The Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damien

Back a long time ago I really was a practicing ethnographer. Recently I was asked to repost an old documentary that I did in the 1980’s. Unfortunately that one is lost, but a shorter version that I did in 2003 remains. So I am posting it here for a different audience. Warning: it was shot in standard definition, and the video is not wonderful by today’s standards.

The reason I still like the video has nothing to do with my efforts. It’s the wonderful people of the Society of Saints Cosmas and Damien, and the residents of East Cambridge. Most people who visit a saints festival never get past the carnival games, and food vendors. This video was meant to be an eleven minute entree past that into the world of those who venerate the saints, and unabashedly have a wonderful time while doing it.

2 Replies to “The Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damien”

  1. Lou, I have been enjoying your posts. I wasn’t expecting this one, but I really enjoyed it.

    I was raised Catholic to a Navy family so we moved around a lot. I was raised in Washington state which was not exactly a big Catholic enclave. We had a great little community but it wasn’t until my own Navy experiences did I enjoy the great worldwide Catholic community. I always enjoyed being overseas and going to mass in any language (Filipino Tagalog, Japanese, Chinese, Danish, Italian etc) and the ceremonies and mass were so familiar I always felt at peace. One night while I was stationed at Sigonella Sicily we had the opportunity to have the Junior Officers conduct all the squadron watches so the mid-grade Department Heads could all go out and enjoy a dinner by ourselves. We caught taxis into Catania and the 8 of us had a great meal. We noticed a lot of folks out enjoying themselves when suddenly there were fireworks overhead but we weren’t really sure what it was all about other than it was a festival. So we wandered into the town square and in front of the Cathedral was an absolute throng of people venerating Sant’Agata on her feast day. It was a sight I will never forget. Wonderful to see so much enthusiasm and devotion.


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