Tag Archives: St. Joseph’s Day

St Joseph’s Pasta Making Photo Dump

Hour 6 and Still Going Strong:

“Viva San Giuseppe” From Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon

“Viva San Giuseppe”      

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I remember as a child in the 1930’s my neighbor in Gould Ct., Maria Parisi, we affection called “Zia Marrica”  would come to my home with her laundry basket. My Mom would take her little religious statutes from our China cabinet and wrap then carefully and fill her basket, also visiting other homes in the neighborhood, Zia Marrica would set up a very beautiful ornate alter in her home with candles, fresh flowers, a large statue of St. Joseph with many statutes of saints in honor of  St. Joseph. The feast day is celebrated on March 19th every year. Zia Marrica would hold open house for nine days, also inviting the children to recite the rosary and sing the traditional Italian hymns for the novena.  I loved listening to the stories she would tell us of the saints.

Our Pastor Father Kiley went to the superintendent of school and requested the children of Sicilian heritage, be allowed to be dismissed early from school on St. Joseph’s Day to participate in the festivities. I remember going to Zia Marrica’s home. I would sit very quietly as the reenactment  began. The players were orphans. A man representing St. Joseph, a women for Our Blessed Mother and a child for Jesus. The man would knock door three times, requesting food and shelter for his family, during his flight to Egypt. On the third request she would open the door and we would all shout “Viva San Giuseppe, Viva Maria, Gesu‘, Giuseppe” and greet the honored guest very affectionately. When they were seated Zia Marrica would first wash their feet, using a basin of water and towel. The table was filled with all  kinds of delicious food. Three dishes of each food. She spent most of the week cooking and neighbors also brought in food. I remember the honored guest were seated at the table.  All us children sat on the floor and we brought our own spoons. As the honored guest  tasted each dish, the food was passed down for us to enjoy. The first course was the traditional St. Joseph’s pasta.  Homemade pasta with a sauce made of chick peas, fava beans, cauliflower, and fennel. We all took a taste of the food passing the dishing around. In Sicily fava beans were believed to save the people in poor villages from famine, during a drought. They prayed for the intersession of St. Joseph to save them. Fava beans are always kept as a symbol of never being hungry again.

This year I have been  participating in the St. Joseph Novena at my friend, MaryAnn Orlando, home. We  recite the rosary first in English then St. Joseph’s rosary in Italian. We sing the traditional Italian hymns. Shouting “Viva San Giuseppe, and Viva Maria, Gesu‘, Giuseppe” after every hymn. We enjoy a social time and Italian desserts. I asked Mary Ann why she observed this saint’s day. She replied she has continued this custom down from her mother and grandmother.  She stated many people give thanks to St. Joseph for his intercession in answer to prayers and they relate many miracles through the intercession of St. Joseph. She stated her granddaughter was born with spinal bifida and look at that beautiful 13 year old serving people and bouncing with energy and happiness.

Also she stated her nephew was not expected to survive and awoke from a coma, as prayers were being said for him. Her altar is so beautiful. Our prayers are so sincere, I enjoy all the Italian hymns. I remember sitting with my mother and grandmother singing these hymns.  Many homes of Sicilian heritage in Gloucester host this feast every year.

Our parish priest visits each home blessing the altar, flour for making bread and pasta, oranges and lemons.  On the eve of St. Joseph’s day many people will visit for the blessing. A little bag with an orange for sweetness, a lemon for bitterness and a little loaf of bread for sustenance of life. On St. Joseph’s Day a bountiful buffet banquet with  traditional delicious Sicilian food  and wonderful pastry is offered. Each home has open house. All are welcome to attend. My friends, Grace Brancaleone and Katie Fontana also invite me to her homes every year to share in St. Joseph’s Day. I feel our Sicilian community is so blessed and fortunate to continue this wonderful custom.  This custom is celebrated all over this country and also in many parts of the world by people of Sicilian heritage. 

Viva San Giuseppe! 

Virginia0001           

Virginia (Frontiero) McKinnon                March 2013                        

Sista Felicia Does St. Joseph’s Day Pasta For The Gloucester Times Taste of The Times

From The Gloucester Daily Times-

When Felicia was growing up this special recipe was prepared by her Aunt “FeFe“, Vincie and Uncle Mike (Militello). Now she makes it herself and passes along the family’s recipe secrets. The main ingredients are cauliflower, fava beans, and the ferns on top of the anise bulbs. In fact, since the grocers and supermarkets typically throw away this part of the plant before even putting it on the shelf, Felicia goes around each year to remind them to avoid that for this special week of St. Joseph’s Day so that she and others can properly make the dish.

Her aunt and uncle FeFe and Vincie used to create an alter every St. Joseph’s Day and that became very big, so big that many people came each year to pay their respects and eat some of the special pasta dish. The pasta sauce was served over home made St. Joseph fettuccini pasta. What made this St. Joseph Pasta is that all the flower used to prepare the feast was blessed by a priest the day before St. Joseph day. It was done, in fact, at a very special mass in Aunt FeFe and Uncle Vincie’s home in front of her alter. You cannot get much more authentic than that.

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You can read my buddy Heather Atwood’s article about Felicia and St Joseph’s Traditions here-

Feast of St. Joseph fare celebrates workers

St. Joseph Day Preparations

Preparations are full underway at the Ciaramitaro-Mohan’s–just a preview of the wonderful San Giuseppe feast dishes we will be highlighting in our upcoming videos!

Felicia’s Macaroons

Oranges for the sweetness in life, lemons for the bitterness, and bread is the staff of life

San Giuseppe bread

Sista Felicia Does St. Joseph’s Day Pasta For The Gloucester Times Taste of The Times

From The Gloucester Daily Times-

When Felicia was growing up this special recipe was prepared by her Aunt “FeFe“, Vincie and Uncle Mike (Militello). Now she makes it herself and passes along the family’s recipe secrets. The main ingredients are cauliflower, fava beans, and the ferns on top of the anise bulbs. In fact, since the grocers and supermarkets typically throw away this part of the plant before even putting it on the shelf, Felicia goes around each year to remind them to avoid that for this special week of St. Joseph’s Day so that she and others can properly make the dish.

Her aunt and uncle FeFe and Vincie used to create an alter every St. Joseph’s Day and that became very big, so big that many people came each year to pay their respects and eat some of the special pasta dish. The pasta sauce was served over home made St. Joseph fettuccini pasta. What made this St. Joseph Pasta is that all the flower used to prepare the feast was blessed by a priest the day before St. Joseph day. It was done, in fact, at a very special mass in Aunt FeFe and Uncle Vincie’s home in front of her alter. You cannot get much more authentic than that.

image

You can read my buddy Heather Atwood’s article about Felicia and St Joseph’s Traditions here-

Feast of St. Joseph fare celebrates workers

St Joseph’s Novena 3/18/11

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Katie Fontana

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The Scola’s

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The Russo’s

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The Orlando’s

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Much more to come.  Pictures and videos.  I only stayed through 5 houses as I needed to get the girls home but our boy Manny is with Sista felicia and hopefully all the houses will get captured.

All I can say is that it was beautiful and emotional with waves of old school tradition washing over the rooms as the women sang and embraced each other.

The videos should be spectacular and photos will be plenty.