Feast of St. Agrippina di Mineo
For nearly a century, the Feast of St. Agrippina di Mineo has been held annually in the North End of Boston, MA. Since 1914, when the Chapel of Saint Agrippina di Mineo was constructed, the members of the St. Agrippina di Mineo Benefit Society have hosted this popular feast day celebration. Activities include a procession, family oriented games, music, food and fun for all ages.
Saint Agrippina was born to a noble Roman family sometime in the 3rd century AD. She was killed during the reign of Emperor Valerian around 256 AD as punishment for resisting the emperor's advances. Her body was carried to Mineo, Italy by three devout Christian women (possibly her sisters), Paula, Bessa and Agathonice. The expedition undertaken by these three young women was full of miracles, including curing the sick and the expulsion of demons from people. Throughout the journey, Agrippina's body was accompanied by wonderful fragrances. Her reliquary was light enough that the three girls could carry it easily. An angel protected the girls and clouds carried and covered them during times of danger. Sailors and farmers venerated her. It is said that at the sight of the reliquary, devils were forced out of their victims.
The Feast of St. Agrippina originated in Mineo, Italy. Although the Catholic church no longer celebrates the feast day, it is still celebrated by the Orthodox church. The saint is also honored to a lesser degree by the Greeks, who claim that Saint Agrippina's relics were transferred from Sicily to Constantinople in order to "protect them from profanation by infidels.". Her burial site was a significant pilgrimage destination for many Italians. She is the patron saint for protection against thunderstorms, leprosy, evil spirits and bacterial diseases.
Only two churches dedicated to Saint Agrippina exist in the world. One is located in Mineo, Italy and the other in Boston, MA. The Boston Chapel of St. Agrippina di Mineo usually holds the saint's feast day celebration between late July and early August. The people of Boston consider Agrippina to be a significant saint and many make it a custom to show their respect and renew their faith during the yearly celebration.