History of the St. Joseph Altar at O.L.P.H. in Kenner

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KENNER, La. -- It's a day that is dedicated to the patron Saint of Sicily, and it's often decked out with bread, citrus, seafood, and pastries.

St. Joseph's Day is being celebrated around the city and over at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, we were able to get a deeper look at this historic tradition.

"St. Joseph is the one that protected the blessed mother and the baby Jesus," says organizer, Dolores Plaia.

"They take like two to three months to get things all together, they have a lot of fruit, cakes, cookies, and pictures and they have statues and all to decorate the altar in his honor. That's just to pay tribute to him and thank him," says Dolores.

The St. Joseph Altar in Kenner has roots from the Sicilians that settled in the Kenner area from many towns in Sicily.

Many were farmers and lived off the land that was known to be very rich.

St. Joseph's feast gives believers the opportunity to pay tribute to the Saint and to pray.

"They go kneel down, they read the prayer, Saint Joseph, and they ask for different favors [for] people that are very ill and miracles have happened with the devotions," says Plaia.

Fun facts that are believed by many generations, like the one about the lemon, were even discussed during the day's feast.

"The story of the lemon is that if you want to get married, it's said if you steal a lemon off the altar, that you'll probably get married and some steal a lemon off of the altar to get pregnant, and it works a lot of times, it works!" says Plaia.

Fifteen different types of Italian cookies and confections were available at the day's feast.

There were even recipes used from local Italian families that date back hundreds of years.

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