This weekend, members of the Saint Joseph Society will hoist their patron saint on their shoulders for the 87th time.
According to Society Vice President Gaetano Tarara, The Saint Joseph Society of Boston was founded by a group of men in 1925. These men came over from the small town of Riesi in Sicily and began holding a feast in the honor of their patron saint each year during the last weekend of July.
"We want to carry on the tradition set in place by our ancestors," Tarara said. Tarara said that the Saint Jospeh Society raised $35,000 for charities last year, one of which is for an orphanage in Riesi. "We raise money for a lot of charities both here in Boston and in Riesi. Riesi is a poor town and we try to help anyone out with their bad luck."
“A married couple came here from Riesi, they were business owners in Riesi who employ a lot of people in the town. They came to us looking for help because their youth soccer program needed a bus so they could play other towns. We helped them out because we can,” Tarara said. “Around here in the North End, there are a lot of young people and we pride ourselves on being friendly to them and watching out for them if they ever need help. We look out for each other here.”
Tarara said that this Thursday night, there will be a cook out open to all, free of charge at 467 Hanover Street.
The feast begins the next night. “Friday night, we have live music from 5 to 11 p.m. and a blessing of Saint Joseph at 5:30 p.m.,” Tarara said. “Friday is the take off where we take the statue of Saint Joseph out of the chapel and put him on the stage on Hanover Street.”
Saturday, there is live music from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sunday, the Saint Joseph Society has a parade that “marches all through every street,” Tarara said. “Last year, we had 30 vendors and about 90 percent of them are repeats this year. We’ll have closer to 40 this year, though. There will be more food than you know what to do with, all good quality Italian food,” Tarara said.
This will be the 87th annual feast for Saint Joseph. All are invited to come and enjoy the food, the scenery and the celebration.