Wednesday, March 19, 2014

St. Joseph Altars

The tradition of the St. Joseph Altar or Table dates back several centuries to Sicily during a severe famine. The people prayed through St. Joseph for help, and soon the grains grew again, and the famine ended. In gratitude, the people set up altars to St. Joseph and filled them with food, mostly bread and other grain products. The altars usually feature all types of bread products, often shaped as crowns, staff or wreathes. 
Today the cultural tradition is celebrated on March 19, St. Joseph's feast day.   Some church parishes in South Louisiana set up an altar for personal petitions that were granted.  It is a lot of preparation beforehand by hundreds of volunteers.  More information about how New Orleans carries out the tradition can be found here.
Below are pictures of one St. Joseph altar, a miniature altar and a plate of Italian cookies.  

As my DH and I were walking out with our bag of cookies, fava beans and bread a lady said she saves a piece of bread to throw in her back yard when a hurricane is approaching to protect her property.  I never heard that before but it can't hurt so we are saving a piece of bread just in case.

more cookies including a fig cookie

1 comment:

Andree' said...

Another "tale" of protecting your home during hurricane season is when you burn your old palm branch from Palm Sunday and replace with a new one, that you take the ashes from the palm and place some of the ash in or on each window sill to protect your home and/or windows blowing in during hurricane season. This is from Mrs. Vicknair in Thibodaux, now deceased.