May 2, 2015

San Vincenzo Returns to 1901

Most Precious Blood Church
Photos by New York Scugnizzo
Reprinted from the April 2015 Craco Society Bulletin
The first recorded feast day celebration in New York City for San Vincenzo occurred outside the Church of the Most Precious Blood in 1901. 
The Church of the Most Precious Blood was established in 1888 as a National Parish by the Scalabrini Fathers to serve the growing Italian immigrant population. The Scalabrini Order, who also established St. Joachim’s Church on Roosevelt Street, where the statue of San Vincenzo was originally ensconced, built the foundation for Most Precious Blood but ran out of funding. The Franciscan Order then took over in 1894 and ultimately completed the church.
Fully renovated in 1995 and reconsecrated on Feb 17, 1997 by His Eminence John Cardinal O’Connor, Most Precious Blood is considered one of the City's hidden gems and called by Cardinal O'Connor his "archdiocese jewel." It is the only church that has authentic relics from Italy, including St. Padre Pio's glove. It is now the National Shrine and home of the San Gennaro Feast held annually on Sept. 19th followed by an 11-day street fair.

Father Fabian Grifone, a Franciscan priest retired after celebrating his 60th jubilee there in 2014, but the blood, sweat and tears he put in the church shows.
Padre Pio's glove at Most Precious Blood
Visiting it today to pray, light a candle, or photograph the amazing statues of Saints, everyone will find a welcoming place and a very special parish.
A must stop for tourists or anyone looking to pray in a historic and private setting, Most Precious Blood Church also has a connection to us.
In 1901 during the midst of the effort to complete the building the first feast of San Vincenzo took place on Baxter Street, where many of our ancestors had settled. The choice of this location may have been due to the availability of a bandstand or simply to support the new church that was under construction. The New York Times reported on the two-day celebration.
An Apostolic Delegate from the Vatican was present at its dedication on April 17, 1904 along with visiting clergy, civic and religious societies and the Italian Rifle Guards.
New York Times, October 28, 1901
The connections to this church in 1901, the Franciscan Order that brought San Vincenzo to Craco in 1792, and our history with both are irrefutable.
Now with the closing of St. Joseph’s Church, San Vincenzo is revisiting these historic sites and connections in New York City.
Most Precious Blood Church is now part of a new parish formed by the Archdiocese of New York under their plan to “Make All Things New” by uniting it with The Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which will be celebrating its 200th Anniversary on November 22nd
The Society is seeking permission from Monsignor Donald Sakano, to hold the 114th celebration of the Feast of San Vincenzo Martire di Craco on Sunday October 25th at Most Precious Blood Church.
While waiting for approval for the event to be held there make sure you mark your calendar so you will be able to participate in the continuing tradition represented by this historic event.