Italian

The Year of Saint Joseph


According to legend, the St Joseph Altar originated in Sicily many centuries ago, ruing a period of draugh and famine. In desperation, the people turned to St Joseph, asking for his help and intercession.
Rains came and the crops prospered. In thanksgiving, the community made offerings to St Joseph of their most prized possession - food!
They selected their finest grain, fruits, vegetables, seafood and wine and invited all to share in their prayer and festivity.

Reasons for having altars vary: to fulfill a promise, to give thanks for a favor (such as a safe return of a loved one from war, healing of the sick, and more). It is an opportunity for the prosperous to share with those less fortunate. 
Every item placed on the altar has a meaning. The altar has 3 levels, or steps, representing the Holy Trinity. On the top step, in a special place of honor is a statue of St Joseph and white lillies, a symbol of his purity.