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Summer 2020 North End Italian Feasts & Processions Canceled for COVID-19 Concerns

With no large public gatherings in the City of Boston being permitted this summer, city officials have consulted with the North End feast societies to cancel scheduled 2020 feasts and processions through Labor Day.

Saint Anthony’s Centennial Feast – August 2019 (Photo: Matt Conti)

St. Anthony’s Society, Madonna Del Soccorso Society (Fisherman’s Feast) and St. Agrippina Society, have issued cancellations today regarding their feasts scheduled for July and August. San Gennaro’s Feast, originally scheduled for September was previously called off by organizers. St. Leonard Church has also canceled the traditional June feast day for St. Anthony of Padua.

The cancelation of the festivals is an unprecedented event, as many have of the feast celebrations have continued for over 100 years through wars and depressions. St. Anthony’s Feast celebrated its Centennial last year with Fisherman’s and St. Agrippina now well past the 100-year mark. This year was to be the centennial feast for the Madonna Della Cava Society. Some members are discussing virtual events or video-streaming small tributes during the summer weekends. Stay tuned.

Dear Friends:

It is with great sadness that we announce that we are cancelling the 2020 Saint Anthony and Saint Lucy Feast. We come to this decision after much consideration and in consultation with the City of Boston.

For over 100 years, Saint Anthony’s Feast has celebrated faith, family, community and tradition in the North End of Boston. During this current crisis, these values have special meaning that will guide us. Visit our social media pages for further announcements and virtual feast events in August.

The Saint Anthony & Saint Lucy family wish everyone good health during this time of uncertainty. We join with all of you in praying for those around the world affected by this public health crisis.  In the meantime, we will begin planning next year’s celebration and commemorate the Centennial of Saint Lucy’s Feast on August 26-29, 2021.

Please continue to follow public health guidelines, be safe and be healthy. God Bless.

Via Sant’ Antonio e’ Santa Lucia.
The Members of St. Anthony’s Society

Fisherman’s Feast 2019 (Photo: Matt Conti)

Dear Family and Friends of the Madonna Del Soccorso Society,

It is with a heavy heart that we send out this letter today. For 110 Years the Fisherman’s feast of Boston has celebrated the feast of our beloved Madonna del Soccorso, from our blessing of the fleet and family night on Thursday, to our grand procession and flight of the Angel on Sunday.

Unfortunately due to the current pandemic and restrictions put in place by the city of Boston, we have been forced to cancel this year’s feast.

I know it will be difficult to imagine a summer in the North End without our festivals and traditions, but now is a time that we must look to the Madonna and all the patron Saints to help us all get through these troubled times. It is with our devotion, prayers and beliefs that we will all make it through this together and stronger.

We can say that at some point there will be a planned celebration for the Madonna. We will definitely keep you all informed as soon as plans are made.

We hope that you all are safe and healthy and we want to extend our well wishes to everyone. If you are in need or having troubles, the Madonna del Soccorso Society is here to help you. Please reach out if you need us in any way.


The Madonna Del Soccorso Society
Viva La Madonna

St. Agrippina Society – Message Regarding 106th Anniversary Feast

Madonna della Cava processed through the North End, August 2018.

Dear Devoted Members and Friends of the Society of the Madonna Della Cava,

We are hoping this finds you safe and in good health. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the City of Boston’s postponement of public events through September 1st 2020 the Feast of Madonna Della Cava has been cancelled. The 2020 celebration of the Madonna Della Cava would have been our 100th annual celebration and we are extremely saddened to have to postpone but we understand the health of our members, the City, and the State is the number one priority to get through this time.

We will plan to commemorate our momentous occasion in some way this August. Even if we cannot all be together physically the way we had hoped, we will keep our members and friends updated on those efforts moving forward.

Now more than ever it is important to pray to our blessed Madonna for guidance during this trying time. The Feast of the Madonna Della Cava is more than just a street festival to all of us, we pray and look to our blessed mother for guidance during our personal struggles and know that she is with us now more than ever.

The North End will be a lot quieter this summer and it truly pains us to even imagine a summer without the Feasts, but we will be back on the second weekend in August 2021 and we will be sure to make up for this lost time.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our first responders and healthcare workers, please know that the Madonna loves YOU, free and clear.


The Madonna Della Cava Society

San Rocco

Friends of the San Rocco Society,

Sadly I must inform you that our Feast will not be held this year. This decision was made by the Officers in conjunction with our liaison to Mayor Marty Walsh. 

Please everyone be safe, take every necessary precaution, wear a mask when you leave your home, and ask San Rocco to look out for us.

Thank you.
San Rocco Society

Feast societies can send information to to have their letters and information listed here.

Summer 2020 North End Feast & Procession Schedule

June 7, 2020 – Santa Maria Di Anzano Procession

June  2020 – Saint Anthony of Padua Procession

June 28, 2020 – Saint Padre Pio Procession

July 12, 2020 – Madonna delle Grazie Procession

July 19, 2020 – San Rocco Procession

July 26, 2020 – St. Joseph Procession

July 30 & 31, August 1, & 2, 2020 – St. Agrippina di Mineo Feast —  Facebook page

August 7, 8 & 9, 2020 – Madonna Della Cava Feast

August 13, 14, 15 & 16, 2020
Fisherman’s Feast of the Madonna Del Soccorso di Sciacca
 — Facebook page

August 27, 2020 – St. Lucy’s Feast

August 28, 29 & 20, 2020 – Saint Anthony’s Feast  —  Twitter

The City order is through Labor Day, event dates after that are to be determined.

