Today, March 19, is Saint Joseph’s Day! Many people will celebrate the Feast of Saint Joseph by attending church services and perhaps enjoying a famous Italian zeppole from one of the North End pastry shops.
St. Joseph is honored for saving Sicily from famine in the Middle Ages. According to legend, there was a severe drought at the time, and the people prayed for their patron saint to bring them rain. The rain did come, and the people of Sicily prepared a large banquet for St. Joseph. The fava bean was the crop that saved the population from starvation and is a traditional part of Saint Joseph’s Day altars and traditions.
Many still prepare a traditional St. Joseph’s Table to recreate this Sicilian feast with specialties such as sfinge, zeppole, breads and fava beans.