Feb 172012

Saint Joseph with the Infant Jesus by Guido Reni

Western Christianity celebrates Saint Joseph’s Day, the Feast of St. Joseph, Solemnity of Saint Joseph, La Festa di San Giuseppe in Italy, and Jum San Ġużepp in Malta on March 19th. Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is the also the feast day for persons named Joseph or derivatives of Joseph as well a, for schools and parishes names after St. Joesph, and for carpenters.

An altar, in three tiers symbolizing the Holy Trinity, displays a statue of St. Joseph, candles, fava beans, breads and pastries, baskets, lilies and other flowers, carpentry tools, pineapple (symbolizing hospitality), lemons or limes (for luck), bread and wine symbolizing the Last Supper.

St. Joseph’s Day is a big feast day for Italians. According to legend, during the Middle Ages, St. Joseph saved the Sicilians from a famine cause by a serious drought by bringing rain. The fava bean crops saved the people from starving. Foods traditionally served are fava beans, foods with breadcrumbs (which represent sawdust), and zeppole (cream filled pastries with a cherry on top). Wearing red is also customary.

In Spain, this is Father’s Day, referring to St. Joesph. In Valencia, Falles is celebrated. The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration.

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 February 17, 2012  Posted by at 5:09 pm March Tagged with: