O Great St. Rocco, deliver us, we beseech you, from contagious diseases, and the contagion of sin. Obtain, for us, a purity of heart which will assist us to make good use of health, and to bear sufferings with patience. Teach us to follow your example in the practice of penance and charity, so that we may, one day enjoy the happiness of being with Christ, Our Savior, in Heaven. Amen. Prayer to St. Rocco
I remember the Feast of Saint Rocco, when it was celebrated at St. Mary of Mount Carmel* Parish in West Englewood back in the late 1950's and 1960's. The Feast of St. Rocco was celebrated in August usually the 12th - 15th. We lived on the south side of Burlington Northern-Santa Fe tracks at 75th Street, in the Mick-land of Little Flower, but went with our folks to the great Italian main street on 69th Street to Sardi's for meats, Naples Bakery and to eat well at Louis George's.
Many of my Italian neighbors moved from the wood framed two story apartments, or single family cottages in St. Mary's to the Georgians and brick bungalows in Little Flower and they introduced us Turkeybirds to glories of the feast of St. Roccos - games, Italian beef and sausage 'samich-es wit green peppers 'n onions.' Most of all the great fireworks attendant to the close of feast. When I was about five Terry Smith, Al and Charlie McFarland, by brother Whitey and me asked the smartest guy south of the Wood Street viaduct, Maury Lanigan where the great fireworks came from and were shamed by the shaman, " That's the Dago Carnival." Oh.
As we got older (grow up? as if.) we went with our Italian buddies over the tracks and to the great carnival.
The Procession of St. Rocco travelled the circuit of the parish from the Church on Hermitage down 67th Street to Damen and south to 69th Street ( home of the 69th street Loafers) and east to Ashland and then back to the church. After stuffing our potato-holes with cotton candy and those no-longer existent red hard-crusted cinnamon candied apples, Italian ices and beefs we hiked back over the tracks (rather through the swampy viaduct behind the steel factory) to our Georgians and raised ranches on 75th Place and Wood Street.
Once home, before street lights out mind you, we would sit on the curb and watch the greatest sky show of the summer. From St. Mary's huge and majestic pyrotechnics dominated the skies over Englewood in what seemed an endless fire works show. All in celebration of the 13th Century Frenchman from Montpelliar who is so venerated by generations of Italians.
Rocco was born with a red birthmark on the left side of his chest. Shortly he was orphaned and raised by his uncle the Duke of Montpellier.
St. Rocco grew up about three hours west of Nice in south of France. Yesterday, Islamist savages drove a panel truck through a crowd of innocents celebrating the French Fourth of July -Bastille Day. These activists slaughtered four score human beings in the cause of the Caliphate.
Here in America, we are trying to recover from the slaughter of five Dallas Police Officers and dozen more by a savage activist. You can call him what you will.
There will be no healing in the near future here any more than in the Non-Caliphate world. Professional Oligarchs running for President, activists in the pay of a Hungarian Bond Villain, media clowns and group-thought academic facists will keep the scabs yanked off any healing. Sad to say.
Our world is diseased. Our world is diseased by charlatans and thieves who would "Deconstruct" humanity. We have no common humanity. We are Diverse, because we must stay Balkanized and aggrieved.
Disease knows no class, no race, no faith and no mercy.
St. Rocco was a well-to-do young man related to the Duke of Montpellier. He denied the material world and dedicated his life to God and everyone on God's earth who suffers.
Rocco went to Italy, where a plague was decimating the population . Rocco prayed for the sick and cared for them with his RoccoCare.
He too caught the plague and developed a horrible oozing ulcer on his left leg. He slept on leaves and drank water from a creek, but he was fed crusts of bread from a dog who had discovered the suffering Rocco and grabbed a loaf of bread off of his master's table. The dog belonged to a local nobleman who took notice of the bread snatching and followed the mutt to where the saint was holed up.
The nobleman tended to Rocco's health, but the leg never improved. Rocco had become legendary for his works among the suffering people of northern Italy over the next three years and then rturned to France sick, suffering and broke and was tossed into prison as a "spy." It turned out that the official who arrested Rocco was his uncle - The Duke of Montpellier. On August 16, 1378, a guard went to Rooco's cell and found him near death When the Duke demanded to know the true identity of this Italian spy, Rocco replied, " I am your nephew." The Duke ordered the man stripped to waist and revealed the red birth-mark. He also had a red oozing sore to go with what God had blessed him with at birth. A voice was heard by the Duke and all of the townspeople saying that Rocco had merited eternal life and had gone home to Christ.
Many miracles were attributed to Rocco.
I am going to try and remember to pray to Saint Rocco and pray that our divided and diseased world comes to its senses.
St. Rocco was a big part of my childish summers, I hope and pray that I grow up and the world turns to Rocco, as opposed to activists, oligarchs and frauds.
*"St Mary of Mount Carmel. 6722 S Hermitage (west Englewood) Most original parishoners came from Salerno. Now a Protestant church. Original church was woodframe 1891-1976."
Many thanks to this great Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/69th-Street-South-Side-Chitowners-271041162496/?fref=ts