Sunday, August 21, 2005
Little Italy Extension
The feast of San Rocco, whuch was viewed in the last posting's slide show, was celebrated in August. The parade started in Little Italy and proceeded south on James Street and turned east on Cherry toward Catherine. The neighborhood was solidly Italian. Region 9's lovely Denise Vispisiano told me her grandfather lived in the area and had a fruit stand. I found the family on Hamilton Street, (which crossed Catherine). Notice that every one of the families on this block comes from Italy. So Who Is St. Rocco?: St. Rocco is the patron saint of Patrica, a small town in central Italy and the home of many immigrants who came here to 4th Ward in the early part of the 20th Century. Those Italian workers brought with them this tradition of honoring the 14th-century holy man with music, prayers and a procession. Saint Rocco is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as the protector against the plague and all contagious diseases. The statue of Saint Rocco is considered unique among theologians because of his pose. It is most unusual because it depicts him with his left hand pointing to an open sore on his left leg. Few images of saints expose any afflictions or handicaps. His body is enclosed in a glass tomb in the church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy. The commemoration the death of this great follower of Christ is held on August 16th of each year.