PLB Mary 1

Children dressed as Mary and angels stand in front of the 16th-century icon of Our Lady of Bethlehem displayed at St. Mary Church in Pahokee.

PLB Mary 2

Father John Mericantante, left, retired pastor of St. Mary Parish, and Father Raúl Cárdenas, pastor, recess out of the church following the Sept. 8, 2022, Mass for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

PAHOKEE  |  It was a festive occasion Sept. 8, 2022, as members of St. Mary Parish in Pahokee came to honor and celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birth and venerate the 16th century Russian-jeweled icon of Our Lady of Bethlehem, where the faithful pray for an answer to prayer and to give thanks. It was also the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the present church building and 89th anniversary of the original St. Mary Church.

Mary’s feast day celebration began with a children’s procession, with girls dressed in many ways as the Virgin Mary and boys dressed as angels. Father Raúl Cárdenas, pastor, presided at the concelebrated Mass honoring Mary. The homilist was Father John Mericantante, the parish’s pastor emeritus.

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