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Message From The President Maria Mandarino

How the origins of the feast of Sant’Onofrio came to Toronto.

Dear Readers

Sant’Onofrio is the Protector of Centrache, a small town in the Province of Catanzaro.

Since a child, I had a loving devotion towards my Protector Sant’Onofrio.

I was always attracted towards the festivities which takes place in my town, the second Sunday of August, and whenever I went on vacation, I always tried to make it possible to be present for the festivities of Sant’Onofrio in Centrache.

In 1997, in a short distance of two months, both of my parents passed away in Italy.  For me it was a big loss in my life and I missed them a lot.  It seemed like I remained alone, it was my strong faith that I nourished growing up with, I prayed and turned to Sant’Onofrio for my pain and heartache, and from that moment on he illuminated me to overcome these difficult times.

In 1999, I felt in my heart Sant’Onofrio was telling me he wanted a commitment and from that day on, that’s how the festivities of Sant’Onofrio came to Toronto.

I started the festivities with a big framed picture of Sant’Onofrio.

In 2001, with love and devotion, I started working hard to achieve the goal of having a Statue of Sant’Onofrio in Toronto.  I found Antonio Caruso who sculpted the Statue.

On June 12 of the same year, the statue of Sant’Onofrio was blessed by Father Celestino Canzio in the church of St. Jane Frances, Downsview, Ontario.

At this moment the Statue of Sant’Onofrio Protector of Centrache, which was venerated in Toronto resides in the chapel of S.S. Crocifisso delle Suore Minime della Passione Woodbridge, Ontario, where every year we celebrate the religious festivities in honour of Sant’Onofrio, with gratitude. 

I thank my Protector Sant’Onofrio, who illuminated me to do this religious function in his honour.  For me this represents a great joy.

I personally, and the entire committee, with devotion, and honesty, and with a lot of love, we dedicate and continue to work hard to bring this traditional festivity of our town in Toronto.

As President, I feel proud, on my behalf, and on behalf of the entire committee of Sant’Onofrio Centrachese of Toronto, with this message, want to express my sincere gratitude to all our paesani, and friends who are devoted to Sant’Onofrio, that every year with their presence, make the Sant’Onofrio festivities more bigger and more splendid.

May Sant’Onofrio help, and protect us all in our journies.



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