Two days ago I wore green. I sang along to Flogging Molly. I reveled in the spirit of St. Patrick and a country to which I have no heritage. I love to celebrate. Anything really.
But today, today is the feast of St. Joseph. And today, I will grasp on to the tradition of my heritage and celebrate. I have even worn my red Italia t-shirt to work today. Must keep the spirit alive!
HISTORY LESSON!!! St. Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of Italy, and more specifically the land of my ancestors, Sicily. Legend has it that during the middle ages, Sicily underwent a severe drought and the people of Sicily prayed to St. Joseph to bring rain and prevent a famine. Well, as you can guess, it rained and the grateful people of Sicily offered up a massive feast in thanksgiving and honor of St. Joseph. The fava bean is what saved them from starvation and thus is usually prominent in dishes on St. Joseph’s Day tables. Hence, fava beans are generally deemed lucky.
Some traditions have people wearing red on this day (thus my shirt above) and eat a Sicilian pastry called zeppole. Later this evening, I will attempt to make my own zeppole. After which, I will report the outcome.
This day also brings back memories of New Orleans. New Orleans, like me, is huge on celebrations. And New Orleans, unlike my current city, celebrates in big fashion both St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s Day in a combined spectacular Irish-Italian Parade. So if you’re in New Orleans this weekend, you should check it out!
Sunday, March 22 – Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade (Metairie) – 12 Noon
I must say that despite the celebration of heritage here, the feast of St. Joseph is quite relevant to the current conditions in the world. We may not be dealing with drought and a looming famine, but the world is dealing with serious economic and for that matter ethical droughts. It seems that maybe a prayer to St. Joseph could be prudent at this juncture.