A tribute to Italian culture (11 photos)Saturday, September 08, 2012 by: Connie Carello
On September 2, the Club Brognaturese of Toronto celebrated the 23rd annual Festa della Madonna in St. Patrick’s Park.
The organized festival mimics the traditional week-long celebration that occurs in Brognaturo, Italy, a municipality many Sault Ste. Marie immigrants come from.
Those that are unable to return to Italy for the festival are offered the opportunity to meet in the park to enjoy a cultural celebration with friends and family, and pass on their traditions to the younger generation.
For those that are Roman Catholic, the statue of the Mother Mary signifies her gift to the world, a son who was born through Immaculate Conception.
Many regard the statue as a symbol of strength and good health.
Baked goods, usually in the shape of small children, are placed before the statue to be blessed by the priest.
The “cookies” are usually made to represent someone with an illness who need the spirit of the Madonna to provide protection and promote healing.
Originally, a portrait of the Mother Mary was used during the celebration.
It was not until 1994 that funds were collected to build a replica statue.
After an outdoor mass where communion is received, the statue is loaded onto a truck and paraded through the park as visitors follow.
Traditionally, the statue is carried by four or five men.
Praying and throwing flower petals, the visitors mimic the parade which occurs in Brognaturo as Italian hymns are sung.
After the service, the patrons organize a feast of well-known Italian meals and a corn boil.
This year, several activities were organized and included piñatas, a water-balloon toss, and races for various age divisions.
A raffle for various prizes including jewellery and a 32 inch plasma TV concluded the festivities.
All proceeds raised through the raffle are used to sponsor next year’s event.
For those interested in attending next year’s festival, you may find more information at this website which includes information regarding other events related to the city of Brognaturo.
The next upcoming event in the district for those who wish to celebrate their Italian heritage is on September 23 in Sudbury, Ontario.
The Coro Societa would like to extend an invitation to their 45th Anniversary with a concert, dinner and dance featuring Joey Niceforo.
To purchase tickets please call (705) 675-1357.