Saint Joseph’s Day
On this Saint Joseph’s Day, we need Saint Joseph more than ever.
Please read below:
Who Was Saint Joseph and Why Do We Celebrate March 19 As “Saint Joseph’s Day”?
According to Howard Edington in his book, “The Forgotten Man of Christmas”, “Joseph took God’s Son into his home in Nazareth, thus providing Jesus with a normal, loving family environment in which to grow.” “Joseph took God’s Son into his heart, thus discovering a purpose for his own life within the greater purpose of God.”
In the fifteenth century, Pope Sextus IV officially acknowledged March 19, on the Roman calendar, as the Feast of Saint Joseph. Pope Pius XI on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Joseph in 1937 said, “He belongs to the working class and bore the burden of poverty for himself and the Holy Family whose tender and vigilant he was. To him, was entrusted the divine child when Herod loosed his assassins against him. In life of faithful performance of everyday duties, he left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands. He won for himself the title, “The Just”, serving thus a living model of Christian Justice which reigns in social life.”
Italy, being the Catholic country it is, celebrates March 19 as Saint Joseph’s Day, the Father of Christ who represents all fathers, thus March 19 is Italy’s Father’s Day.
Sicily, one of the twenty regions of Italy, is the largest and most populous of the Mediterranean Islands, because of its geographic location it has always been used as a stepping stone to and from the European continent. It was considered the, “bread basket” of Europe even in Roman times. Agriculture and commerce flourished throughout the island and by the ninth century, the mountainous land produced such crops as grapes, olives, wheat and citrus. In the middle age, Sicily saw a time of drought. There had been no rain for a very long time to nourish the crops that sustained the life on the island. The dried out crops cracked beneath the feet of the peasant farmers (serfs) as they cracked through the barren fields. Only the dust and withered vines remained from what had once been known upon rows of brightly colored fruit and vegetables and wheat. And so, the people prayed to Saint Joseph for relief from the terrible famine that gripped the land. At last the skies opened, sending down life-giving rain water and the people rejoiced. For their gratitude, they prepared tables of assorted foods they were able to finally harvest. After praying to Saint Joseph, they distributed the food to the less fortunate, thus the tradition of the Saint Joseph Table was born. Of the Italians who arrived in the United States from the 1860’s on, forty percent came from Sicily. That means that 10,000,000 Italian Americans have some Sicilian blood. Whenever a Saint Joseph Altar Table is displayed at an elegant church or a humble table, it is an affection of deep devotion to St. Joseph, the patron of those who are in need; workers, the poor, the aged and the dying. The Saint Joseph Altar still serves as a reminder today that those who have enjoyed some measure of good fortune must share it with those less fortunate.
Today, it is customary to buy pastries known as “Sfingi” and “Zeppole” which has replaced Saint Joseph’s Bread for most of us. Not to mention it is a good excuse to eat pastries during Lent which in the Roman Catholic Church is a time of fasting for forty days.
Another legacy of the Saint Joseph Tradition is the giving of the “fava bean”. Folklore has it that during the starving time in Sicily the peasants subsisted on the only food they had, the fava bean, also known as the “broad bean”. The hearty legume is thus known as the “lucky bean” and is a favorite talisman today.
What follows is the prayer to Saint Joseph. This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505, it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire or shall be overpowered in battle. You must say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been known to fail, so be sure you really want what you ask.
Prayer to Saint Joseph:
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desire. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.
May Saint Joseph protect us all today and everyday.
Cav. Uff. Joseph V. Scelsa, Ed.D.
Founder and President
Italian American Museum
‘We The Italians’ Launches Go Fund Me Campaign to Raise Funds in Support of Most Important Hospital in Italy for Contagious Diseases
‘We The Italians’ Against Coronavirus
As some of you all know, I’ve started a daily videobroadcast from Italy on lockdown, to better explain what’s happening here in Italy. There are six videos already published on our YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/c/WetheItalians?sub_confirmation=1
We the Italians has also started a fundraising in favour of Spallanzani Hospital, the most important Italian hospital for contagious diseases. In the video on this page, the Director General of Spallanzani Hospital Marta Branca thanks We the Italians and the whole Italian American community, explains the situation in Italy and what the Spallanzani Hospital needs most. Marta and I absolutely grant that the funds raised will go directly to the hospital, which will use them for the most urgent needs related to the coronavirus crisis.
We ask to all those who have read and appreciated ‘We the Italians’ in these years, and I personally ask all my friends to donate: please help Italy. Spallanzani represents for us all the doctors, nurses, researchers who are working tirelessly to save as many lives as possible. Italian heroes who need us, who need you.
Let’s show that the Italian American community is responding to the request for help. No amount is too small, and none is too large. Please help the Italy that you love, that you want to visit again, where you have your heritage.
Donate, share the video and the link, post it on your sites and social media accounts. If you are an association, please tell your members to participate, raise funds and donate them. If you know a famous Italian American, please ask him or her to shoot a video to ask to donate. If you are in contact with a media, a radio, a tv, a website, please share with them this, I am available to explain what’s happening here and ask for a donation. Please, let’s work together, we will give you credit and thank you officially. Let’s be partners. Let’s unite Italy and the Italian American community. Two flags, One heart
Many thanks from Umberto Mucci and We the Italians. I’m open to ideas to raise as much help as we can, together.