Monday, 19 March 2007

Bigne' di San Giuseppe!

Hurrah! Our glorious Sisters, Portuguese though they be, produced the Italian speciality of 'Bigne' de San Giuseppe' (brutally translated as 'St Joseph's Balls') at supper, to celebrate the Feast of St Joseph. Obviously, they felt that the clergy were wasting away from their Lenten exercises ... (hem, hem)

Much baking takes place in Italy on this day, since St Joseph is the Patron Saint of pastry chefs. In the middle ages, when drought was threatening famine in Sicily, the starving populace prayed to him. Rain fell, and the crops were saved. In his honour, a great feast is provided.

Even more esoterically, St Joseph is also prayed to especially by those seeking a new house. It is said that the future Cardinal Vaughan, when looking to by a property in Mill Hill, North London, for his new missionary institute from an owner reluctant to sell, buried a small statue of St Joseph in the garden. The owner changed his mind, and sold - and in thanksgiving, the Cardinal named his institute for the saint! Elizabeth, my PA, is looking for a new house at the moment, and I've promised yhere I'll pray especially to St Joseph today.


Peter Simpson said...

I really don't know what to say. Pastries on the 19th, some clergy having a glass of wine on the 18th - your next going to tell us someone had a Guinness on the 17th!

John the organist said...

See this week's Tablet for more about the Bigne which look delicious!

Anonymous said...

When the Cardinal was Bishop of Salford he founded St Bedes college later as Cardinal he gave the school a marble statue of St Joseph as his dearest treasure before the council the school which became the junior seminary had March devotions every day after morning break I used to have Vaughans birreta on my desk