Celebrating the 124th ‘Feast of Saint Rocco’ on the LES [PHOTOS]

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by
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Yesterday afternoon was the annual celebration of the Feast of Saint Rocco, a Lower East Side tradition since the late nineteenth century. The procession began after Sunday mass at St. Joseph’s Church on Monroe Street, and continued to the streets of Little Italy. We caught up with the parade, marching to the beat of a snare, just around the corner on Cherry Street…

The religious tradition was founded on the now-defunct Roosevelt Street in 1889 by immigrants from the southern Italian City of Potenza. From the St. Rocco Society of Potenza website:

The focus of the feast is the procession of the Statue of St. Rocco. Even before St. Rocco begins “his walk” through the neighborhood he is nearly covered with the money offerings of his faithful. The statue carried on the shoulders of the members is accompanied by an Italian street band for the entire length of the approximately three hour long walk. Following the statue, march the devotees as a means of thanking the saint for his powerful help and looking forward to future graces and blessings through his intercession.

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