This past weekend and Monday, March 19, Southern Catholics gathered to celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph, aka San Giuseppe, the patron saint of fathers, workers, families and the Sicilian people, among others.
EWTN New Orleans, famous for its celebration of Mardi Gras just before Ash Wednesday, has another Catholic tradition that falls during Lent. The “Saint Joseph altar,” originally a custom of Italian families and parishes, has become woven into the culture of the American south.
The “lucky bean,” the symbol of “abbondanza,” the abundance of sharing in the blessings of faith, hope and love.
The tradition came to New Orleans with the Sicilians in the 1800s and flourished among the prolific celebrations of Louisiana.
During a famine in Sicily, this humble fava bean was the life-saving crop.The New Orleans “Lucky Bean” has found its way into the purses and pockets of many and is kept as a treasured memento of the St. Joseph’s Feast Celebration.
A Saint Joseph Altar is presented at Anne Dale Jeweller store each year the Saturday before the Feast of Saint Joseph everyone is welcome.
May it fulfill for you its promise of bountiful blessings.
The St. Joseph’s Altar was a way of giving thanks for, and sharing of, the blessings of a bountiful harvest.