San Rocco Oratory

of the Archdiocese of Chicago

Cooks at work for St. Joseph's Table
For the DiGiovanni celebration, the cooks put in many hours of preparation.

Blessing of the cooks and kitchen
At the DiGiovanni St. Joseph's Day Table, the cooks receive a special blessing first, before the food. The ministry of cooking is important.

St Joseph's Day Table, laden with food
DiGiovanni Clan, St. Joseph's Day
Blessing of St. Joseph's Table
The Book of Blessings, from Rome, includes a special format for the blessing of the St. Joseph's Table. The blessing itself is sung: "Blest be God. Blest be God."

St. Joseph Day Table

Every year, the DiGiovanni clan, some  200 strong, come together for a family reunion; they all wear red, from the greatest to the least.  Part of this celebration is a St. Joseph's Day Table, which provides much home made food, for everyone. 

San Rocco, too, has had its own St. Joseph Day Table, sometimes on the same day as the St JosephDiGiovanni gathering.  The feast of St. Joseph falls on March  19; but the St. Joseph's Day Table usually takes place on the weekend, regardless of the exact date of the feast.

This celebration is said to be unknown in much of Sicily and in southern Italy.  There, St. Joseph's Day is an occasion for merchants from Tunisia and Libya to show up and sell their wares in the streets.  The St. Joseph's Day Table is said to be an Italian American custom, centered, to be sure, on having a good meal.  Why not?

Others say the custom goes back to the Middle Ages, when a severe drought afflicted much of Sicily.  Many died of famine. When the rains came, and thereafter a good harvest, people celebrated with a big meal.  For generations after that,  some individuals prayed for a special favor and in return promised to host a St. Joseph's Day Table in his honor, in thanksgiving.  No doubt those people who knew of the custom back in Sicily made it known in the U.S., especially in the Italian diaspora.

In any case, St. Joseph's Day occurs within the Octave of March 17.  That alone should give occasion for celebration.


Petrelli Family
(from left:) The Petrelli family, Jackie, Joe, Nate, Marge, Donna, and Joseph.

San Rocco St Joseph's Table
(from left:) Catherine Inucci, Marilyn & Frank Jobbe, Sharon & Gene Billo

San Rocco Oratory

Home About Us Choir Coptic Rite Devotions Email FAQ Links Liturgies Ministries NEWS Processions ReligiousEd