“Viva San Rocco!”
It’s the last weeks of summer in Italian America, and in neighborhoods across the country, paesani are celebrating the Feast of Saint Rocco, one of the most venerated saint days in the Italian American year.
For our part, we’re sitting down with Stephen La Rocca, president of the St. Rocco Society of Potenza, to discover more about this saint and the feast that has been held in his honor every August in New York City since 1889.
As one of the oldest continuous Italian American celebrations in the United States, there’s plenty of fascinating history behind this unique tradition, and we’ll follow the feast day from its origins, to its near extinction, through two relocations within the city, and into its continuing growth into what is today one of New York’s most well-attended feasts!
Stephen also shares his own family’s devotion to St. Rocco, dating back to a very special miracle performed for his grandmother that inspired him to not only dedicate himself to promoting the beloved protector, but to do it in ways that have not been seen at most Italian American feasts in decades… from barefoot processions to Calabrese wax body parts, we’re exploring the many ways Steve and his fellow devotees at the St. Rocco Society have returned the feast to its ancient roots and brought it back to life in doing so.
Before you make your way to this year’s feast, join us for a conversation that gets to the heart of what a feast really means to Italian Americans.
And, if you’d like to attend this year’s St. Rocco of Potenza Feast this coming Sunday, August 21, in New York’s Historic Little Italy, visit www.stroccosociety.com for more information.
This episode was sponsored by