The Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston presented Mayor Thomas M. Menino with their annual “Italian American of the Year” award during the Opening Night of the 103rd Fisherman’s Feast in Boston’s North End on August 15, 2013.
“We are honored to be able to give this award to the mayor for everything that he has done. He was not only the mayor of this city for 20 years, but he served as a leader, a role model and a generous individual to all,” said Madonna del Soccorso Society President Louis Strazzulo.
The society presents the award annually to an Italian American who exemplifies the traditions and values of the Italian American heritage and who has given back to the local Boston community. Past recipients include former World Welterweight Champion and Boston native Tony DeMarco, renowned chef Mary Ann Esposito and Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino.
The Madonna de Soccorso Society of Boston was founded in 1910 by Italian immigrants hailing from the town of Sciacca, Sicily. Every year since it’s founding, the society conducts the Fisherman’s Feast based on tradition that goes back to the 16th century in Sciacca and their devotion to the Madonna del Soccorso (Our Lady of Help). Today’s Feast is much the same as it was over 100 years ago, organized by the descendants of the original immigrants and holding the honor of being Boston’s oldest continuous Italian festival.
The Feast traditionally starts on the Thursday closest to Aug 15, the feast day of the Madonna, when past fishermen are remembered with a blessing of the fishing waters. There is entertainment on the North Street bandstand and vendors adorning North and Fleet Streets throughout the weekend as part of the festival, culminating on Sunday night with the famous “Flight of the Angel.”
More information about the Madonna del Soccorso Society of Boston can be found at FishermansFeast.com.