High Lily High Lily – Giglio!

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This year’s Turk, Neil Dellamonica, sails above Havemeyer on the blue t-shirt wearing shoulders of fellow Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parishioners to meet up with the Giglio tower.

Who needs to fly Alitalia in July when you live in Williamsburg? Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and its parishioners, especially those with Italian heritage, have brought a traditional Italian feast to our neighborhood since 1903!

The 115th Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Feast, aka The Giglio, was bella. The weather for the most part was sunny and not too hot. The feast drew bigger numbers than previous year that ran the gamut from tourists to old neighbors. This is the number one fundraiser for the church and upwards of the rides, food, and fun this feast honors San Paolino.

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Waving the Italian flag with pride in tempo with the band on the Giglio

San Paolino is the patron saint of Nola, Italy. Many Italians who immigrated to Williamsburg in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were from Nola. They brought this festival, as part of their home with them. Giglio stems from the Italian word for lily, as San Paolino was welcomed home with lilies after being set free from North African pirates by a Turkish sultan. San Paolino had exchanged his freedom for a boy who had been taken as a slave by the pirates. The story of this act of altruism spread to the sultan’s ears, who was moved to set Paolino free.

This year the role of #1 Capo was filled by Gerard Langone and the Turk was Neil Dellamonica. Deacon Phil Franco became an Honorary Capo for a special lift on Giglio Sunday in honor his uncle, Apprentice Capo Louis Franco, who passed away in March.

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The first lift of Giglio Sunday: the unity in the hands gets to the heart of this group effort that lifts and moves tons of weight down Havemeyer Street.
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(l to r) Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello with Bishop Neil Tiedemann, who wore a most appropriate chasuble for the occasion as a lily adornment was embroidered on the back. Giglio means lily.
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The dance of the Gilgio brings out the kid in all of us.
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This year’s Giglio crowd was a record breaker!

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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