Your Virtual Goodie Bag

Mouseover your goodie bag to see what’s inside!

Visitors to St. Joseph Altars are given small paper bags containing a few blessed items from the Altar. The bags usually contain a holy card and a small medal. Various cookies or small breads may also be in the bag.

The most interesting item found in the goodie bag is the fava bean. In Sicily, the fava was fodder for cattle. During a great famine the people resorted to eating them to survive. They were considered lucky to have favas to eat, hence the fava bean is also known as a “lucky bean.” Some believe that the pantry that contains a fava bean will never be bare. The fava, or lucky bean, serves as a token of the Altar – a reminder of God’s provisions through the intercession of St. Joseph.

“. . . the silence of St. Joseph does not demonstrate an empty interior, but rather the fullness of faith that he carries in his heart, and that guides each of his thoughts and actions. A silence through which Joseph, together with Mary, guard the Word of God, known through sacred Scripture, comparing it continually to the events of the life of Jesus; a silence interwoven with constant prayer, a prayer of blessing of the Lord, of adoration of his holy will and of boundless confidence in his providence.”

Pope Benedict XVI
Address Before Midday Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, Dec 18, 2005