April 2, 2018

Pasquetta — Little Easter 2018

A most excellent brew
In commemoration of the risen Christ's meeting (and subsequent dinner) with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, a small town outside Jerusalem, southern Italians celebrate Pasquetta, or Little Easter. Traditionally, family and friends would pack a lunch and take a short trip to the shore or countryside in remembrance of Christ’s journey. Because Easter Monday is not a national holiday here in the States and people have to work, its not always easy to organize a group outing. Nonetheless, I still try to keep the tradition whenever possible, even if it is by myself. 
Evviva San Francesco!
This year, because the Feast of San Francesco di Paola falls on the same day, I included a bottle of Paulaner bier from Munich to my cornucopia of Easter leftovers. Reputedly, the monks who started brewing the beer in 1634 were members of the Order of Minim founded by St. Francis and named it in his honor. Paulaner, it seems, is a corruption of Paola, the town in Calabria where St. Francis was born.
Instead of going to a park or museum, I spent the early part of my day meditating and reflecting on my many blessings at the Shrine Church of St. Bernadette (8201 13th Ave,) in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, where they have a beautiful statue of San Francesco and tranquil church grounds. Though the inclement weather nixed my plans for a picnic and a beer, the opportunity to join Fr. Kamil Bober and parishioners in praying the first Monday Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal after Mass more than made up for it.
Luckily, later on I will be attending the 2nd Annual Sagra Della Pizza Chiena with the Our Lady of the Snow Society (410 Graham Ave.) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, so I will be able to enjoy a drink and a toast to the patron saint of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with some friends.
Buona Pasquetta, Ave Maria and Evviva San Francesco!
Each year on the Feast, the LaRocca family offers flowers to San Francesco
The Shrine Church of St. Bernadette in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn
Snow covered Crucifix and statue of the Sacred Heart
St. Bernadette's Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
Also see:
Pasquetta – Little Easter 2017
Pasquetta – Little Easter 2016
Pasquetta – Little Easter 2015
Pasquetta – Little Easter 2014
Celebrating Pasquetta at the Our Lady of the Snow Sagra della Pizza Chiena (Pizza Rustica Festival)
Celebrating the Feast of San Francesco do Paola with Pizza and Paulaner
Pizza and Paulaner: Celebrating the Feast of San Francesco di Paola