by Ryan Langr
The Most Famous Father
March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph, perhaps the most well-known father in history. But do you know why we’re celebrating with a hearty bean-filled soup?
St. Joseph’s Day is extremely popular in Italy (a tradition that carries over into many Italian-American families), and it is one of the countries that celebrates Fathers’ Day on the same day.
Just south in Sicily, St. Joseph is credited for ending a famine during medieval times. His intercession saved the island, and they cooked him a big feast in celebration and thanksgiving. The crop that ended the famine? Fava beans, of all things.
So to celebrate, we’re making a hearty soup with various beans, tomatos, beef and pasta. Since it has to stew for an hour, it’s the perfect time to spend with your fathers, and to talk about the perfect example St. Joseph is for all of us.
This soup can be made without meat, if you’re going for a completely meatless Lent. However the beef definitely adds more depth. It’s very easy to make with children; all you need to do is stir it every 5 minutes or so. Other than that, it requires just dumping a bunch of ingredients into a large pot, something my almost 3-year-old loves to do!
A Daily Example
As a husband and father, St. Joseph is a daily example to me. Sure, my wife isn’t perfect (and we all know toddlers aren’t), but I think what I love most about St. Joseph is his humility. It’s a daily reminder to me to put my wife and child first. I often wonder how Joseph would have reacted when Mary pointed out a character flaw or something that Joseph needed to work on. He probably didn’t get defensive about it. How can St. Joseph be an example for you as a parent and spouse?
Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your divine son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers.
Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss his fine head for me, and ask him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us. Amen