Welcome to the Joliet Santa Fortunate website!
This site, implemented by Joliet resident Jerry Taylor, is dedicated to preserving the history and memories associated with Joliet’s feast of Santa Fortunate.
The Joliet Illinois Society Santa Fortunata was established on the East side of Joliet around 1936-1937 with the purpose to relive the festivals held back in the “old country”, Italy, specifically in the Province of Palermo Sicily, in the city of Baucina.
Baucina is a city consisting of less than 1,000 families whose Patron Saint is Santa Fortunata. Detailed information on Santa Fortunata can be found clicking here.
Though the Santa Fortunata festivals could no longer be held because of changing times, the society did stay in tact, though inactive, over time. However, it was with great dismay that Joliet’s Society Santa Fortunata was disbanded in March of 2008.
As part of the Joliet Santa Fortunata, a parade would take place starting from the Society Santa Fortunata Hall, located in the 500 block of Meeker Ave., moving through the East side of town to St. Anthony’s church at 100 N Scott St. for morning Mass. The parade would then leave St Anthony’s and proceed back through the East side to the Santa Fortunata Hall. The people in the parade would carry a statue of Santa Fortunata and as the parade progressed to and from the church, folks would place money on the statue.
At one point the whereabouts of the statue was unknown. However it know resides at the Joliet historical museum.
At some point during the festival, small girls, dressed like angels, hung above the crowd, from a rope, over the statue where they would recite some words and drop flower petals or confetti on the crowd. About when that was going on, pigeons were released into the air and firecrackers would start exploding. Then the girls would scurry back as fast as possible to get off those ropes.
The festival would have several activities for people to partake in, including bingo and Italian food. Many can still smell and taste those delicious Italian sausage sandwiches and never had an Italian sausage that tasted that way since the Santa Fortunata.
Any help with additional photos or memories can be posted here on the site or sent through email firstname.lastname@example.org