For the first time since Vatican II, on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at Holy Face Monastery, Clifton, New Jersey, a Solemn High Mass with Gregorian chant was celebrated in honor of Our Lady of Sacro Monte of Novi Velia, Salerno, at her shrine.
(Above) Holy Face monastery is a treasury of Italian saints and devotions, both inside the monastery chapel and outside in a number of separate shrines. From the monastery grounds a visitor has a magnificent view of New York City – this day largely obscured by the summer-like haze.
(Above and below) The Madonna del Sacro Monte: a devotion of the Cilento region near Salerno, Italy. Love for the Madonna of Sacro Monte was carried to the United States by Cilentano immigrants who arrived in the United States around 1900. In Jersey City, where many of them settled, an annual devotion was started. In the late 1960s the devotees from Jersey City moved their celebration to Holy Face Monastery in Clifton, New Jersey. At the Monastery they constructed an outdoor shrine to the Madonna and brought a small statue for veneration.
The annual celebration at Holy Face Monastery ended in 1980. It was revived in 2012 by Cilentani and their descendants in New Jersey.
(Above and below) Mass was celebrated in an open chapel consecrated to this devotion.
(Above) The Tony Neglia Italian Band featured prominently prior to the mass and at the procession. – here playing before a Marian shrine on the grounds of the monastery.
(Below) The start of the procession.
(Above) The procession circles the monastery three times – but does not go inside.
(Above and below) The conclusion of the procession – prior to the festive meal.