Archive for the ‘Farming Community’ Category
Saint Rosalia (1130–1166), also called La Santuzza or “The Little Saint”, is the patron saint of Palermo, Sicily, El Hatillo, Venezuela, and Zuata, Anzoátegui, Venezuela.
According to legend, Rosalia was born of a Norman noble family that claimed descent from Charlemagne. Devoutly religious, she retired to life as a hermit in a cave on Mount Pellegrino, where she died alone in 1166. Tradition says that she was led to the cave by two angels. On the cave wall she wrote “I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses, and Quisquina, have taken the resolution to live in this cave for the love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.”
In 1624, a horrible plague haunted Palermo, and during this hardship St Rosalia appeared first to a sick woman, then to a hunter to whom she indicated where her remains were to be found. She ordered him to bring her bones to Palermo and have them carried in procession through the city.
The hunter climbed the mountain and found her bones in the cave as described. He did what she had asked in the apparition, and after the procession the plague ceased. After this St Rosalia would be venerated as the patron saint of Palermo, and a sanctuary was built in the cave where her remains were discovered.
The celebration, called the festino, is still held each year on July 15. It is still a major social and religious event in Palermo. In 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2001 the celebration has been produced by Studio Festi.
Also on September 4 there is an event related to the festino and St. Rosalia; a tradition of walking barefoot from Palermo up to Mount Pellegrino. In Italian American communities in the United States, the July feast is generally dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel while the September feast, beginning in August, brings large numbers of visitors annually to the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn in New York City.
Devotion to St. Rosalia in Kenner, Louisiana:
The annual St. Rosalie (Rosalia) Procession celebrates one of Kenner’s oldest and most meaningful traditions. In 1855, Sicilian immigrants settled into the Kenner area on the tract of land spanning from what is now the intersection of Williams Boulevard and Kenner Avenue to the St. Charles Parish line.
Although this community began to thrive quickly, it was vulnerable in its infancy stages. Completely dependent on the growth of produce and health of livestock, tragedy struck in 1898 when an epidemic of “Charbon,” (commonly known today as Anthrax) infiltrated the area. Without the sale of vegetables and livestock, the immigrants would have no means to feed and care for their families.
Desperate for help, the farmers prayed for the intercession of St. Rosalie, the patron saint of their native Palermo, Sicily, and asked her to stop this devastating epidemic that was quickly killing their crops and livestock. The prayers of these farmers were so powerful, that the skies opened and a long rain fell, in turn, stopping the spread of the disease.
The grateful farmers were in awe of St. Rosalie’s grace and promised an annual procession through the streets of their community in her honor. That year, in 1898, the first St. Rosalie procession took place and the residents of Kenner have continued to honor her for saving this community until this day. Throughout this three mile procession of faith and prayer, participants carry a statue of St. Rosalie and her holy relic, while praying the Rosary and other Litanies.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated (weather permitting) at 9:00am at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Salem in honor of Msgr. Weber’s 120th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination. Please disregard what the bulletin states in the Schedule (there will be only one Mass on July 4th). If the weather is inclement, we will move the Holy Mass into St. Mary Church. Thank you!
The Rogation Days (Minor Litanies) on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the Traditional Feast of the Ascension were well-attended this year! On Rogation Wednesday, we had to keep the Procession inside church due to the heavy rain! Thanks be to God.
Rogation Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are next week, and the Rogation Processions will take place around the church before Mass (with the Litany of the Saints).
April 25th (the Feast of St. Mark), and the three days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) before the traditional celebration of Ascension Thursday, observed to appease God’s wrath, ask protection, and invoke a blessing on the harvest. They were known in England as Gang Days and Cross Week. The Litany of the Saints is chanted in the procession, and the Rogation Mass follows. The older procession of April 25th, called therefore the Major Litany, Christianized a pagan procession in honor of the god Robigus. The institution of the others, adopted in Rome under Pope Leo III as the Minor Litanies, is ascribed to Saint Mamertus of Vienne who, c. 475, ordered processions with special prayers because of calamities which were afflicting the country. Rogation days were dropped from the Church‘s calendar in the reform of 1970, but since 1988 have been revived, especially in farming communities.
On Wednesday, August 10th, the Feast of the great Martyr and Deacon of the Church of Rome, St. Lawrence, the Priest of Salem participated in the McCook County 4-H Achievement Days at the Salem Armory. About six weeks before, the Priest of Salem was asked if he would be willing to “show” a sheep, and have his photo glued on three collection jars, to be placed in three different Salem businesses in order to raise money for a needy 4-H Family. Needless to say, the shoppers were merciful to the city-born priest, and his ugly mug was so funny that it raised the most cash. A great time was had by all at the 4-H Achievement Days, especially the Priest of Salem…who would like to thank the young people and their parents, and Kevin (from the Bank), Dr. Mike and John McCormick for making the day so much fun. He would also like to thank Pastor Sue for loaning him her shepherd’s staff.