(09/06/10) ST. MARY'S PARK - Hundreds of Bronx residents gathered today at St. Mary's Park to pay homage to an influential Puerto Rican reverend on his 80th birthday.

Rev. Yiye Avila has been dubbed the Billy Graham of the Hispanic community by those who follow him. He has been all over the world to preach the gospel. He visited the park today at the invitation of state Sen. Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., who called him a servant of God.

Avila did not preach today because he recently suffered a stroke, but the people at the event said his presence was enough.