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Latin Mass & Devotions in Honor of Sant’ Elena di Laurino
October 10, 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDTFree
On Tuesday, October 10th at 7:30 p.m., the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York will celebrate a Solemn Traditional Latin Mass in honor of Saint Helen of Laurino. August 18th is the Feast Day of Sant’Elena (St. Helen), patroness of both Laurino and Pruno in the Province of Salerno . One of four major observances held in her honor (May 22nd, June 29th and October 10th are the others), the Feast should not be confused with that of Saint Helena of the Cross, also celebrated on August 18th. Born in Laurino in the first half of the sixth century (some say late eighth- or early ninth-century), Sant’Elena was a beautiful and pious maiden. Abused at home, she fled to the nearby mountains of Pruno to live the ascetic life of a hermit in solitude and prayer. After 21 years she died. Her remains were discovered in the grotto and translated to the Cathedral of Capaccio-Paestum. Over the centuries, her relics were moved several times before finally being interred in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Laurino. According to legend, neighboring Valle dell’Angelo contested the ownership of the relics. To appease the rival claimants it was decided her body would be put onto a cart driven by two heifers and they would decide. When the oxen reached a fork in the road leading to the two towns, they chose Laurino. In 1923 Italian immigrants from Laurino in East Harlem created a replica of their hometown’s Shrine of Sant’Elena at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. They as well obtained a major relic of the saint that will be venerated after Mass.
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