St. Joseph Feast Day Celebration Ideas for your Home

St. Joseph’s feast day is coming up on March 19, and it’s actually a solemnity, which is a little higher ranking than a feast day. In other words- it’s a fun and important day! There are many Catholic traditions that surround this beautiful day, especially traditions origionating in Italy. You can find more March feast days to celebrate with Catholic kids here. We are going to take a look at the culture behind these celebrations, then find some St. Joseph feast day celebration ideas for your home!

 

St. Joseph Quick Facts

He’s a well known Saint in many denominations and obviously a huge role model for Christians all over the world. Let’s take a look at some quick facts about the life of St. Joseph. 

  • husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • foster father of Jesus
  • carpenter
  • born in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth
  • an angel told Joseph in his dream to take Mary into his home
  • in another dream, Joseph was warned to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt 
  • Joseph disappears from the New Testament before Jesus began his public ministry 
  • patron Saint of the Universal Church, unborn children, travelers, families, workers, happy death, fathers
  • Also the patron Saint of many countries including: Russia, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Belgium Korea, Austria, Vietnam, Bohemia, and also Sicily, Italy. 

St. Joseph (San Giuseppe) Feast Day Traditions From Italy

This feast day is actually huge all around the world! People in Sicily Italy, Spain, and Poland all make a big deal out of celebrating St. Joseph’s day. It’s also a day that is widely celebrated by Italian Americans, especially in New England and also New Orleans. Many of these traditions originate in Sicily, Italy. 

There was a great famine in Sicily caused by a drought in the Middle Ages, and the people prayed to St. Joseph for relief. These prayers brought on massive rain that spared their Spring crops, and it’s believed that this is why St. Joseph’s celebration is held in March each year. 

  • Have A St. Joseph’s Altar– more on this beautiful tradition below. 
  • Wear red– a color a Italy and of celebration for this day!
  • Celebrate with tons of traditional food– we are going to get more into some of these, but they’re all meatless since this feast falls during Lent. Some of the most traditional foods made and eaten on this day are fava beans, fancy breads in symbolic shapes, pasta, breads decorated with figs, wine, Italian pasteries, and fruits. 
  • Collect food for the less fortunate– there is generally a separate area where food is collected to the poor and donated to those who visit the altar or donated to food banks when the altar is taken down. 
  • Eat Zeppole– these are a famous traditional pasty eaten on St. Joseph’s feast day. They are traditionally fried but there are also baked varieties. They are generally filled with cream and topped with ricotta and a red cherry. You can find a recipe for this here.

Saint Joseph’s Feast Day Celebrations

I always love to see an authentic feast day celebration from that area of the world and show my kids some video clips of the cultural celebrations! I found several videos that I think your family will enjoy taking a peek at. 

Here’s a good, short overview of how this feast day is celebrated by Italian Americans.

 

Celebrating the feast of St. Joseph is a big part of New Orleans History, and I found several really good videos about how they celebrate!

This one talks about the St. Joseph’s altars in New Orleans.



 

This one talks about the St. Joseph parade as well as other traditions in New Orleans surrounding this feast day.

 

St. Joseph’s Altar At Home

If you’re thinking that you have no idea of how to go about making a St. Joseph’s Altar at your home, then you need to check out my post on St. Joseph Altar for Beginners, because that was soooo me last year! But I put everything you need to know in one easy-to-bite-off blog post. (And no, you don’t need a super fancy St. Joseph statue- I link to a printable version!)

 

If you’re looking for ideas of different foods and things to place on your St. Joseph Altar, check out last year’s post about St. Joseph Altar ideas, including one of my favorite (and very easy projects) where you carve symbolic fig newtons!

 
I also have an ideas for a St. Joseph’s altar cake if you’re in a baking mood.
 
 
I also found this really sweet video of a big family that has a St. Joseph’s altar as part of a family reunion here. Goals!
 

St. Joseph Printables For Kids

If you’re still feeling intimidated about putting together a St. Joseph altar, check out this cut and color version that I made. Super easy and fun for kids!

 
I have a free printable version to do a special St. Joseph’s novena with your kids! This is a really great way to get the kids truly involved in a novena. 
 
I also have a printable St. Joseph peg doll available in my Advent Saints pack. He has his iconic ruler and lilies, so he would be the perfect addition to your feast day festivities! You just follow my step by step directions to paint the simple head, adding the face with a sharpie marker. the rest decoupages on around the peg!
 

I also have a post with links to a bunch of different Saint Joseph printables. From paper dolls and prayer cards to coloring pages and lapbooks, there’s a lot out there!

 
 

If you’re not feeling up to anything complicated and your printer is out of ink, just serve some sloppy Joe’s and tell your kids about how awesome Saint Joseph is! 😉 God bless!

You can find more resources for living the liturgical year with kids in March here.

Comments

  1. I'll be checking out your blog post on making an easy St. Joseph's Altar. thanks for all your resources. and a big congratulations to your 2d place win on best Catholic Blog!!!!! remember Avis Rentacar ads? "We're number two — we try harder!"

  2. Jenny W. in Cincy says

    I cannot even begin to tell you how much you and your ideas have blessed our home!!! You have helped me make our Catholicism our way of life…not just something we do on Sunday! I look forward to getting your emails and ideas. Thank you and God bless you for all the work and effort you put in to educating our kids and keeping our faith alive!
    Jenny

  3. Another very interesting and informative post. Thank you!

  4. Kristen Strauss says

    Lacy, thank you so much for this! I am new at homeschooling and am trying to make the most of Lent with my younger kids. We have 10 total! Our oldest is married with almost 2 year old twins and 1 more on the way! Our youngest is 2 🙂 I know this seems a little strange to ask but Lacy isn’t a very common name and I knew a Lacy that use to live in Washington state that I think moved to Texas, and she used to be on a local Catholic radio with a very close friend of ours -Tom Curran. I know this is a shot in the dark, but you wouldnt happen to be that “LACY” would you? Either way you have made me a fan of your site. Thank you for all of this!!!! Blessings to your family!

    • We’re so glad to hear that you’re a fan of the site now, Kristen!

      This particular Lacy hasn’t lived in Washington State or Texas, so not the same person. But, it was worth an ask, right? 🙂

      Have a great week!

      Angie, Catholic Icing Project Manager

  5. Michael W says

    Great post. However, since March 19 is a Solemnity, your Lenten penance is suspended. It is a time for celebration.

  6. Thanks for the free resources! This is super random, but I really appreciate (despite your blog’s name) all the activities and printables that don’t involve food as we have dietary restrictions at our house.

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