Every March 19, the Feast Day of Saint Joseph, special Saint Joseph altars appear in Southeastern Louisiana. The practice is a Sicilian practice that dates back centuries. Today, we visited five Saint Joseph altars.
What is a Saint Joseph altar? It is an altar that is set up and filled with food and drink. In general, one does not partake of the food or drink on the altar. It is often intended for the poor.
In addition to the food, there is often a place to write prayer petitions. And, in many cases there is a side area set up for Mary, an area where votive candles can be burned.
Much of the food and drink is donated, but there are donation boxes that accept money. Often the money collected is also given to the poor. The poor do have other needs such as clothing.