By: Raymond Guarini
Following an historic year, 2020, the Saint Rocco Society was able to again continue its undisturbed tradition of Mass and procession for Saint Rocco in Little Italy, NYC. The Saint Rocco Society of Potenza diligently worked to ensure that their faith and tradition could continue despite a torrential downpour throughout the entire procession.
A global pandemic couldn’t stop the society in 2020 and a hurricane didn’t stop them in 2021. The faithful gathered at Most Precious Blood church for mass in what was a stronger turnout than last year despite the consistently pouring rain. After conclusion of the Holy mass, the Society dutifully dressed the statue in pinned donations with the addition of a clear plastic tarp. The statue is as old as the society and is sacred to the society and all the devotees of this miraculous Saint, so protecting the statue is paramount to enabling future processions with the authenticity of all those spanning almost a century and a half.
Stephen LaRocca and the administration of the Saint Rocco Society of Potenza managed a four hour procession throughout the streets of Little Italy, Chinatown and the Two Bridges neighborhood (Knickerbocker Village). Without diverting their normal route, the devoted men, women and children of the society pressed on with ponchos and umbrellas while some wore nothing to protect them from the never-ending deluge.