Sunday, March 19, 2017


Growing up in the Italian-American tradition, St. Joseph's Day ranked right up there with Easter and Christmas for me. If your name was Joseph, you got your cheek pinched and cream puffs.

(From Wikipedia) "Joseph (Hebrew: ‏יוֹסֵף‎, transit. Yosef‎; Greek: Ἰωσήφ, translate. Ioséph) is a figure in the Gospels, the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, and is venerated as Saint Joseph in the Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, Anglican Communion, Lutheranism[2][3] and Methodism.[4] Christian tradition places Joseph as Jesus' foster father. Some historians state that Joseph was Jesus' father.[5] Some differing views are due to theological interpretations versus historical views.[6]"

Fortunately, my pinched cheeks were surrounding my nose and not the other pair which made for good color and more convenience since I wasn't dropping my pants all day long. Usually, the day ended in pasta and noble and truly great tradition!

Grandma was the ‘pincher' and I was the ‘pinchee' resulting in remarks about the glowing cheeks I had and how my health must be so good. Granted there were surrogate pinchers in place for Grandma until she could get home, but you weren't Joseph until grandma pinched you into one! "Mannagia, JoJo (pinch), he-he" withdrawing her forefinger and thumb from the target area.

My nightmare was if she ever decided to pinch both cheeks at once, and maybe forgetting to let go, and so I closed my eyes and squeezed them tightly, hunched my shoulders and waited for the ordeal to be over, knowing that pasta and cream puffs were waiting because of my sacrifice.

According to the New Testament, Joseph was the father of James, Joses, Judas (Jude), Simon, and at least two daughters also. No wonder they called him the ‘worker', with all those kids!

Giorno del Santo Giuseppe felice!


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