September 13, 2020 – Santa Rosalia di Palermo (to be determined)
Facebook page

September 18, 19, 20, 2020 — San Gennaro Feast (canceled) — Facebook page

Cambridge, MA
September 11, 12 and 13, 2020 – SS Cosmas and Damian (Tentative)

15 Replies to “Summer 2020 North End Italian Feasts & Processions Canceled for COVID-19 Concerns

  1. It is with great sadness when I read of our Beautiful feasts being cancelled. My Husband joined St Anthony Society 42 years ago I joined St Lucy 40 years ago My Husband started carrying and I walking with St Anthony and next day St Lucy. So many memories of Faith,Family and community. one being as we started walking on Sunday My Husband lost all his keys Well when we got back 10 hours later a strange women came over to him and said do you know anyone who lost these keys and of course one of the miracles was sent from St Anthony. And now My Son has also been carrying the tradition as a grateful member of St Anthony Society

  2. Corrine , when the Feast of San Gennaro was cancelled over a couple of months ago I wrote a comment anticipating that all Feasts & Processions would be cancelled this year. As you well know our Feasts were a tradition for over 100 years . A chance to see old friends ,a time to remember all the people thstwe lost over the years and to take a walk down memory lane and revisit the NE that we once knew .So it is with heavy heart that I respect this decision and I know it’s the right decision.but it still hurts. VIVA and stay safe and healthy.

  3. Sad is an extreme understatement for the members, family and fiends, this brings too these society’s. Our lives are deeply embedded in them. Too not be able to see the first procession come out in June, which opens the feast season, too September which closes the season. It’s also the time we all socialize more, seeing members from other society’s, visiting them through out the summer, supporting each other. As we start to roam around a little more, and you walk around the North End, stop in front of the society’s clubs or Church where our statues are and say a little prayer. We may not be able to visit you, but you can surely visit them.

  4. I always schedule a trip home to New England to coincide with the Feast of Saint Anthony, to break bread with the Valenti Family at Joe Tecci’s and get cannolis at Mike’s. What a shame

    1. Paul, they just announced the cancelation of the Pops 4th of July concert and fireworks celebration at the Esplanade Hatch Shell on the Charles River as well.

  5. Lot of let down s , but maybe good judgement unlike the man who took money off the statue at the St.Anthony when I was 12,That was bad judgement,I’m 55 now and that dope is probly just getting out of where ever they took the bloody mess, safes good!

  6. close Hanover street to traffic and allow restaurants to have outdoor seating….these small restaurants will not survive

  7. I can’t believe in 21 years I would imagine seeing a rare announcement like this thank God this is temporary for the safety of the people. Yuppies must be pleased they get a year seeing this summer there just like a regular town. Still hard for me to see and hear. We’re used to a postponement once in a great while but this 😔 commenting now. This is like a equivalence of a divorce.

    1. When this returns I would hope that each society celebrates this rain or shine without having to postpone at all if it’s off and on showers or deciding not to do anything because of $$ . Another is to get more carriers espically the younger folks (like me). St Jude could come back, St Joseph could possibly be a feast again. This is some goals I would consider when we get to celebrate again.

      1. CJ, Saint Joseph Feast brings back great memories for me and I never really got an explanation why the Feast was no more. $Id guess. Their was a famous doo wop oldie group from New York called the Capris (all Italians) at one time they played at the Feast many times .Their most famous tune was “There’s a moon out tonight” (probably before your time 😁) I miss the Feast but I still supported the society and attended the Sunday Procession every year.Nice but can’t replace the Feast . Stay safe & healthy.

        1. I still hold a grudge against that society because of it. I I can’t pipebomb anything here but yes the Mula it had to be. The old man would know more about your statement and the Capris I’m sure. The million dollar check to St Leonard’s I’ll give them that.

      2. I found this quote in Wikipedia. “In 1918, the Spanish Influenza Pandemic hit the crowded North End severely; so many children were orphaned as a result of the pandemic that the city created the Home for Italian Children to care for them”.

        1. T, forgot the home is still in existence and accepts all children .There was a cholera outbreak long before the 1918 Spanish flu that wiped out over 700 residents of the NE. And the year after the pandemic of 1918 there was the Great Molasses Flood that swept through the NE killing children and people as the hot molasses flooded Commercial St. Their is only a small plaque at Langone Park & Puopolo playground to remember the tragedy. Most of the Northenders I grew up with never heard of the flood. Puopolo attended Harvard and was a member of the football team. He and several teamates went to the old “Combat zone” where he was stabbed to death.

  8. It’s hurts to say, but I think we have seen the start of the end of the feast of all sizes in the North End. The reason now is covic19. But those growing number of residents who think it’s time to go, may use this to point out, it’s time to stop the stands, the music, the noise, garbage, parking and so forth. If they survive this year without and the world didn’t end, then maybe they will use this. I hope not, but if enough people make noise, they will be tightly restricted to just a small area with limited time. And the traditions will end. Let’s pray not.

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