The Feast of the Assumption

Holy Rosary Church on Mayfield Road was constructed in 1892 to fulfill the need of Cleveland's Italian population for a Catholic institution. The church, located in historic Little Italy, is a staple in the Italian community and has been so since its construction. Not only does the church provide Catholic services to its parishioners. It also sponsors a festival every year that originated back in Italy and is celebrated all over the world. The festival is known as the Feast of the Assumption and celebrates Virgin Mary's passage into Heaven. The festival takes place over three days.

During the festival, a statue of Virgin Mary is paraded down the streets while crowds of people follow the virgin and put money on it as a donation for the church and its charities. The festival is also a time when the people of Little Italy can show their wares and cooking skills to both the community and to the thousands of other people who come to partake in the festival and festivities. Some of the money raised by the festival goes to various charities in and around the neighborhood as well as the parochial school that was built to accommodate the many inhabitants of Little Italy.

The Feast of the Assumption continues to this day as people still attend for both the services and the celebration. It is a time of great celebration but still remains true to its faith and purpose - the materialization of the Assumption of Mary.

The festival is celebrated in mid-August every year.



The Feast of the Assumption in Little Italy
Mr. Frank Fiorilli and Mr. Richard Gallitto, members of Holy Rosary Church, comment on the annual parish festival. The religious feast has been celebrated more than 100 years in the neighborhood. ~ Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
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