Thousands of people, many of them expectant mothers, are expected to descend this weekend on St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church for the Feast of St. Gerard, a colorful, spiritual 107-year-old tradition that continues today.
St. Gerard is widely revered by Catholics as a protector of aspiring and expectant mothers.
The highlight of the festival - located in the heart of Newark's Old Little Italy - is the procession of the church's St. Gerard statue through the streets of the neighborhood. The procession will be held today, tomorrow and Monday afternoons.
As the statue is marched in the street on a pedestal, the faithful pin dollar bills and donation envelopes on it, covering it almost entirely in green. The church usually makes about $200,000 from the festival, enough for about a quarter of its annual budget, Granato said.
The novena to St. Gerard is included in my novena prayer book, which for some reason has jumped into the top 100 Catholic bestseller's at Amazon today: