Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Original Statue Of San Rocco

a h/t to Joseph Barone for this info
from the saint rocco society
The statue was kept in a special chapel in St. Joachim's Church on Roosevelt Street. When St. Joachim's was demolished, the statue was taken to St. Joseph's Church, 5 Monroe Street, where it remains enshrined to this day.
The original statue is of magnificent artistic quality, made of Italian papier mache'. It weighs with it's base over 100 lbs.
As the statue aged, Angela Carnevale the Treasurer of the St. Rocco Society and then it's acting President and sole organizer decided to purchase the new statue, fearing the original priceless statue might be damaged while carrying it in the procession.
For the last 25 years or so a duplicate statue has been used for the Feast and Procession.
The original statue was "rented" by Francis Ford Coppola and used in the filming of "The Godfather II" during it's Festa di San Rocco scene. Only members of the Society were allowed to carry the statue in the film. The statue is the oldest Italian American religious society statue in New York.
The original statue can be seen at the rear left of the Church of St. Joseph, 5 Monroe Street, New York, New York. The "Feast" statue is stored during the year and brought out and placed on the main alter under a special canopy for the week prior to the Feast.

from Joseph Barone
A number of people from the parish were used in the filming, among them were the men carrying the canopy. One of them was Mikey Tramatola (sic) who lived on the ground floor in the K Building. There were two boys (one named Paul -- about a year or so younger than I was), a girl (I think the middle child) and the dad. The mom had died a number of years back. They later moved to the apartment complex across from the South St. Seaport., Southbridge Towers
The altar boys were also from the parish. They got the part because they walked into the St. Joseph rectory at the right time and had a short haircut. (If I had walked in about 10 minutes earlier, I would have gotten a part in it. I could have been a contender...I could have been somebody.)
The guys were out of school for two weeks and got paid well for the work.
In addition, there is a small platform with candles on it (looks like a cake covered w/ candles). This was also traditionally carried in the St. Rocco procession each year in August by the women of the St. Rocco Society.

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