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Saint Joseph


An ancient translation

tells of a vow made

in honour of St Joseph

by people

who appealed

to Him, through illness,


of various kinds.


So many are the people

who resort to the intercession

of the powerful saint

to ask for graces,

legend has it

that to fulfil the vow

one must prepare

a hot meal

and then donate it to the poor.


In the land of Calabria

an ancient tradition

has been handed down

from generation

generation after generation,

a custom considered

almost sacred by devotees,

the preparation

du cumbitu

and then offering it

to the whole village

or to the so-called wrinkle to which one belongs.


I feel like

I can smell the perfume

of pasta and chickpeas

along the streets

of my country,

while people

with containers in their hands

make their way

towards the neighbour’s house

or the nearest church

to get some

of blessed cumbitu.


It is rumoured

that many have been

prodigies of the great saint

throughout the centuries,

so many people have received the requested graces.

Who knows if this year

the good Saint Joseph

will give us the grace

of having a little

a little more peace

in this tormented world

is afflicted by pain.

Roberto Ferro


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