Lady of Fátima Feast
In 1939, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Hudson Portuguese Club adopted as their patron saint, Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, and decided in conjunction with the Club to have an annual feast in Her Honor. The weekend closest to July 13 was, in the beginning, the designated date for such Holy event. It initially consisted of a Sunday procession from the Portuguese Club to the Church. The Club and the neighbors were then participants in Christ the King Parish. A High Mass was celebrated, and the congregants returned in procession to the Portuguese Club grounds. The procession was followed by lunch and a band concert. On Saturday evening there was a musical concert and display of fireworks that attracted thousands of people.
In 1951 a chapel was erected by the late John P. Rio, the Club paying only for the materials used in the construction. Near the chapel and the Club, a monument to Peter Francisco, a Portuguese-American revolutionary war hero, was erected and dedicated during Our Lady of Fátima Feast in 1971, with the presence of then Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros. In early 1980’s this chapel suffered extensive fire damage, when the Town’s Light and Power were making improvements to the electric systems in the area. A new and slightly larger chapel was constructed.
In 2001 the feast of Our Lady of Fátima was celebrated in a special way, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the erection of the first chapel, and with a special tribute to the memory of John P. Rio. António J. Chaves and his wife Margarida, who lived in a house adjacent to the Club, had been for many decades the caretakers of the chapel for which we are all deeply indebted. Today the caretakers of Our Lady’s Chapel are Joaquim and Zaira Pires of Hudson. The Feast of Our Lady of Fátima has been celebrated at different times during the year to maximize the participation of all residents. Since 1998 the date for the feast has been established as the first weekend after Labor Day.
On the last weekend of June, the Holy Ghost Society of Hudson hosts their annual Império Mariense Festival, which dates to the 14th century and was started in Hudson in 1974. The event typically begins on Saturday night with music, food and dancing. On Sunday after a mass, a procession is held from St. Michael’s church to the Portuguese Club. Following the procession a second day of festivities continues with traditional music, folk dancing, a bazaar with raffles, and servings of Holy Ghost soup with sweet bread, fried dough (malassadas) and other Portuguese delicacies. The event is presented by the Holy Ghost Society, a nonprofit organization. Our organization is comprised of a committee that works tirelessly year round to raise funds for our annual feast. Funds raised are also used to give out as scholarships to our young generation of luso-americans. To learn more about our organization, please visit our website www.imperiomariensehudson.org.
The “Domingas,” a tradition of the Micaelense Holy Ghost Society, lasts for seven weeks. It starts on the Sunday six weeks before Pentecost and ends on the Sunday after. Each week, the Holy Ghost Crown is hosted by a different house old where the rosary is recited daily. Everyone is welcome to visit on Sundays from two o’clock on and during the week beginning at six o’clock. The rosary is prayed at seven o’clock. The end of the “domingas” culminates with a weekend celebration. Typically on Saturday evening, a rosary is recited followed by music, dancing and food at the Portuguese Club. On Sunday a Coronation Mass is held at Saint Michael’s Church after which a procession takes place from the Church to the Club. Participating in the cortege are members of the Micaelense Holy Ghost Society, local Portuguese Bands and members of other local Portuguese organizations. Once the procession arrives at the Club the traditional “sopas” are served to everyone. This Holy Ghost Society was founded in 1914 under the name of “Irmandade do Divino Espírito Santo da Trindade” (Brotherhood of the Divine Holy Ghost of Trinity) by immigrants from the Island of São Miguel, Azores, reorganized in 1939, and incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on February 27, 1962 as “Fraternal Beneficente Micaelense do Divino Espírito Santo da Trindade”.