250_madonna.jpgIn honor of the Sicilians who worshiped the sacred Black Madonna del Tindari statue in the East Village there’s a festa being held next week. Revelers are encouraged to descend on the Phoenix Bar, the former site of the “store front chapel/social club” that originally housed the heathen idol on East 13th street from 1913 to 1987—in 1988 the space was converted into a bar and sadly, the Madonna has been hidden in a private home in New Jersey ever since. The pagan rituals start at 7PM on Monday night:

“Plans are brewing to create an ephemeral altar during the festivities. Please bring ribbons, flowers, candles, photos, statues, images, chalk, face paint, feathers, tape, words, songs, or anything you are inspired to contribute to the altar.”

If only the Catholic Church took this more alcohol infused approach to their official rituals, that stingy sip of wine just doesn’t do the trick.