Fr. Brian Graebe, pastor of the parish of Old St. Patrick's and the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Little Italy, presides over the opening Mass for the celebration of the Feast of San Rocco.
A local resident says a prayer at the statue of San Rocco before the procession gets underway.
San Rocco's dog. Unfortunately, there is no indication as to the dog's name, but he is one of many dogs represented in art as companions to various saints.
A Catholic dog joins the procession, possibly because St. Rocco is the patron saint of dogs and dog owners.
In a long-standing tradition, money is collected and fastened to ribbons that adorn the statue of St. Rocco. The money is used to cover the costs of the procession, and any surplus is given to the parish.
San Rocco Society of Potenza president Stephen La Rocca yells, "Viva San Rocco!!!" to which the crowds enthusiastically yell back, "Viva San Rocco!!!"
The statue of San Rocco is carried past what was once the "Mulberry Bend," perhaps the most depraved slum in Little Italy in the late 1800s.
Mrs. Louise Mavrianos, a long-time resident and devotee of the feast, pours rose petals down upon the statue of San Rocco as the procession stops beneath her window.
Salvatore La Rocca, the youngest of three generations of family present in the procession, assists in transporting the "candlehouse" constructed by his grandfather, which is carried before the statue in tribute to the great saint.
Younger generations lead the procession, which is a true sign of hope for its future.
At a stop for refreshments along the several-mile route, a dance breaks out as the band plays the tarantella!
A young boy helps his father support the statue, as many sons have done in generations past. One day this little man will be carrying both the statue and the faith of his ancestors into the future.