April 28, 2015

A Look at the 2015 Feast of Maria SS. Della Misericordia in Brooklyn, New York

Evviva Maria!
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Hundreds of devotees gathered at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Sunday afternoon (April 26th) to celebrate the annual Feast of Maria SS. della Misericordia (Our Lady of Mercy), patroness of Fontanarosa in Provincia di Avellino. Warmly welcomed, we celebrated Mass in English and Italian with Father Michael Zunno. The crowning moment (pun intended) came with the coronation of the Madonna and Child with the triple diadem, recalling the legend of the discovery of the sacred image of the Blessed Mother in a well. Three times the effigy was brought to the church, and three times it miraculously returned to the well until finally the townspeople decided to build a sanctuary at the location.

After Mass, Our Lady was brought out to the expectant crowd with much fanfare by Anthony’s Italian American Marching Band. The statue was placed on a float and accompanied by a group of adorable children dressed as Papal Guards, Angels and (in the case of one lucky young lady) the Madonna. Blessed with terrific weather, the procession sauntered through the neighborhood, stopping on occasion so parishioners could offer donations.
A couple of hours later, we returned to OLMC for the benediction and the statue was placed back in its place of honor in the church’s impressive “Hall of Saints.” The celebration continued next door in the school gymnasium, where we were treated to a splendid repast replete with all our favorite southern Italian delicacies. In addition to the food, partygoers enjoyed plenty of music, dancing and good company. The evening ended with a raffle drawing full of wonderful prizes.
I want to thank President Joe DiTalia and all the members of the Società di Maria SS. della Misericordia for their hard work and dedication. With the many challenges facing our community, it is no easy task maintaining our beloved cultural and religious traditions. They did a fantastic job and deserve our thanks and praise. I especially want to thank Buffy, Franca and Rosa for their warmth and hospitality. They went above and beyond to make me feel welcome. Needless to say, I always have a good time at these events, but this group is up there with the best of them. I look forward to celebrating with them again next year. Evviva Maria!
Children offer roses to Our Lady 
Young ladies present the crowns for the coronation
President Joe DiTalia crowns the Madonna and Child 
Adorable Ivana and Alexander with proud mama, Franca Zollo-Soric
The society's pride and joy 
Hark! Who goes there?
The Swiss Guard have nothing on these diligent little soldiers 
Leaving Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church 
The statue is carried to the float 
The young ones ride on the float with the statue
Young ladies carry the society banner
Members rally around the standard
The color guard led the way
The procession passes Mount Carmel Triangle, a memorial for the original location of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
Members take turns carrying the standard
Anthony's Italian American Marching Band
Young ladies collect donations and hand out prayer cards 
The procession makes its way through the neighborhood 
The parade returns to the church 
The festivities continued next door in the gymnasium
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