St. Joseph Altars, French Quarter

The altars, representing the Holy Trinity, are divided into three sections with a statue of St. Joseph at the head.  Candles, figurines, flowers, medals and other items are placed around the altar creating a beautiful and abundant effect. Offerings of food are added that are shared usually when the altar is broken down.

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The St. Joseph Altar Society does this block event.  The annual event attendance has grown each year with over 650 people attending in 2016.

 

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Beauregard-Keyes House altar 2018

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Great book on the altars by one of our best photographers.

 

The list of 2018 altars is found here.

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St. Joseph’s Day Parade, March 18 6 p.m.

 

This parade involves a whole lot of Italian-American guys dressed in Tuxedos. If that is not enough, there will also be 16 floats, nine marching bands, beautiful maids. Vanessa Ferlito is the 2017 Grand Marshal and John M. Viola, Joseph Zolfo, Bryan Del Bondio, and David Greco will be the 2017 Parade Marshals and Armando Anthoy Asaro, Jr. is the 2017 IASJS caesar. The queen this year is Aubrie Ann St. Germain.Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 10.38.18 AM.png

 

 

French Market St. Joseph’s Day Altar activities

On Saturday (March 19), visitors to the French Market on North Peters Street in the French Quarter can stop by a St. Joseph’s Altar and learn more about the feast day and tradition. Along with viewing the altar, visitors can learn about New Orleans Sicilian heritage, listen to music and watch performances.

Here is a lineup of the day’s events:

    • 10:30 a.m. – Rosanna Giacona, a Beauregard-Keyes Historic House tour guide, will talk about her Sicilian heritage, and the Sicilian heritage of New Orleans.
    • 11-12:15 p.m. – Oompah D’Italia will feature Julie Council playing traditional Italian music.
    • 12:30 p.m. – During, “St. Joseph’s Day Altars – Then and Now,” attendees can listen to Liz Williams director of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum talk about the history of the altars.

N.O. St. Joseph Day altars pop up in the oddest places

N.O. St. Joseph Day altars pop up in the oddest places

On March 19, the faithful and the curious go on pilgrimages, visiting altars at homes, churches and Catholic schools. Some of those pilgrimages, however, will bring folks to decidedly nontraditional sites.

  • 1 p.m. – “Sicilian Roots at the French Market,” will feature a conversation with the Portera Sisters, who built the markets altar.
  • 2-3:30 p.m. – Palermo Import/Export Band will perform.
  • 3-3:30 p.m. – The Muff-a-Lottas will perform.

St. Joseph’s Day Altars

St. Joseph altars, representing the Holy Trinity, are divided into three sections with a statue of St. Joseph at the head. The devout place candles, figurines, flowers, medals and other items around the altar creating a beautiful, lush and overflowing effect. Since the altars thank St. Joseph for relieving hunger, offerings of food are essential.

List of altars

The Irish and Italians are at it again…

Friday, March 14, 2014
Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade -6:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 15, 2014
Irish Channel Parade – 1 p.m.

Saturday, March 15, 2014
Italian-American St.Joseph’s Parade – 6 p.m.

Sunday, March 16, 2014
St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Metairie Rd. – 12 Noon

Monday, March 17, 2014
Downtown Irish Club Parade – 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, March 23, 2014
Louisiana Irish-Italian Parade (Metairie) – 12 Noon

Sunday, April 6, 2014
St.Bernard Irish-Italian Islenos Parade – 11 a.m.

so you probably know about St. Pat’s but may not know about New Orleans’ connection with St. Joseph’s Day:
March 19th marks the Catholic celebration of St. Josephs Day where Catholic New Orleanians construct elaborate altars in honor of this saint. The tradition, commemorating the relief St. Joseph provided during a famine in Sicily, began in the late 1800’s when Sicilian immigrants settled in New Orleans. Today, St. Joseph’s day is not just for Italian-Americans. Every year, this celebration offers New Orleans natives and visitors a chance to share food with others and for believers, a way to express gratitude for any sort of fortune in their lives.
St. Joseph altars, representing the Holy Trinity, are divided into three sections with a statue of St. Joseph at the head. The devout place candles, figurines, flowers, medals and other items around the alter creating a beautiful, lush and overflowing effect. Since the altars thank St. Joseph for relieving hunger, offerings of food are essential.

2014 parade routes
Here is the 2013 Times Picayune altar list which will be similar for 2014. However, do check online at nola.com for the updated list before heading out!

Italian-American Marching Club presents its queen ahead of parade.

St. Joseph’s Day- March 19

Like most Americans, New Orleanians too celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, although here in New Orleans we also celebrate St. Joseph’s Day. There already was a parade through the Quarter last weekend in St. Joseph’s honor and March 19 (St. Joseph’s actual feast day) will be quite the day for viewing of the altars throughout the city. The tradition, which is Sicilian in origin but carried on locally by Italian-Americans and people of all nationalities and faiths, includes baking cookies and cakes and preparing foods for the altar. According to a legend, a drought and famine during the Middle Ages caused much suffering in Sicily. People prayed to St. Joseph, the husband of Mary, and promised to thank him with food altars on his feast day, March 19, and give away the food to all. Supposedly on midnight of March 19, it started to rain and broke the Sicilian drought. Many now create altars to thank St. Joseph for their personal prayers as well.

The altars are found in churches, businesses and homes throughout the city and when you leave after viewing, you will receive a fava bean. The fava bean will bring you luck throughout the year. Part of the tradition requires that no money be spent on the altar, so its creators must beg for all items. Once the day is over, the altar is broken down and its content donated to the poor.
St. Joseph’s Day has another connection to food: it is also the traditionally the last day to plant summer tomatoes for this region. <p><a href=’http://www.wwltv.com/news/List-of-local-St-Joseph-altars-197132801.html#.UT9OAMHCzhU.wordpress’>List of local St. Joseph altars | wwltv.com New Orleans</a>.</p>