By William Tauro

From what I am still hearing that the out of town pompous-ass developer that who bought up several parcels of property on Warren Street in East Cambridge on the Somerville line has a gripe to pick with our Feast.

I heard that this Developer is pissed off that the city of Cambridge during past years has painted a red, white and green stripe in the middle of Warren Street for that particular to celebrate the Cosmas and Damian Italian feast.

I also heard that this developer is ordering the city of Cambridge to no repaint the red, white and green stripe in the middle of the street and that he had issued a complaint ordering that the feast not to use any confetti this year as well. I’m also hearing now that this idiot is also proposing to fight that the feast not exist anymore on Warren Street.

My response to this moron is “Why don’t you as they say in Italian go Fungulo yourself Mr. Developer and stop interfering with our Italian heritage and let the people of East Cambridge and Somerville enjoy and celebrate their feast, their heritage and their faith as they have done for many, many years on Warren Street!

The Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian is an Italian/ American festival in honor of the Catholic Saints Cosmas and Damian. It is an annual event that thousands of people attend each year in Cambridge and Somerville, MA. The Feast typically takes place the weekend after Labor Day.

Just like other Italian feasts in the area (like Saint Anthony’s Feast and the Fisherman’s Feast), large life-sized statues of the saints are carried by members of the Saints Cosmas and Damian Society down local streets. As the Procession moves along, the Saints are stopped at each house, where people put money and gold on the statues. By the end of the festival, the statues of the saints are filled with money and gold.

As the statues of the Saints are carried down the streets of East Cambridge and Somerville they are greeted with fireworks, confetti, and balloons. Before the Saints are carried away from each house, they are lifted three times by the carriers to bless the home.

There are also many concessions on the streets of the Feast that are also open to the public. Vendors sell food, items, souvenirs, games, and more. Carnival rides are set up on the local streets. Free entertainment for all is also present throughout the entire weekend.

Over the years, many well-known groups have performed at the Feast, such as Tavares, The Village People, Tony Orlando, The Platters, The Drifters, Expose, and The Cover Girls.

The Feast began in 1926, when Italian immigrants from the city of Gaeta immigrated to the United States in large numbers. These immigrants formed the Society of Saints Cosmas and Damian, which is now a non-profit organization.

Tradition declares that they were twins and both were doctors and places their martyrdom around the year 287. Renowned during their lives for their healing arts, they are said to have brought many pagans to the Christian Faith by offering their services free of charge, led to them being named ‘Ανάργυροι’, (Unmercenary). Their reputation for healing continued after their martyrdom, as many miraculous cures were attributed to their intercession. For that reason, they are known as the patron saints of (among others) doctors, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, and barbers (who were the original surgeons).

Specific miracles that were attributed to their intercession in the century after the saints’ martyrdom, however, should be taken with a grain of salt, because many pagan stories of miraculous cures by the gods were “Christianized” by attributing them to Saints Cosmas and Damian.

In this prayer to Saints Cosmas and Damian, we recognize that their skill came not through their own devices but through their reliance on Christ. And, while asking for physical healing for ourselves and others, we recognize that the greater need for healing is spiritual, and seek the intercession of Saints Cosmas and Damian for the renewal of our souls as well.

Photos by William Tauro

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