New Orleans Saint Joseph Celebration

New Orleans Saint Joseph Altar

A tradition dating back to the 1800’s when Sicilian immigrants that came to the area seeking a better way of life. Most were framers that found the New Orleans region somewhat similar Sicily’s climate for growing produce. They brought with them great food, music and their Catholic faith.


Legend has it that in the middle ages there was a drought in Sicily the only thing that would grow was the lowly fava bean (normal fed to the pigs and ox)people where desperate and consumed the bean to survive.  Sicilians prayed to Saint Joseph (Italy’s patron saint) for a miracle the rains came and the crops returned. Each year on the feast day of Saint Joseph, Sicilians build an Altar of thanksgiving and to honor to Saint Giuseppe filled with the bounty from their fields.



Each year Anne Dale puts on a New Orleans Saint Joseph Altar to celebrate the families Italian heritage, in 2006 moving the tradition from the family home into the jewelry store after hurricane Katrina.

We all have Mardi Gras, those of African decent have the Mardi Gras Indians, the Irish have Saint Patrick Day, Mexican’s Cinco de Mayo and the largest group in New Orleans Italian Sicilians have the Saint Joseph Altar but like the others mentioned everyone is welcome to join in this great New Orleans celebration.

learn more about the New Orleans Saint Joseph Altar at the EWTN website

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