St Joseph's Day

 Buona Festa d'San Giuseppe!

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You know about St. Patrick's Day, but do you know about St. Joseph's Day?

St Joseph is the patron saint of the Universal Church, of workers, and of families. This feast day is as important to Italians as St. Paddy's is to the Irish.
In Italy, and in neighborhoods with a population of Italian Americans, people celebrate the patron saint of Sicily. So in his honor, the custom is for all to wear red, in the same way that green is worn on St. Patrick's Day. There won't be any green beer, but there are special pastas (some covered with breadcrumbs that symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph's floor), fish, Sfinge di San Giuseppe or zeppole (St. Joseph's Cream Puffs), baked breads, and fava beans (which are considered "lucky" because during the drought, the fava thrived while other crops failed). Some cities hold parades.

Some Italian Catholics, parishes, and groups,will prepare a St. Joseph's table, or Tavole di San Giuseppe, and provide a feast spread that is open to all. Special groups such as orphans, the elderly and the homeless are invited to attend. This is a day to remember the poor, so there will be no meat, and instead of cheese, breadcrumbs are sprinkled over pasta.

The table -- which is always blessed by a priest -- will be in three tiers, symbolizing the Most Holy Trinity. The top tier will hold a statue of St. Joseph surrounded by flowers and greenery. The other tiers might hold, in addition to the food: flowers (especially lilies); candles; figurines and symbolic breads and pastries shaped like a monstrance, chalices, fishes, doves, baskets, St. Joseph's staff, lilies, the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, carpentry tools, etc.; 12 fishes symbolizing the 12 Apostles; wine symbolizing the miracle at Cana; pineapple symbolizing hospitality; lemons for "luck"; bread and wine (symbolizing the Last Supper); and pictures of the dead. There will also be a basket in which the faithful place prayer petitions.

The cry "Viva la tavola di San Giuse!" begins the feasting and is heard throughout the day. When the eating is done, the St. Joseph's altar is smashed, and then three children dressed as the Holy Family will knock on three doors, asking for shelter. They will be refused at the first two, and welcomed at the third, in memory of the Holy Family's seeking of hospitality just before Christ was born. This re-enactment is called "Tupa Tupa," meaning "Knock Knock."

The day ends with each participant taking home a bag that might be filled with bread, fruit, pastries, cookies, a medal of St. Joseph, a Holy Card and/or a blessed fava bean, considered a "lucky bean,"


St Joseph's Day Table Another Example
Table Breads Table Fish Dishes


The Holy Trinity: Italian bread, Italian wine, and some extra virgin olive oil.

St Joseph's Day In Sicily (some cheese and herbs would be  nice too!)
St. Joseph's Bread is a hearty loaf with a thick crust. The top is scored with a cross. Zeppole are traditional pastries made of sweet dough that is fried then split and filled with sweet ricotta cheese (similar to Cannoli filling),


 St Josephs Day Parade 2008 in New Orleans. Italian Americans rejoice! St Joseph's Day makes for a lot of hungry Italians. What better to feed them all than 400 lbs of pasta! 
Tavolata di San Giuseppe Realizzata nella parrocchia Santa Maria di Gesù a Corleone 19 marzo 2009  


A most fascinating and beautiful thing that happens today is the return of the cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, California. The mission -- one of the oldest buildings in California, and a part of a string of 21 missions that line California's coast -- was founded on 1 November 1776, the Feast of All Saints, by the Franciscan priest, Petrochelidon pyrrhonotaBl. Junipero Serra, in honor of St. John Capistrano. It was begun the year before, with members of a friendly Indian tribe helping to build, but when word came that the Mission of San Diego was attacked by an unfriendly Indian tribe, the bells were buried and everyone took shelter until building could continue.

When the mission was finally completed, a small town grew up around it, and this is where the legend of the swallows -- "las golondrinas" -- begins. It is said that one of the priests noticed a storekeeper in town angrily sweeping down the swallows’ nests and chasing away the "dirty birds." The priest, being a Franciscan, of course invited the poor little birds to the Mission where there was "room for all." The birds, sensing the spirit of St. Francis around the place, followed and have remained loyal to the Mission ever since. No matter the origins of the story, the fact is that each year on 23 October, the swallows fly south for 7,500 miles to Goya, Argentina. There they winter until the end of February when they make their way home, arriving back at the Mission of Capistrano on St. Joseph's Day, where they are greeted with the ringing of church bells and great festivities. 
A love song was written with this return of the swallows as its focal point; it was recorded by the Ink Spots, Glenn Miller, Pat Boone, and Elvis Presley

 Beautiful pictures of the swallows Mission San Juan Capistrano's traditional celebration of the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, CA on St Joseph's Day
San Juan Capistrano, California
Sister City, Capistrano Italy in parade


St Joseph Jokes

We always hear jokes about St. Patrick but I have one about St. Joseph told  by a wonderful priest , Msgr. Michael Farina – a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington for 56 years until his death on February 10th, 2010.

