September 24, 2012

Pix from the 10th Annual Saint Padre Pio Festival in Vineland, New Jersey

The statue of Saint Pio was prominently displayed inside Our Lady of Pompeii Church (4680 Dante Avenue)
By Giovanni di Napoli

Yesterday (Sept. 23, 2012), Il Regno and friends made a pilgrimage to Vineland, New Jersey to participate in the 10th annual Saint Padre Pio Festival at Our Lady of Pompeii Church. We celebrated Mass, mingled with celebrants and enjoyed the festivities.

After lunch, we explored the premises and discovered a nearby Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and replica of Mount Calvary. I ascended the shrine contemplating the first twelve Stations of the Cross. Beneath the structure are vaults with representations of Christ in Gethsemane and a Pieta. A crypt depicting the Entombment of Christ was a poignant reminder of Our Lord's Sacrifice.

Not counting everything else we enjoyed at the Feast, my time spent alone by the grotto in peace and tranquility was enough to make the trip worthwhile. It was nice to get out of the city for a while and enjoy a bit of sunshine, fresh air and reflection.
Fr. Ermelindo DiCapua, a Capuchin Friar and friend who lived with Padre Pio, carried the Saint's relic during the procession
After Mass, hundreds of devotees lined up to kiss the relic
After some difficulty deciding what to eat (due to the large selection of food to choose from) I eventually opted for some delicious porchetta
A look at Our Lady of Pompeii Church
Among the many statues gracing the church property were two of Saint Pio
A replica of Mount Calvary with a Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Details of Mount Calvary include statues of Christ in Gethsemane and a Pieta
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