Tag Archives: Our Lady Of Good Voyage

BLESSING OF THE FLEET 1953

As Published in National Geographic July 1953

10 - Copy“Let him who knows not prayer go to sea”

“Devout Portuguese fishermen of New England’s old port of Gloucester Massachusetts, who daily face the dangers of deep water, well know the truth of that old proverb. These men who wrest a hard living from the sea rely on Our Lady of Good Voyage, as well as chart and compass. And once a year, in early June, the vessels of Gloucester’s Portuguese fleet gather at the State Fish Pier to be blessed.”

 

Below are photos from the same; showing the Blessing of the fleet in 1953.

Times have changed.

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Magazine bought at Dogtown Bookstore

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2014 DES Crowing Ceremony – A Portuguese Tradition

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State Senator Bruce Tarr honors the Portuguese Tradition

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Antonino Pereira the 2014 DES Emperor march through the Portuguese Community and attend a hugh mass with Ftaher “Jim”

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Captain Mesquita’s grand-daughter and great grand-daughter continue in the tradition. Mesquita commissioned the silver crown to be made in Portugal and blessed by Pope Leo XIII, which he presented to the church, Our Lady of Good Voyage.

Portuguese Celebrate The Crowning Tradition

Father James Achadinha and Mr. and Mrs. Antonino Pereira invite all of Gloucester to celebrate at a Mass at Our Lady of Good Voyage on Sunday June 15th at 10:00 AM.

This week is full of Prayer, Mass and Rosary at the D.E.S. Portuguese Club on Prospect Street.

The history of the crowning dates to the 14th century, when Queen Isabella of Portugal instituted the annual practice of crowning one of her subjects as imperator, or king, for a day. Gloucester has been celebrating this tradition since 1902.

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D.E.S .– Feast of the Holy Spirit Celebration

State Senator Bruce Tarr is an honored guest of the new Emperor  Mr. and Mrs. Jose Dias Ferreira.  A High Mass celebrated  at Our Lady of Good Voyage, with Father Alves, followed by a Portuguese traditional meal “Sopas do Espirito Santo” at the DES Portuguese Club.  This is a seven hundred year old Portuguese tradition, carried on primarily by the Azorean Communities all over the world.

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This post is dedicated to my parents Anibal and Adelina Simoes and my proud Azorean heritage.

Portuguese Crowning Procession

Yesterday, I was caught off guard by the sound of a marching band. I ran to the window and saw something I’d never seen before: a procession with a marching band (that part I had seen before) with a series of couples and young women in elaborate gowns carrying crowns (that was new to me!).  Naturally, I grabbed my camera and hurried to get photos. I inquired what the occasion was, and got a brief explanation. In essence, it’s a tradition of our Portuguese-speaking community (from Portugal and the Azores, not Brazil), related to Pentecost, celebrated by the parish of Our Lady of Good Voyage.   I found a more detailed explanation here in an old article of the Gloucester daily Times.  [Update: a fellow GMG blogger gave a great explanation just before I posted this!] So, here are some photos, for those who, like me, have never seen it before!

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Celebration of the Feast of the Holy Spirit

D.E.S. – “Divino Espírito Santo”

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Fatima and Manuel Silva  Honored with the Holy Crown

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Harold Ercolani -President of the DES

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Taylor Benttencourt -Carries the New DES Crown

The History of the Holy Ghost Feast
The original Holy Ghost Feast was held during the reign of Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal, who lived from 1271 to 1336. She was known as a peacemaker and as “The Holy Queen” who was devoted to the Holy Spirit. She built a church dedicated to the name of the Holy Spirit in Lisbon and often demonstrated her devotion to her people and their well-being. There are many stories of the Queen’s piety and service, but the dearest to the Portuguese people of the Azores is the one explaining their devotion to Queen Elizabeth and the Holy Ghost. In the 13th century, the Azores Islands suffered from many violent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The most seriously hit was the Island of Pico. The people of these Azores Islands could not survive the drought, crop failures, and famine that now plagued them. They gathered together in prayer to the Holy Ghost for help. On the morning of Pentecost Sunday, there was a great rising sun, and the people of these islands saw in the sunrise a ship coming into the Port of Fayal. This ship was laden with necessities of life. The food was distributed among the people of the various islands, and they were very grateful that their prayers had been answered. When their Queen heard of this providence, she organized a solemn procession in honor of the Holy Ghost. Accompanied by her maids she carried her Crown through the streets of Lisbon to the cathedral, where she left it on the altar as an offering of thanksgiving for the favors the Holy Ghost had given her people. In addition, she began a tradition of feeding the poor at Pentecost. Each year she chose twelve people to whom she gave a new suit of clothing and personally served them a meal at her table. The people of the Azores vowed that they and their children and their children’s children would commemorate the day by giving thanks to their Queen for the sacrifice she made. Since then, many Portuguese churches have displayed replicas of her eight-sided crown in remembrance of her goodness and God’s grace. Later, in the 16th century, the church canonized this holy queen in recognition of the miracles that were attributed to her pious life

Moonrise behind Our Lady of Good Voyage

On my way to an appointment yesterday evening, I saw this amazing view. I turned my car around on Prospect St. and parked in order to snap this shot – and met another photographer who had done exactly the same thing at the same spot (we ended up parked one behind the other, and shooting from the same spot on the sidewalk…).

