In what many are calling the largest eucharistic procession ever held in New York City, thousands of people took to the streets reciting prayers and singing songs of praise on the vigil of Pentecost, May 27.
The NYPD estimated more than 4,000 people took to the streets and processed through Times Square. Led by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat of the Archdiocese of New York, the procession brought together priests, nuns, and laity to pray for the forgiveness of sins in the iconic city and the world.
The theme of the procession was “¡Esta ciudad pertenece a Jesucristo!” — “This city belongs to Jesus Christ!”
The procession was organized by the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Center located in the Bronx, which is part of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Participants started at Father Duffy Square in Times Square and after two hours, the procession ended at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Mass was celebrated.
With a bullhorn in hand, Espaillat shared intense words to the faithful, saying: “In the middle of New York is the cross of Jesus Christ!”
“And this is why we rejoice today. We rejoice because this is Pentecost weekend. And we know what happened on Pentecost, right? There was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“And we would not be standing here if it were not for the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen?”
“So my sisters and my brothers in Christ, we rejoice today for the blessings that God has in store for this great city. I love this city! I love New York! And that’s why I’m here, because I want to pray for our city. Amen?”
He exclaimed in Spanish: “¡Esta es mi ciudad! ¡Esta es nuestra ciudad! ¡Esta ciudad es de Jesucristo!” which translates to “This is my city! This is our city! This city is Jesus Christ’s’!”
Photojournalist Jeffrey Bruno, who happened to be in the city for another assignment and stumbled upon the procession thanks to an Instagram post, said: “I have never seen anything like that before, especially in New York.”
One particularly moving moment Bruno captured was the crowded street, lined by the skyscrapers of Times Square, filled with the faithful kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament as it was being lifted high into the air.
Continue to the CNA site for photos.
–by By Francesca Pollio Fenton