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8000 devotees honour 'La Madonna'

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The 64th year of continuous devotion to La Madonna di Montevergine in Adelaide was celebrated by more than 8000 people on the last Sunday in September.

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The biggest religious festival in South Australia began in 1955 when the Madonna icon arrived here with migrants from the Campania region of Italy.

The procession began from the Church of the Annunciation, Hectorville, at 9am and concluded at St Francis of Assisi Church, Newton, at approximately 10am.

Madonna di Montevergine Festa president Domenico Zollo OAM said about 1500 devotees walked in the procession, including almost all other Italian religious associations in Adelaide.

Concelebrated Mass was held at 10.30am in the school grounds alongside the church and Fr Michael Romeo, parish priest of Penola, was principal celebrant.

“After Mass we had a variety of stalls selling traditional Italian foods including pasta, zeppole (Italian style donuts) arancini, souvenirs, cakes and coffee, and lots more,” said Mr Zollo.

The evening entertainment, provided by a traditional Italian band, concluded with a “fantastic fireworks display”.

Mr Zollo said the community was looking forward “with great expectations” to next year’s 65th anniversary. Premier Steven Marshall and other Members of Parliament were among the local dignitaries attending the festa.

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