Enjoy the Feast of Saint Joseph as Part of the Year of Saint Joseph
Today, March 19th, is the Feast of St. Joseph. In addition, the Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida, had proclaimed a “Year of St. Joseph” and Pope Francis has also requested the entire the Catholic Church celebrate a year of honoring St. Joseph as well. The “Year of St. Joseph” also coincides to commemorate the 150th anniversary of St. Joseph being solemnly declared Patron of the Catholic Church by Pope Pius IX.
The Feast of St. Joseph is a tradition began in Sicily and observed on March 19th of each year. The traditional feast of San Giuseppe began in the Middle Ages when Sicily was suffering from a severe drought and the desperate people begged St. Joseph for rain. When they received rainy weather in response, they held a huge “feste” in Saint Joseph’s honor. Even today, Sicilians go to Mass before their St. Joseph’s day dinner and then adorn their “Altar Tables, which are three tables at different levels to depict the Holy Trinity. They are typically decked out in flowers, breads, and all sorts of foods. This tradition also reflects those among us who are in need of food and shelter.
The St. John the Evangelist Knights of Columbus have continued this tradition here in Naples each year with a Mass and a Procession of St. Joseph to the Ballroom where a celebration is held. Funds from this celebration, provided by our generous Parishioners and Community, are used to support the many food Kitchens and Pantries locally and out in Immokalee. They include St. Matthew House, the Salvation Army, St. Josephs Pantry, Guadalupe Center, Catholic Charities, St. Vincent DePaul, Homeless Veterans, and more.
However, due to the Pandemic, the Knights of Columbus are unable to have the fundraisers we typically have to support these causes. Today, our Parish has been gracious to allow us to conduct a collection for donations which will allow us to continue this support. There is also an online option to donate to the Knights for our charities. We thank you in advance for your generosity and any support you are able to provide. Our members will be at the doors after Mass to solicit that support.
Please also stop in the Narthex and look at the traditional St. Joseph Tables our Council Members and Families have put on display. There is also additional information on the history and tradition of the St. Joseph Feast as well as more of the Charities we support.
Thanks and Vivat Jesus