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The 102nd St. Agrippina’s Feast was highlighted on Sunday with an 8 hour Grand Procession through the North End streets. Both the North End Marching Band and the Italian-American Band kept everyone upbeat with traditional feast music. Adding some of their own flair to the festive procession were the Greater Boston Firefighters Pipe and Drum Corps. The Grand Procession ended with the traditional “Tug of War” (the back half won again) and the “Dance of 20 Men” to cheers from the grateful crowd.

Saint Agrippina Di Mineo was a beautiful blond princess who was unmercifully tortured to death by the Emperor Valerian in 256 AD. After her death, her body was taken from Rome to Mineo, Sicily, by three holy women; Bassa, Paula and Agatonica. The commoners were amazed by the lightweight fragranced body protected by angels and shielded by clouds. In the North End, it’s 20 men that coordinate in a complex rhythm to keep the extremely heavy statue in the air. Read more about the benefit society, feast and the history of Saint Agrippina Di Mineo at www.saintagrippinaboston.com.

Enjoy the photos in this gallery from the 102nd St. Agrippina Sunday Grand Procession. Also see photos from the Children’s Procession and the Opening Night festivities.

View more photos from the 102nd St. Agrippina’s Feast.

Photos by Matt Conti.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Matt, these are some of the best pictures I have ever seen about our North End feasts. Have you ever considered giving up your mutual fund gig and becoming a full time photographer?

    Many years ago, when I was in college, my friend Peter Baldassari was president of the Saint Agrippina society. Peter roped a bunch of us into carrying the saint during the procession because they needed strong backs to help out the older guys. There was Joe Bova, Stevie Steriti (for whom the skating rink is named), Ronnie Freda and, I think, Augie Parziale. That statue is unbelievably heavy, the procession lasts several hours and the saint gets heavier as people add money.
    Whenever the saint stops at another saint’s chapel to pay its respect, the custom is for the members of that club to offer drinks to the guys bearing the load. Everyone would get a glass of wine or a shot of anisette, the band would play a serenade and we would toast the saint. As you can imagine, by the end of the day and several saint’s clubs later, we were feeling no pain.
    In a couple of the pictures the men carrying the saint appear to be going in opposite directions. This isn’t a mistake of a GPS glitch but a long standing tug of war tradition of the Saint Agrippina society. The young guys are trying to prove how strong they are and want to keep marching while the older men are tired and want to return the saint to the Battery Street chapel. The young guys always win. Sometimes during this battle the saint will tilt at a frightening angle but it has never fallen. I think that’s a miracle.
    Viva Santa Agrippina.

    • Nick, the Saints & sinners & a few desperado’s I remember carrying St Agrippina back in the day were the Prince St. crew & friends of Peter.Blouser Mike ,Ralphie Hawk, Angelo the caveman, Joe Guarino ,Danny. Chiippy Rocky Scalli, and others like Paul Lanni, Bova, Roger ,Sonny Salvy Domiano, Mario [on the handles] Eddie Marino,Joe [who wprked at City Hall], Harpo just to name a few.

      • Michael. You left out Guy-O. Butch Ross and Topper. Guy-O had a wooden leg.
        Like I said before, the only saints on Prince St. we’re in Saint Anthony’s Church.
        The sinners were across the street in
        Bee Gee’s.

  2. Great photos, great weather, great concert great Feast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Many thanks to the hard working men & woman of the St. Agrippina Society for working so hard to keep this great tradition alive for over a century. VIVA

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