Tag Archives: Portuguese

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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The Blessing of the Portuguese Fishing Fleet – 1950s

The photo is the property of David B. Cox of (Main Street Arts and Antiques).

This photo may also have appeared in the National Geographic Magazine (July 1953)

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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

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.”