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85th St. Rocco’s Feast a Huge Success

The St. Rocco’s Feast committee members should pat themselves on the back for putting on one of the best feasts in the history of St. Rocco. A few of Malden’s finest talents, such as Paul Gilligan, Dave Russo, Charlie Farren and Joey Voices drew crowds of thousands to Pearl and Thacher Streets.

The aroma of sausage sandwiches, meatballs, freshly shucked oysters, fried dough, espresso coffee and cannoli were only a few from the vast choices of food on display all weekend.

The St. Rocco procession weaved through the streets of Malden stopping often for devotees to pin money onto the saint and say a prayer to the Patron Saint.

A big addition to this year’s feast was an ongoing dvd presentation featuring photos and clips of previous feasts going back 85 years which is also for sale.

President Joyce Mover was very proud of the this year’s feast and thanks all members, volunteers, sponsors and supporters who make this possible year after year.

Check out St. Rocco’s Feast for photos of the feast.

Who Is Saint Rocco?

Saint Rocco was born of noble parentage about 1340 A.D. in Montpellier, France. At birth it was noted that he had a red cross-shaped birthmark on the left side of his chest. As a young child, San Rocco showed great devotion to God and the Blessed mother. At an early age, his parents died leaving him an orphan under the care of his uncle, the Duke of Montpellier. Soon after, San Rocco distributed his wealth among the poor and took a vow of poverty.

San Rocco dressed in the clothes of a pilgrim and departed for Rome. At that time, Italy was stricken with a rampant disease. San Rocco cured many of this dreaded disease by praying for them and making the sign of the cross.

During his travels, he too contracted the plague which was evident by an open sore on his leg. Rocco was banished from the city and took refuge in a cave. Here he slept on leaves and drank water from a small stream. Miraculously a dog that refused to eat, faithfully brought him bread as a means of sustenance. The dog used to leave a nearby castle and the Lord of this castle having a curious nature followed this dog into the woods and discovered Rocco. The nobleman had pity on Rocco and brought him to his castle where Rocco was cured.

San Rocco traveled through northern Italy for two or three more years before returning to his birthplace in France. So weak and sick from suffering, the townspeople did not recognize him and he was thrown into jail as a spy without any proof. But yet he was kept in prison for five years. On August 16, 1378, a guard entered his cell and found San Rocco near death. The dungeon was illuminated with a blue light radiating from his body. Upon hearing this, the Governor demanded to know San Rocco’s identity. San Rocco faintly replied, I am your nephew Rocco. Only one thing could prove that, so he had him disrobed and the red cross-like mark was visible on the left side of his chest. The Governor and the townspeople present in the cell then believed. A voice from paradise was heard announcing that San Rocco’s soul had merited immortal glory in Heaven. Even after his death, San Rocco performed many miracles.

Saint Rocco is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as the protector against the plague and all contagious diseases. The statue of Saint Rocco is considered unique among theologians because of his pose. It is most unusual because it depicts him with his left hand pointing to an open sore on his left leg. Few images of saints expose any afflictions or handicaps. His body is enclosed in a glass tomb in the church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy. We commemorate the death of this great follower of Christ on August 16th of each year.St. Rocco

About Lisa Cappuccio

Lisa is an East Boston resident who works in the area of media and public relations. She is President of Italia Unita Inc. of Massachusetts, a non-profit organization that promotes Italian culture and heritage. Lisa worked and volunteered in the areas of public relations, community development, film, politics, and radio. Through Italia Unita, Lisa initiated the grass roots effort to have Comcast Cable add RAI television, which is now available as a premium channel. Lisa is the president of Boston Concepts, a full service marketing and public relations agency.