Loving Saint Paulinus: Patron Saint of Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Jun 19, 2019 156

BY: Guest Contributor

Nola, a small town outside of Naples in the Campania region of Southern Italy, and Williamsburg, the premiere trendiest neighborhood in New York, are approximately 4,394 miles apart. Nola with its stone streets and ancient grit, is in the shadow of Vesuvius, while Williamsburg is ultra-gentrified and punctuated by high-rise glass condominiums and the shells of old Brooklyn factories.

Still, both are central to Italian-American Catholic practice in Brooklyn. What these places share is intense love for Saint Paulinus (~353-431 AD), more affectionately and colloquially known as San Paolino, the patron saint of Nola. Although Italian-American men in Brooklyn might be separated from Italy by generations, what they share with those in Nola is a feeling of devotion in their bodies and in their bones. To love San Paolino is to reenact his hagiography each year, through costuming, ritual and devotional play.

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SOURCE: https://www.patheos.com

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