August 24, 2016

Evviva San Rocco! A Look at the 127th Annual Feast of San Rocco di Potenza in New York City

Evviva San Rocco!
Photos courtesy of Michael Sant'Elia and New York Scugnizzo
By Giovanni di Napoli

Sunday, August 21st, the St. Rocco Society of Potenza in New York City celebrated their 127th Annual Festa di San Rocco. Mass was celebrated in English and Italian outside Most Precious Blood Church (113 Baxter St.) in historic Little Italy with Pastor Donald Msgr. Sakano and Msgr. Joseph Ambrosio, visiting from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark, New Jersey. 

Thanks to our friends from the Saint Joseph Society of Lodi, New Jersey; the Saint Rocco Society of Fort Lee, New Jersey; the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata of Brooklyn, New York; the Gioiosa Marina Social Club of Brooklyn, New York; the Societá Gioventú Quagliettana in Astoria, Queens; the Craco Society; the Figli di San Gennaro; the Comitati Due Sicilie USA; and the Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George. Your friendship and support means the world to us! 

Special thanks to President Stephen La Rocca and all the members of the Saint Rocco Society of Potenza for doing a fantastic job; the celebration was a huge success. They are a terrific group, dedicated to our faith and culture, and I’m proud to be counted among them. Evviva San Rocco!
Before Mass, Msgr. Joseph Ambrosio presents jubilant St. Rocco Society president Stephen La Rocca with a sacred relic of San Rocco. 
This year, Mass was celebrated outdoors
The Knights of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George
participated in the Mass and procession
Hundreds turn out for the feast
The color guard exit the church
Glorious San Rocco is greeted with much fanfare
It was wonderful to see children participate in the festivities. (Left) Little patriots show heart-felt devotion during the National Anthem. (Right) A couple of eager helpers distribute prayer cards and collect donations.
Our friends from the St. Joseph Society of Lodi, New Jersey never fail San Rocco
Our friends from the Associazione Culturale Pugliese Figli Maria SS. Addolorata always show San Rocco tremendous support
Joy and devotion from our good friends from the 
Saint Rocco Society of Fort Lee, New Jersey
Our friends from the Gioiosa Marina Social Club show up in force for San Rocco
Wax anatomical votive offerings (vote di cera) are made in gratitude for the Saint's intercession and healing of ailing body parts 
(Above and below) The procession saunters through Little Italy
Kudos to all the lads who carried the candle house (cinte). Speaking from experience, this one is a little more arduous to carry than the statue
Our friends Colleen, Bernadette, Melanie, Andrew, Anthony and Phil did a commendable job carrying the canopy behind the Saint
The procession wends its way through Chinatown towards St. Joseph's Church
(Left) Danny Vecchiano and the Giglio Band were warriors.
(Right) Ex 
voto were pinned on to the saint
Departing St. Joseph's Church,
the procession makes its way down Monroe Street
(Left) Cheers to our new pals Al and Mallorie.
(Right) Always great to see our friends Vincenzina and Elena
The Procession makes its way around Knickerbocker Village
We made some new friends along the way: (left) Kim and Margo from Belgium and (right) Lucille and Laura from Calabria
Mrs. Mavrianos showers San Rocco with rose petals
(Above & below) Avoiding the throng of onlookers that line the streets, a few devotees watch the procession pass from the comfort of their homes 
Carmine and the guys enjoying the festivities
An honor well deserved: This year's Angela M. Carnevale Memorial Award honorees were (left) Antonio & Anna Mavrianos-Cesare, & (right) William Russo
The Mancino clan (Peppino's from Bay Ridge) generously donated trays of delicious southern Italian delicacies 
After a long, HOT day the La Rocca's sit down for an enjoyable meal
A little rain wasn't going to dampen spirits at the feast. 
Revelers danced the night away