Church of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Manhattan)

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel of New York
The Madonna of East Harlem
The Madonna of Carmel of New York - Pontifically Crowned.jpg
The canonically crowned image out in public procession
LocationEast Harlem, New York City, New York
United States of AmericaUnited States
WitnessAntonio Petrucci
Holy See approvalPope Leo XIII
Pope Pius X
ShrineOur Lady of Mount Carmel Parish
Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Lady Mt Carmel RCC sunny jeh.jpg
The facade of the church
General information
Town or cityNew York, New York
CountryUnited States
Construction started1884
ClientRoman Catholic Archdiocese of New York

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a Roman Catholic parish church under the authority of the Archdiocese of New York, located in East Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, United States. The church's formal address is 448 East 116th Street, although the entrance to the church building is on East 115th Street, just off Pleasant Avenue. The parish enshrines a vested statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, widely venerated by its devotees.

Pope Leo XIII granted the image a Canonical Coronation on 12 May 1903. Pope Pius X carried over the Pontifical decree and donated a gemstone for the crown to which the ceremony occurred on 10 July 1904. It is one of the four canonically crowned images authorized by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the United States of America.


The church itself was constructed in 1884 by Reverend Emil Koerner of the Congregation of Priests of Saint Mary of Tinchebray. At the time, the parishioners held mass at East 111th street until the completion of the shrine in 1885. The church at the time cost $40,000 USD though did not formally open until 7 August 1887. The former shrine became populated with incoming Italian and Bohemian congregants and Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the second Italian parish in New York City and the first Southern Italian parish. Since the first feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel on 16 July 1881, its annual feast has been a major event in East Harlem, at one time attended by more than 100,000.[1] The church cornerstone was laid on September 20, 1884. A new school and gymnasium were added to the church on September 1, 1965.

The parish shrine of the Virgin Mary was crowned by in the name of the Pope on 10 July 1904.[2]

Our Lady of Mount Carmel image[edit]

The parish church enshrines an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, brought by an Italian immigrant and saloon owner, Antonio Petrucci from Polla, in Salerno, Italy. The statue replaces a poster image used by Italian immigrants devotees who first settled in the area.

The image, garnering devotion was authorised to crown by Pope Leo XIII by a pontifical decree dated 12 May 1903. Pope Pius X approved the Canonical coronation under his pontificate by granting an Emerald gemstone on 10 July 1904 via Archbishop John Murphy Farley, which was held in Thomas Jefferson Park to accommodate the wide amount of pilgrims. The image is widely venerated by its faithful, who sometimes refer to the image as the Madonna of East Harlem.


Every year on the second weekend of August, the Giglio Society of East Harlem holds an Italian festival on the streets around the Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church. The festival or "feast" includes the Society performing the "Dancing Giglio". The dancing of the Giglio is an Italian tradition which began over 125 years ago on the street of East Harlem.

In 2013, the parish was placed under the care of the Polish Pallottine fathers.[3] The church currently offers masses in English, Spanish, Polish and Latin.

Since 2015 the pastor of the parish is Rev. Marian Wierzchowski.[4]


  1. ^ "100,000 Italians Mark Saint's Day in Harlem". New York Times. July 17, 1937. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Rocchio, Lisa. "Our Lady of Mount Carmel". Fordham University. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  3. ^ "East Harlem Italian Parish Gets New Life from Polish Order". Voices of NY. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "Our Reverends".


  • The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880-1950, Third Edition. 2010.

Coordinates: 40°47′41.38″N 73°56′2.53″W / 40.7948278°N 73.9340361°W / 40.7948278; -73.9340361