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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Our Lady of Pompei

This was looking like an average story of a nice looking church. Until I read that this church was named after the Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii in Italy which was founded by a former Satanist - Bartolo Longo (1841-1926). Read his story here. He was later beatified on October 26, 1980 by Pope John Paul II, who referred to him as the "Apostle of the Rosary." The church in the photo (built in 1928), Our Lady of Pompeii, is located on the corner of Carmine and Bleecker Streets in the Village. It has very high visibility from nearby 6th Avenue and is a landmark in the area. I have shown it as viewed from behind (to the west) along Bleecker Street. Its construction was organized by Father Antonio Demo (born 1870 in Lazzaretto di Bassano, Italy - died in 1936 in New York City) to replace a former church where he was pastor. In an interesting side note, the former church is where St. Frances Xavier Cambrini worshipped and taught - she was the first American citizen to be canonised. The church was built in 1928 in Italian-Renaissance style with an interior graced by marble columns, frescoes and murals. This area of the South Village still shows signs and remnants of its Italian heritage - the shops along Bleecker Street between 6th and 7th Avenues are a good example. Between 1880 and 1920, more than 50,000 Italian immigrants settled here. Father Demo's legacy continued with the naming of the triangular plot across the street from the church - Father Demo Square - click here ...

3 comments:

Lucy said...

That is an amazing story. I read the link. I had no idea that church symbolized such a complex story. I guess it goes to show anybody can turn a new leaf...

claudine said...

Belle histoire pour une belle église. Dommage que l'on ne voit pas l'intérieur.
On pourrait dire que ce quartier est un peu le quartier italien de New-York !

PierreJ said...

Congratulations on a most interesting blog and some stunning photos - the architecture of the Church is truly superb! I've added a link to your site from our travel community at trivago, as I'm convinced our visitors would appreciate your comments and photographs just as much as I. Keep up the good work!
Greetings from Cape Town,
Pierre