Following a drought in Sicily centuries ago, believers asked St. Joseph’s intercession for rain, promising to honor him and to help the needy. Life-giving water drenched the soil, and the crops flourished. Thus arose the custom of St. Joseph’s Table.
Dressed in red, parishioners attended mass and prayed to the patron saint of families, safe homes, and charity to the poor. At each home, an image of the foster father of Jesus would be surrounded by flowers and candles, and an abundant array of vegetables, fruits and pastries. After a blessing by the priest, the door was opened to neighbors, who went from house to house. Given the Italian tradition of ensuring more than enough food for guests, there was always a large quantity of leftovers, and these and monetary offerings left by the guests were shared with the needy.
St. Jude parishioners are helping revive this custom by providing a St. Joseph Table in their parish hall following the 6:30 p.m. eucharist in the church Thursday, March 19. Worshipers are invited to wear red. A hand-carved statue of St. Joseph from Poland will adorn the table, and folks of Italian ancestry will provide a wonderful array of homemade pastries.
For more information, call 302-644-7300.