Mar 192015
 
People observe the elaborate altar at St. Stephen's church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

People observe the elaborate altar at St. Stephen’s church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

On Thursday, churches across the greater New Orleans area celebrated St. Joseph’s Day. A celebration originated in New Orleans’ Sicilian community, the day pays homage to St. Joseph who, according to legend, saved Sicily from famine during the Middle Ages. St. Stephen’s church on Napoleon avenue had an elaborate altar while also serving free food outside the church.

An offering of fava beans in front of an image of St. Joseph at the altar in St. Stephen's Church on Napoleon. It is said that the fava bean was used by St. Joseph to save Sicily from famine in the Middle Ages. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

An offering of fava beans in front of an image of St. Joseph at the altar in St. Stephen’s Church on Napoleon. It is said that the fava bean was used by St. Joseph to save Sicily from famine in the Middle Ages. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Cupcakes were brought as offerings to St. Joseph. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Cupcakes were brought as offerings to St. Joseph. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

A map of Sicily was on display next to the altar. St. Joseph's Day is a tradition rooted in New Orleans' Sicilian community. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

A map of Sicily was on display next to the altar. St. Joseph’s Day is a tradition rooted in New Orleans’ Sicilian community. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Mary Gremillion and Sandra Mendoza serve free food outside of St. Stephen's church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Mary Gremillion and Sandra Mendoza serve free food outside of St. Stephen’s church. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

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