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Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Lisa Rocchio

This is a picture of the Blessed Mother as she is seen in the church of 
Our Lady Of Mount Carmel
The history of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mount Carmel which is located on 115th Street in New York is closely associated with the immigration of Italians to America. 

Italian immigrants established themselves in the lower part of the East side of Manhattan. Areas such as the famous Mulberry Street and Canal Street came to be known as the Little Italies. The third Little Italy was, of course, East Harlem. 

Typical of all these Little Italies was the celebration of the popular feasts to which were reminiscences of their homes in their native lands. The feast of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel was first held in 1881. This feast enlivened the desire to have a church dedicated to the fulfillment of religious duties and to venerate the Blessed Mother. This church would be built by the Italians, and was to be called the parish of the Italians in New York. 
This is a picture of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

With the completion of the church came the arrival of the Statue of the Blessed Mother. The Statute came from Italy and was adorned with precious garments. Thereafter, the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel became a sanctuary. Thousands of people took pilgrimages to visit the Sanctuary, each bearing gifts and devotion to the Blessed Mother. Italians offered wedding rings, earrings, and necklaces to the Blessed Mother; for they believed that it was the Blessed Mother who kept a watchful eye on them in this new world. 

Soon after, the statue was officially coronated by the papacy. The coronation of the Statue gave a new impulse to the devotion for the Madonna. One can truly say that there was not one Italian during that generation who did not visit at least once the Sacred Temple on the occasion of the feast during the month of July. People prayed to the Madonna, and miraculously sick children were cured, fatal injuries became scratches and bruises. Italians have prayed to the Madonna in times of despair and see her as their miracle worker and guardian angel. Thus, the procession from the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel through the streets of East Harlem is seen as a way of honoring the Blessed Mother. Although the procession has dwindled down to a few hundred people; the magic is still there along with the hopes, dreams, and beliefs of the first Italians in New York City.

Interesting Facts
  • The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 115th Street is the first Italian Parish.

  • At one time more than 500,000 people attended the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel during the month of July before and after the feast day which takes place on July16th.
  • There are only three Images of the Blessed Virgin that have been coronated by Pontifical Authority: Lady of Mount Carmel in 115th Street in New York, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.
  • The dress of the Madonna was made in India and is valued at 8,000 dollars.
  • The crown of the Madonna and child is gold, adorned with precious stones.
  • There have been several documented miracles that have been believed to be performed by the Blessed Mother.
  • The Coronated Statue is taken down in procession only on special occasion and with the authorization of Ecclesiastical Authority.
  • The procession is still held today at East 115th Streets.
  • [All links have gone bad]
This is a prayer card of Our Lady of Mount Carmel it states:
Miraculous Image of 
Our Lady Of Mount Carmel
which is venerated in the 
Church of the Pallottine Fathers
447E. 115th St.- New York
(Incoronated by Pontifical Decree 
of July 10,1904)

  • Domenico Pistella. The Crowning Of A Queen, trans. Peter Rofrano. New York, 1954

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