The seventh annual St. Joseph Altar at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Erath wrapped up today at Pope John Paul II Parish Hall.
The church hall is located at 700 South Broadway Street. Fr. Andre Metrejean, Pastor, blessed the altar yesterday, and a brief ceremony was held explaining the history and customs of the Saint Joseph Altar. The traditional meatless spaghetti and cookies were served to all visitors through Sunday evening.
“We give honor to St. Joseph on his feast day in which, not in a simple way, we have a lot of things to show, but what we do is we show our pride in St. Joseph himself, the silent partner, the guardian of guardians,” said Deacon Timothy Marcantel.
The St. Joseph Altar was a custom that originated in Sicily, Italy in the 12th century. A severe drought and famine hit the region. The people prayed to St. Joseph to end the famine. After the drought ended and the crops prospered, the people erected altars of food to their patron saint. In thanksgiving, they invited the poor into their homes to celebrate and share their food from the St. Joseph Altar.
The altar is adorned with homemade cakes, cookies, breads, fruits, eggs and vegetables that are donated in the spirit of generosity by many church parishioners. At the close of the celebration of the altar, all remaining food is given to the poor and needy in our community. There is no charge for the meal, but monetary donations are welcome to help to defray the miscellaneous expenses of the table.
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