Ties that Remain: Celebrating Guardia Lombardi in Pennsylvania

Aug 13, 2022 505

BY: Stephanie Longo

More than one hundred years ago, a group of Italian immigrants arrived in what is now known as the “Bunker Hill” section of Dunmore, Lackawanna County. These immigrants came from the small Southern Italian town of Guardia Lombardi, located east of the city of Naples in the Province of Avellino, and with them they brought along their traditions, including a devotion to St. Rocco that is still celebrated today in the form of a yearly procession and festival every August.

St. Rocco, protector against deadly plagues, is considered the patron saint of Guardia Lombardi. Veneration to him dates back to 1656 when a deadly plague and drought swept through the town, killing 1,110 of its 1,475 residents. The first procession in honor of St. Rocco in Guardia took place that year when townspeople decided to pray to him to beg for rain and to end the violent and aggressive developing plague.

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SOURCE: https://irpiniastories.com

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