The Feast Day of St. Joseph 2016
ProLifeCorner – Freeport Illinois- For many years various cultures have celebrated St. Joseph’s feast day, March 19, with a St. Joseph’s Altar. The custom began after a famine/drought in Sicily. After asking St. Joseph for his intercession, rain came and the people rejoiced. They celebrated with an altar of food and flowers in thanks for the prayers of St. Joseph, then the food was donated to the poor.
St. Joseph’s altar has continued in many parishes, especially those with a large Italian population. St. Joseph’s Church in Freeport, Il. has always been known as the “German parish” in town. However, our pastor, Fr. Timothy Barr, suggested we have a celebration of St. Joseph’s feast day to honor our patron saint. Cynthia Saar and Mary Julius traveled to Rockford to meet with Rosie Sheriden, who has a St. Joseph Altar in her home every other year. St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Rockford, Il has a St. Joseph altar every year.
Rosie loaned specialty breads and many of the components displayed in our St. Joseph altar in Freeport. She also took time out to teach Cynthia and Mary how to bake some of the specialty cookies that are necessary for a proper St. Joseph altar. This beautiful altar could not have happened in our community had it not been for her assistance, and the help from the parishioners from St. Joseph/St. Mary’s parishes.
We would like to draw your attention to the fact St. Joseph altars have three tiers symbolizing the Holy Trinity.
As part of the celebration of the feast day of St. Joseph our pastor Father Timothy Barr mentioned a few of the miracles attributed to the intercession of St. Joseph. One of the better-known miracles is the stairs of St. Joseph at the Chapel of Loreto in Santa Fe New Mexico.
Father also spoke of St. Andre Bessette (Brother Andre) of Montréal. He had a great devotion to St. Joseph and many miracles were attributed to his intercession to St. Joseph.
Some other apparitions of St. Joseph: Vision of St. Joseph by St. Gertrude the Great in the 13th Century.
Vision of St. Joseph by Blessed Catherine de St. Augustin, 17th Century
Apparition of St. Joseph at Knock, Ireland, 1879
A vision of St. Joseph by the children of Fatima in 1917.
Thank you to Mary’s Mantle for the loan of many beautiful statues and for all their help.
A special thanks to all the wonderful people who made this feast day of St. Joseph so special.
Below are some pictures of the altar. We plan to have another celebration next year.