Greetings Brothers and Sisters, I hope everyone is staying safe during these unprecedented times. Has anyone attended the Feast of San Gennaro in New York City? This September is the 94th anniversary of this important Italian-American festival (Festa di San Gennaro) It is also celebrated in many US cities. Originally a one-day religious holiday, the festival was first celebrated in the USA in September 1926, when immigrants from Naples gathered along Mulberry Street in the Little Italy section of Manhattan to continue the tradition they had followed in Italy to celebrate Saint Januarius, the Patron Saint of Naples. His feast day is September 19 in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. The immigrant families on Mulberry Street who started the feast and a group of restaurant owners, erected a small chapel in the street to house the image of Saint Januarius. They invited all to partake of their goods, asking the devoted to pin an offering to the ribbon streamers that are hung from the statue’s apron. This money was then handed out to the poor of the neighborhood. Over time, the festival expanded into an 11-day street fair organized and run by people outside the neighborhood. It is now an annual celebration of food and drink, and a major tourist attraction. Centered on Mulberry Street, which is closed to traffic for the occasion, the festival generally features sausages, zeppole, street vendors, games, parades and other such attractions. The Grand Procession is held starting at 2 p.m. on the last Saturday of the feast, immediately after a Mass at the Church of the Most Precious Blood. This is a Roman Catholic candlelit procession in which the statue of San Gennaro is carried from its permanent home in the Most Precious Blood Church through the streets of Little Italy.
Due to the pandemic it is uncertain which cities will hold the celebration such as Los Angeles and Chicago. We pray this nightmare will end soon and our lives will go back to normal.
Until next time, Sadie
5051 Mission Street
San Francisco CA 94112-3473
Phone: (415) 586-1316