We have just a handful of spots left for Sunday’s St. Joseph’s Day celebration in New York City. RSVP at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/celebrate-st-josephs-day-in-new-york-city-with-a-prix-fixe-lunch-tickets-32217554573?aff=erelpanelorg.
At this time of year, New Yorkers are seeing a lot of green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day. Yet in Sicily and southern Italy during these last days of winter, Sicilians and Italians are wearing a lot of red in honor of La Festa di San Giuseppe, or Saint Joseph’s Day, a Christian holiday that is celebrated annually on March 19. Saint Joseph was the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the guardian-father of Jesus Christ. A carpenter by trade, he is regarded as the protector of all men who earn their livings through laborious work. He is also the patron saint of fathers. (March 19 is also Father’s Day in Italy.)
Legend is that in Sicily and southern Italy during the 10th century, a drought caused a severe famine. The faithful prayed to Saint Joseph to bring rain, and in return, they promised to hold a feast in his honor. Rain and recovery from hunger did come, and since then, Saint Joseph has been one of the most venerated saints south of Rome.
A common ritual practiced on March 18 and 19 is men of observing communities process a statue of Saint Joseph through village streets accompanied by the local marching band and needy children who are dressed up as angels and the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.