Sam died and was at the gates of Heaven. St. Peter was looking over his record when St. Joseph happened out – “Sam, how wonderful to see you, come right in.” St. Peter replied “Wait a minute, Joseph, this is my job, I’m the gatekeeper.” St. Joseph said ‘you must let him in he’s been a wonderful father, husband and devoted to the church all these years.” St. Peter kept insisting admission to Heaven was his job. Finally, Joseph quietly called out “Mary, get our Boy, we’re leaving.”

Today is St. Joseph's Day, the day anyone can honor the patron saint of Italians of Sicilian ancestry. When they asked George W. Bush what he was going to do to honor St. Joseph, he answered:
"Why would anybody honor a bottle of aspirin?"


(St. Joseph Aspirin—baby aspirin, orange, candy-like—named for the saint who was the child Jesus’ protector and guardian.

Longer version of first joke
You see, heaven is a large walled compound, with gates of pearl at the entrance, where St. Peter takes his post with his keys. When the newly departed arrive at those pearly gates, St. Peter looks them up in his book, and either lets them in, or sends them down the road.

So one day it is St. Pete's day off, and he is wandering about, and he sees some folks that he is pretty sure he sent down the road -- but there they are inside heaven. He doesn't think too much of it, though. He's not paying all that close attention to faces, and after all they do tend to all run together anyway. But he does spend the next days paying closer attention to exactly who is being let in and who is being sent down the road. And on his next day off, he sees 3 different people who were definitely sent along their way.

St. Pete decides to do some investigating. He marches out the pearly gates and down the road. Around the corner, down a little ways, around another corner, where he is brought up utterly dumbfounded by the sight. There is St. Joseph, and he is boosting people over the wall! St. Pete marches over to St. Joseph and starts haranguing him. He says that this is utterly against the rules, absolutely unacceptable, and that there will be consequences! St. Joseph doesn't say anything. Finally St. Pete finishes up his harangue by telling St. Joseph that he will not mention this little incident to anyone as long as St. Joseph makes sure that it never happens again.

Thinking that he has dealt with this outrage very well, St. Pete then spins on his heel, marches back up around the two corners and down the road and through the pearly gates. He resumes his job, but is still being careful to remember faces and who got let in and who got sent down the road. On his next day off, again, there are the Wrong People in heaven!

So again St. Pete marches out in high dudgeon; again he comes around the corner; again St. Joseph is boosting people over the wall. This time Pete is utterly apoplectic. He rages on and on about how unacceptable, wrong, not be tolerated, Pete is going to report this straight to God, terrible things will happen, maybe even Joe will get thrown out of heaven. Around this time Pete needs to pause for a second to take a breath. At which point St. Joseph, shrugging, says, “Hey, I go—I take the wife and kid with me.”
Jesuit Joke
Once, a Jesuit, a Dominican and a Franciscan were walking along a Boulevard lane. They were discoursing on various issues of theology. Suddenly, they saw the Holy Family appeared in front of them, with Jesus in a manger and Mary and Joseph praying over him.

The Dominican was the first to come forward. He knelt and adored the reflection of the Trinity and the Holy Family.

The Franciscan was not far behind. He came and was overcome with awe at the sight of God born in such poverty.

The Jesuit, who was seeing all this came in and reached to Joseph, put his arm around his shoulder, and said, "So, dude, thinking of sending the kid to school?"
One day, Jesus was making his daily rounds in heaven, just making sure that everyone was enjoying themselves, and he sees a dejected looking old man.

"Sir," says Jesus, "Please tell me what's troubling you?"

"Well," says the old man, "It's just that I thought I'd meet my long lost son here in paradise, but..."

Ever the kind and understanding sort, Jesus asks him to tell him about his son.

"Well, you see I was a carpenter on Earth, and my son was no ordinary child. No, he was very very special. No one had ever seen such a boy. And you must know, young man, how awful people can be down there. How they scorned my boy! Always he talked about such beautiful, magical things, but no one ever believed him;no one wanted to listen. Finally, my son was lost to me. I was sure he was dead, absolutely certain, I tell you. And then miraculously, I learned that he wasn't dead at all, but transformed. Transformed, I tell you! Never in the history of the world had such a thing occurred. But alas, before I could see him with my own eyes he disappeared again. And so here I am.

Jesus was struck by a sudden realization. "Joseph! Why, father, is it you?"
The two rushed to embrace.

"Oh yes! It is! It's me! Oh Pinnochio! 


Other St Joseph and related Italian Stuff
This Video Is more of a story than anything. It tells the story of a chapel built in 1898 in New Mexico and a miraculous miracle of the  staircase built. Absolutely amazing and shows us all the power of our faith.T he Miraculous Staircase, which legend says was constructed or inspired by St. Joseph the Carpenter, was built sometime between 1877 and 1881. It took at least six months to build.
 A tribute to Italian grandparents everywhere.  Italian Grandma in the kitchen, where else?
Notice Italian bagpipe at beginning!

Italian folk song Tarantella Pugliese - Pizzica di? Torchiarolo

Thinking of selling your house? Italian National Anthem
Sort of a unique perspective on Jesus' birth from the point of view of Joseph How God chooses simple ordinary people according to His purpose.