. I think I learned this a long, long time ago -oh heck, anything I learned I learned a long, long time ago cause ya know, I am old -but anyway, I think if I remember correctly, St. Patrick's Day and St. Joseph's Day are the only two days during Lent when people of the Roman Catholic faith can marry, aren't they? Seems to me -if memory serves me -that March 17th and March 19th are those dates.

  9. I had never even heard of it before today. Sounds awesome though.

    Not really surprised I didn't know about it, I can hardly remember when Easter is.


  10. I'd never heard about the table, either! Thanks for the education.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  11. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Sicilian families celebrate St. Joseph day every year. OUr church was a just about all Sicilian population in chicago when I was a kid. They had beautiful tables full of meatless pastas, sweets, breads in various shapes of crosses, and everything else good to eat. Also, some people would pray to St. Joseph thru the year to help them with a severe problem they may have in the family with a promise to host a St. Joseph table when their prayers are answered. We had several neighbors and family members pray for help and then host the St. Joseph table.
    I am trying to continue the tradition with my grandson who name is also Joseph so he will know what his family went thru in the past.

  12. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Nope. Never heard of the saint or the day. But I did see Boondock Saints, All Saints Day. Great movie. Lots of F-bombs and violence, but a great movie just the same. Sorry, that's all I have.

    Stephen Tremp

  13. Aw, dangit! I forgot St. Joseph's Day again! Here I go to put it on my calendar for next year. :)

    Stephen, St. Joseph is the husband of Mary, the mother of Christ. I think of him as patron saint of step-parents and foster parents (being a step-mom myself). lol!

    Marian Allen
    Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes


Your Comment Is Welcome