Moonrise behind Our Lady of Good Voyage

Catherine Ryan Talks About Our Lady

Catherine Ryan writes-

I really like your cropped close up portraits of the our lady of good voyage in CAM and the craske Fisherman sculpture, by the way. Hard to do something new with these and I think you LOVE Gloucester so much they’re really portraits, alive for you.

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The little carved wooden one has the boat and baby—given to Piatt Andrews (he and Gardener helped pay/raise funds for build out after fire) wonder why both and who worked with Halfdan H on it

Inside Our Lady of Good Voyage Church From Bill O’Connor

Hey Joe,

I was passing Our Lady of Good Voyage Church on Friday and saw the door open, so I thought I would have a look inside.  I haven’t been in there for quite some time, and as soon as I walked through the door there was the strong residual odor of frankincense, which instantly made it feel comfortable and familiar. I have vivid memories of how the altar boys would swing the incense burner (the thurible or censer) as they walked down the aisle. On the last steps out they would make it do a full loop over their heads, and Father Alves would smile [with consternation].

I had forgotten about the rich fishing ties that the church had to the community until I saw the décor inside again.  Notice the model ships on the wall between the stations of the cross and along the choir balcony.  I think the swag under the boats on the balcony is actually fishing net!

Enjoy!
~Bill O’Connor
North Shore Kid

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Our Lady of Good Voyage – Then and Now

Vintage postcards acquired at Antique Store on Main Street Gloucester, ower – David Cox.

The original building burned down in 1912, and the current church was built in 1914.

Postcards show the original church and the rebuilt one prior to 1922, the photo shows current view of the church.

Our Lady of Good Voyage Information Link

Our Lady of Good Voyage Carillon Bells are home

Thanks to Linn Parisi for the tip-

The church’s 31 bells were cast by the Taylor Bell Foundry in England and installed during the summer of 1922, and restored by Meek, Wilson & Company.

Bill Meeks was on site directing the operations, photo of him strapping a Bell.

Each bell has a Saints Name in Portuguese, and a name of a person.  There is a story for each bell, I am sure.  The first Reverend, a Captain, and A. Piatt Andrew are the names on the bells shown.  On A. Piatt Andrew’s bell is the inscription in Portuguese “The Heart of Jesus”, as he was instrumental in getting the bells brought to the church in 1922.

An elderly man stood watching them being re-installed, he said to me “I am so glad they are back, I thought I would never hear them ring again, but my prayers were answered.”

Our Lady of Good Voyage submitted to The GMG Flickr Group Pool by Cathy Tarr

Cathy Writes-

There is so much to see from this view – the lights reflecting on the water, the houses on the hills in East Gloucester, the steeples of Our Lady of Good Voyage Church and Our Lady herself, watching over the city.

Our Lady of Good Voyage, originally uploaded by ~ cathy ~.

Our Lady Of Good Voyage Statue At Cape Ann Museum

I’ve been kicking myself for a good long while now for missing the Charlie Lowe exhibit as well as the St Peter’s Fiesta exhibit at Cape Ann Museum.  It had been probably about 30 years since I’d been in the Cape Ann Museum- what a mistake.

Well the Middle Street Walk was the perfect opportunity to reacquaint myself with the joint.  What a treat.  What a treasure. Go and see for yourself the beautiful artifacts within.  I loved seeing Deb Clarke’s beautiful fish on glass.  This old statue which I assume was the original that stood atop Our Lady Of Good Voyage Church.  The Old Republic- Howard Blackburn’s boat in which he sailed by himself across the Atlantic in record time after he had lost his hands to frostbite (I think that’s right).  The Fitz Hugh Lane Paintings.  The old dory and the tools used to make sails and mend nets.  The models of the Gloucester Waterfront accurate with the Flakeyards and all.

Bottom line is that if you haven’t been- GO.  You won’t be disappointed.  I also would tell you that if you have relatives or friends in from out of town- send them here as well as the Maritime Heritage Center and the Judith Sargent Murray House.

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