Our Lady of Mount Carmel Festival, Harlem, 1900

Church Festival in the Heat (The Brooklyn Eagle, July 17, 1900, p. 7)

It is pleasant to know that there are people whose religion is not melted out of them by the present temperature. There seem to be at least 50,000 such inNew York. If the crowds about the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in One Hundred and Fifteenth street yesterday, are not exaggerated. It was a festival of the patron of that church and Italians are said to come from Boston,Philadelphia and Newark and have slept on the door steps in the neighborhood in order to attend the services. They had come to place annual offerings at the feet of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a statue of whom adorns the church and to whom they attribute miraculous gifts of healing. There were a dozen priests officiating at the various Masses and 25,000 people are said to have knelt in the church during the day. The festival side of the celebration consisted in decorations of the street like those for a native festa, with the Italian and American flags and with the delicacies dear to the Italian palate on sale. It must be a fine thing to have enthusiasm enough for that sort of celebration when the thermometer in the sun around you is rubbing anywhere from 100 to 125 degrees. Faith which manifests itself under such conditions must be of the staunchest sort.

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