Sant'Anna in Lacco Ameno

congrega-s-annaNot at all overshadowed by the magnitude of the Feast and the Palio of St. Anna in Ischia, Mother Mary is celebrated with equal enthusiasm of people even in Lacco Ameno and precisely in the Church of San Rocco and the Congregation of St. Anna, a temple rich in artistic beauty that throughout the year but especially in the month of July, is full of activities and celebrations full of intensity.
But what are the origins of this congregation, such as the beauties that adorn it?

We spoke with Giuseppe Monti (known as Peppe), delegate to the worship of the congregation who tells about the events of the temple from its origins to the present day.
The first document that testifies the existence of the Church of San Rocco in Lacco is the deed of notary Polidoro Albano in 1542; the City of Lacco then boasted on this Church the right of patronage that later gave way in 1709 to the Brothers of the Pio Monte di S. Anna, founded already in 1628.
Before the earthquake of July 28, 1883 the Church of size longer, consists of eight arches (four per side), the barrel ceiling with stucco and a bowl-shaped cupola surmounting the altar.
The works were entrusted to Mr. Carlo Mennella, but the finances of the time allowed only a partial reconstruction. Only in recent times the Church, thanks to the generosity of so many, has been completely renovated and embellished.
On the front it is possible to see the artistic portal of 1600 in piperno stone, found during the restoration of 1984, under a layer of concrete, and ceramic depicting St. Rocco and St. Anna in the background of Mount Vico and the “mushroom” symbol of Lacco Ameno.
Entering, to the right, we can immediately notice the wooden statue of St. Anthony of Padua of 1600, while in the second period there is another chapel which contains the beautiful and artistic group of wooden statues of Saints Joachim and Anna with child Maria, by great Neapolitan sculptor Giuseppe Sammartino. These three statues, Peppe tells us, were given to the Church by can. Antonio Schiano and later restored by artist Gennaro Di Talia, real gem of art.
The current sanctuary with two transepts side, rebuilt in the late 1980s, is topped by a large dome. Currently, the Church presents those features that had before the earthquake. At the top, in the center, we admire the artistic sunburst dating back 1896 in wood decorated with gold leaf on which there is the wonderful canvas of 1628 depicting Saints Joachim and Anne and child Mary. At the two sides are still two paintings of 1600depicting  S.Rocco and St. Francis of Assisi.
On the left side there is the wooden statue of St. Rocco in 1930, a gift of Stanislao Mennella. In the hall to the side we can see the old wooden altar worked in gold, the great canopy for the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the life-size statue in pine wood depicting Padre Pio, which is also highly revered in the Congregation where there is a long prayer group dedicated to Him. Current Prior Abramo De Siano is assisted by Vice Prior Giovansante Aristodeemo and councilors Nunzio Sarpo, Franco Minerva and John Zavota; cashier is Salvatore Castagna, secretary is Maria Pia Capuano.
Before getting into the program of the festival, 2014, a special mention must be made to the historic Chaplain of St. Anna, now sick, Msgr. Vincenzo Scotti, who served with love this congregation from 1966 to 2005, and was, tells us Peppe, the principal architect of the total renovation of the Church with their own funds, and the help and cooperation of many faithful; Msgr. Scotti was also the historic hospital chaplain, but in addition to the patients, he was always eager to visit the sick and the elderly in homes and with his generosity has helped many needy people in our ward.
The festival was once lived with a Triduum which preceded the procession of July 26, until 1947 when, because of the war is no longer celebrated; with the arrival of Mgr. Scotti started again the celebration of St. Anna, with a novena that sees its official opening on July 16 (Feast of the Madonna del Carmine) with the enthronement of the group of wooden statues of St. Anna, St. Joachim and baby Mary; needless to mention that St. Anna is much venerated in a special way by many mothers who come on this occasion. The festival culminates with two-days festival on July 25 and 26: on July 25 in Piazza San Rosario with traditional charity event and award ceremony of grandparents, more worthy, on 26, the feast of St. Anna, after Masses in the morning, in the evening there will be a Mass in Piazza Rosario followed by a procession, with the spectacle of fireworks on the Marina of Lacco. Afterwards, the performance of the musician Giovanni Iapino that will brighten those present that will be turn out once again in Lacco, to make their homage to St. Anna and enjoy evenings of joy and happiness together!

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