"Three days before the 690th anniversary of St. Rocco’s death, four men carried a small statue of the medieval man down the steps of St. Mary parish, across the intersection of Church Square and Pleasant Street, through a school parking lot, and onto the field of grass and woodchips that has served as an annual fairgrounds for 39 years.
One hundred people joined the short procession after the 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday. Turning their backs to carnival booths that were selling Belgian waffles, clam cakes, calzones, and manicotti, they stood in a circle as the Rev. Brian Manning blessed the statue of a man who died in the 14th century – but still touches lives in the 21st.
“He’s a patron of the sick, and there are many times when you’re not feeling that well or you’re hit with a severe injury or a severe sickness, you do turn to St. Rocco,” said Bob Catalano, 94, a Navy veteran of World War II. “He’s a healer of the sick. So we take advantage of it.”
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|one of the carnival booths on Friday evening|