Wednesday, March 19, 2014

At Our House: St. Joseph's Day Feasting

As I drove to the 65,000-square-foot wholesale bakery at the top of a hill, I could smell the bread baking, even behind my van's closed windows. Inside the retail store of Anthony and Sons, there were more smells - and sights - of bread baking. Some of my students work here and I have never visited. Today, being St. Joseph's Day, I decided to. I never tire of discovering the treasure troves of my faith; tonight my parish will celebrate with a special Mass so we might contemplate the man who raised the son of God.

My paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy, but this holiday is more celebrated in Sicily than their home province of Caserta. So the holiday is not known to me. Still, it's the middle of Lent and this  holy day feels like a nice respite from our somewhat Spartan Lenten menus.

The woman behind the counter didn't know what part of Sicily the tradition of St. Joseph's crowns came from, but that really didn't matter to our 14 year old son who, once he was home from baseball practice grabbed one and ran up to his room. He came back downstairs for a second crown, flavored with anise, telling me they are just the right consistency between hard and soft.

I'm enjoying my crown with a glass of Pinot Noir. Later, we will all split some sfinge, an Italian doughnut filled with custard. I have never tried one, but tonight I will.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me. 

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