Parishioner Sylvia Boden and her daughter Angela Stevenson created a St. Joseph Table for St. Peter’s Parish celebration of the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th. Adding to the observance Father Zachary dedicated a new icon of St. Joseph that day and at both weekend masses.
Following Sylvia’s Sicilian heritage, beautifully arranged tables were filled with fruits, vegetables, cakes, breads and pastries. The St. Joseph Table is a custom that evolved in Sicily in the 15th century. A drought caused a famine there that resulted in widespread starvation. People prayed to St. Joseph for rain and promised him that if their prayers were answered, they would celebrate by feeding all who were hungry.
Rain did come and caused one crop – the fava bean to flourish. The people considered this to be a miracle and the practice of creating the St. Joseph table was begun.
It became a tradition in Sylvia’s family after the safe return of a family member from World War II. Sylvia’s daughter Angela recounts that upon her uncle’s safe return from the war, her Nana saved for several years to finally create a St. Joseph table for the hungry, inviting children from an orphanage to be the first to eat. Thank you, Sylvia and Angela, for bringing this beautiful tradition to St. Peter’s.