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Padre Pio Feast Gets Underway in Tuckahoe

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – Tuckahoe resident Alba Solano did not let the rain stop her from celebrating the Feast of Saint Padre Pio Friday night.

"I never though in all my life I would see Padre Pio here," said Solano, a native of Calabria, Italy. "I pray for many years that Saint Padre Pio will bless Tuckahoe. This is a great day for Tuckahoe."

Plans for members of the Assumption Church in Tuckahoe to carry a statue of the saint down Columbus Avenue in a traditional Italian procession had to be scrapped due to the rain.

But the statue arrived on the Tuckahoe Trolley to Depot Plaza where it will remain for the next two days as the village celebrates with several other events.

On Saturday, at 5 p.m., Archbishop Timothy Dolan will say mass at Assumption Church. When mass is over, the village will kick off a feast that will include music by Bonnie Pointer of the Pointer Sisters and the group Tavares, best known for the song "Heaven Must be Missing an Angel."

AJ Pope, 15, has been working for the last year on a state-of-the-art light show promises to morph the Generoso Pope building into several different shapes and sizes.

The light show will be followed by a fireworks display.

On Sunday, the feast will continue with music, games, raffles, and food.

Overlooking it all will be the statue of Saint Padre Pio, a Capuchin priest from Italy who became famous for his stigmata. According to Italian legends, Padre Pio prayed and listened to the prayers of others nearly 24 hours a day, despite being plagued with bad health for most of his 52 years as a monk. During most of those years, Padre Pio continuously bled from his hands and feet. He died in 1968 and was made into a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002.

At 7:15 on Sunday night, a procession to return the statue of Saint Padre Pio back to the Church will begin. And the feast will be over until next year.

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