Evviva la Festa! — A listing of 2023 patron saint festivals

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Each year, more than two-dozen Italian patron saint celebrations grace the Chicago area. Kept alive by paesani from villages and cities across Italy, these events preserve some of the most cherished of our traditions. Festivities range from simple religious services to solemn masses and processions to family festivals that last several days. But they all have one thing in common: devotion to the spiritual protectors of la bell’Italia. At press time, information was available on the following events.

JUNE 4
THE FEAST OF SAN PIO at St. Francis Borgia Church in Chicago is sponsored by the Italian Catholic Federation Branch No. 392. It features a 3 p.m. Mass in Italian followed by a procession around the church and dinner at Pescatore Palace in Franklin Park. (Teresa Helfand, 773-763-0507)

SS. Crocifisso e San Giovanni Bosco di Ciminna

JUNE 10-11
THE FEAST OF SS. CROCIFISSO & SAN GIOVANNI BOSCO DI CIMINNA at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines is sponsored by Società SS. Crocifisso & San Giovanni Bosco di Ciminna (Chicago). Festivities culminate on June 11 with an 11 a.m. Mass in Italian and English, followed by a procession with the Sicilian Band of Chicago as well as the traditional horse parade and a family festival with food, live entertainment and evening fireworks. A vespers service at 7 p.m. on June 10 will be followed by live entertainment. (Frank Faraci, 847-577-8230)

JUNE 11
THE FEAST OF SANT’ANTONIO at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by the parish’s St. Anthony Society. It features a 10:30 a.m. Mass in Italian followed by the traditional blessing and distribution of the bread and veneration of the relic, a procession accompanied by Caliendo’s Banda Napoletana and a continental breakfast in the gym. A Triduum will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m. on June 10 and at 7:30 p.m. on June 12 and 13. An outdoor reception will follow the Mass on June 13, St. Anthony’s actual feast day. (708-344-4140)
THE FEAST OF SANTA LIBERATA DI PIZZONE at Santa Rosalia Church in Chicago is sponsored by Società Santa Liberata di Pizzone. It features a 3 p.m. Mass followed by a procession with Caliendo’s Banda Napoletana. (Dominic Mancini, 312-415-6283)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

JULY 16
THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast Committee. Festivities culminate on July 16 with a 7:30 a.m. Mass in English, 9 a.m. Mass in Italian, 10:30 a.m. procession to a noon field Mass, and a second procession featuring traditional festa music and ending with the benediction. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. A Novena will run from July 7-15. Related events include the presentation of the banners at 7 p.m. on July 11, the presentation of the roses at 6 p.m. on July 12, a memorial service for deceased members of the Feast Committee at 7 p.m. on July 13 and a feast celebration dinner at 6 p.m. on July 14. (708-344-4140)

Beato Giovanni Liccio

JULY 30
THE FEAST OF BEATO GIOVANNI LICCIO at Casa Italia in Stone Park is sponsored by Società Beato Giovanni Liccio di Caccamo. Festivities include a noon Mass, followed by a procession with the Sicilian Band of Chicago and a family festival featuring food, live entertainment and activities for children. (Tony Sapienza, 630-935-6998)
THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MT. CARMEL at Evans Field (on Thatcher between North and Fullerton in River Grove) is sponsored by the Society of the Blessed Virgin of Mt. Carmel. It features a Mass and picnic. (Diana DiDomenico, 312-718-5219)

San Rocco di Valenzano

AUGUST 6
THE FEAST OF SAN ROCCO DI VALENZANO at Casa Italia in Stone Park is sponsored by the Associazione San Rocco di Valenzano. It features a noon Mass, followed by a procession, family picnic and fireworks. (Frank De Frenza, 630-292-7300)

AUGUST 9-13
THE FEAST OF SAN DONATO at St. Donatus Church in Blue Island is sponsored by the parish. Festivities culminate on Aug. 13 with a 10 a.m. Mass, followed by a procession. A street festival with food and live entertainment will run from Aug. 9-13. (708-385-2890)

San Lorenzo and San Rocco

AUGUST 11-13
FESTA ITALIANA IN HONOR OF MARIA SS. DELL’ASSUNTA in Crest Hill is sponsored by the American Italian Cultural Society. Festivities culminate on Aug. 13 with an 11 a.m. Mass, followed by a procession. A family festival with food and live entertainment will run from Aug. 11-13. (815-725-7450)
THE FEAST OF SAN LORENZO AND SAN ROCCO is sponsored by the Amaseno Lodge No. 3 of Chicago Heights. Festivities culminate on Aug. 13 with an 11 a.m. Mass at the San Rocco Oratory in Chicago Heights, preceded and followed by processions from and to the lodge with the statues of San Lorenzo and San Rocco. A street festival with food and live entertainment will take place after the religious celebration and on the previous two days. (708-755-2982)

San Francesco di Paola

AUGUST 12-13
FESTA DELLA FAMIGLIA IN HONOR OF SAN FRANCESCO DI PAOLA at Casa Italia in Stone Park is sponsored by Società San Francesco di Paola. Festivities culminate on Aug. 13 with a procession featuring the Sicilian Band of Chicago at 10 a.m. and a Mass at 11:45 a.m., followed by a family festival with food, live entertainment and a candlelight procession. A vespers service at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12 will feature a torchlight procession with the Sicilian Band of Chicago. A Triduum will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Aug. 10 and 11 in the Casa Chapel, with the third day being celebrated during the vespers service. (Joe Russo, 708-449-5300)

San Rocco di Simbario

AUGUST 13
THE FEAST OF SAN ROCCO DI SIMBARIO at St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church in Chicago is sponsored by the Society of San Rocco di Simbario. It features a 10:30 a.m. Mass, followed by a procession with Caliendo’s Banda Napoletana, the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and kissing of the holy relic of San Rocco, and a buffet dinner afterward for all those who participate in the procession. A Novena and anointing of the sick will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 12. (Bruno Bertucci, 312-446-0504)

San Rocco di Potenza

AUGUST 20
THE FEAST OF MADONNA DELLE GRAZIE at St. Alexander Church in Villa Park is sponsored by Società Giovanile M.S. di Santa Caterina Villarmosa. It features a 1:30 p.m. Mass, followed by a procession and luncheon. (Mario Saporito, 847-962-1251)
THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. DELL’UDIENZA will run in conjunction with the Feast of San Rocco di Potenza. It is sponsored by the St. Mary of Sambuca Society. (Donna Campise-Tagli, 708-751-2839)
THE FEAST OF SAN ROCCO DI POTENZA at St. William Church in Chicago is sponsored by Congregazione di San Rocco di Potenza. It features a noon Mass, followed by a procession with the Sicilian Band of Chicago, the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and a family festival with food and live entertainment. A Novena at 8 a.m will run from Aug. 11-19. An anointing Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. on Aug. 14. (Sal Aloisio, 773-551-2604)

Maria SS. Lauretana

SEPTEMBER 1-3
THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. LAURETANA is sponsored by Congregazione di Maria SS. Lauretana di Altavilla Milicia. The celebration will take place in Niles on Church Street between Greenwood and Cumberland, on the south side of the Golf Mill Shopping Center. Festivities culminate on Sept. 3 with a procession at 9 a.m. and a Mass at 10 a.m., followed by processions with the Sicilian Band of Chicago leading up to the traditional Flight of the Angels at 5 and 8 p.m. A street festival with food, live entertainment and a carnival will run from Sept. 1-3. A Novena will run from Aug. 24-31 at the society’s chapel in Chicago, with the final day on Sept. 1 at the feast. (Joe Camarda, 773-736-3766)

Maria SS. Incoronata

SEPTEMBER 10
THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. ADDOLORATA at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by Società Maria SS Addolorata, Mola di Bari. It features a noon Mass in English and Italian, followed by a procession. A Novena will run from Aug. 28-31 and Sept. 5-8. (773-625-4016)
THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. INCORONATA at St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Chicago is sponsored by Club Maria SS. Incoronata e San Cristoforo di Ricigliano. It features an 11 a.m. Mass at which the birthday of the Blessed Mother will be celebrated, a procession with the Sicilian Band of Chicago and a reception afterward. (Jim Distasio, 708-222-1200)

SEPTEMBER 17
THE FEAST OF MARIA SS. DELLA CROCE at Casa Scalabrini Village in Northlake is sponsored by Maria SS. Della Croce di Triggiano, Bari, Italy. It features a 1:30 p.m. Mass, followed by a procession. A Novena will run from Sept. 8-16. (Pietro Latrofa, 630-673-2297)

SEPTEMBER 24
THE FEAST OF SAN PADRE PIO is sponsored by Società San Padre Pio of Pietrelcina in Chicago. Festivities begin with a 9 a.m. gathering at the statue of San Padre Pio in front of the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park, followed by a prayer procession to Casa Italia in Stone Park for a noon Mass, then a family festival. (Pete Camaci, 630-217-7415)

OCTOBER 4
THE FEAST OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by the parish. It features a 6:30 p.m. Mass and the blessing of pets afterward. (708-344-4140)

OCTOBER 15
THE FEAST OF MADONNA DI BUTERRITO at Belvedere Banquets in Elk Grove Village is sponsored by CI-AMA. It features a 1 p.m. Mass and procession, followed by a dinner dance. A Novena will run from Oct. 9-13 at Casa Italia in Stone Park. (Nancy Cometa, 708-278-8004)

NOVEMBER 12
THE FEAST OF SAN TRIFONE is sponsored by Società San Trifone di Chicago. It features a noon Mass at Casa Italia in Stone Park, followed by a luncheon at a location to be determined. (Pat Specchio, 708-562-3113)

NOVEMBER 13
THE FEAST OF ST. FRANCES CABRINI at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by the parish. It features a 7:30 p.m. Mass. (708-344-4140)

DECEMBER 9-10
THE FEAST OF ST. LUCY at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Rockford is sponsored by the Greater Rockford Italian American Association. It features the traditional anointing of the eyes, as well as the blessing and distribution of the cuccia at the 4:30 p.m. Mass on Dec. 9 and at the 8 and 10:30 a.m. masses on Dec. 10. (815-965-2761)

DECEMBER 13

THE FEAST OF SANTA LUCIA at the Parish of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Melrose Park is sponsored by the parish. It features a 7:30 p.m. Mass in Italian and English with special prayers and the traditional anointing of the eyes. (708-344-4140)

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Fra Noi produces a magazine and website that serve the Chicago-area Italian-American community. Our magazine offers our readers a monthly feast of news and views, culture and entertainment that keeps our diverse and widely scattered readers in touch with each other and their heritage. Our website offers a dizzying array of information drawn from every corner of the local community.

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2 comments

  1. What was festival parade in Roseland where they blew off fireworks in the streets?
    Probably in the sixties.

  2. The St. Alexander feast always included plenty of fireworks.
    St. Anthony’s was almost St. Alexander’s according to local folklore.
    There was a procession with both saints and the one collecting the most money would be the parish patron.
    St. Alexander was ahead at the last minute when a St. Anthony patron jumped up and pinned $100 to the St. Anthonny statue, thereby claiming the parish name.
    Thank you for commenting.
    CJ

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