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Santa Rosalia di Palermo Society held their 78th Annual Mass and Procession on Sunday, September 10, 2017 in Boston’s North End. The Santa Rosalia Society was formed in Boston in 1939 hailing from Palermo, Italy. This year’s celebration was in memory of late member, Pino Zannelli.

Highlighting this year’s procession, a relic was displayed that was gifted from the Sanctuary of Santa Rosalia in Palermo, Sicily. 

The story of Saint Rosalia: Rosalia was born of a noble family descended from Charlemagne before being led by angels to a solitary life in a cave on Mount Pellegrino where she died alone in 1166. 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, during a plague in Palermo, Rosalia appeared to a sick woman and then to a hunter to whom she directed to find her remains. In a procession of her bones through the city, the plague was lifted. Santa Rosalia is also known as The Little Saint.

The Santa Rosalia di Palermo procession caps off this year’s Italian religious processions in Boston’s North End. See more coverage of the North End feasts and processions here.


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