North Beach Marian festival celebrates faith and family

Oct 12, 2018 571

BY: Nicholas Wolfram Smith

For 83 years, October in San Francisco’s North Beach has begun with a festival celebrating the Blessed Mother. The Madonna del Lume festival, celebrating Mary’s protection of fishermen, was brought from Sicily to San Francisco and instituted in 1935. The festival first started in Porticello, Sicily, after some fishermen credited Our Lady for guiding them back to shore with a bright light during a deadly storm.
The weekend festival began Sept.28 with an hour of eucharistic adoration at Sts. Peter and Paul Church. After a memorial Mass the next day commemorating those lost at sea, Massgoers boarded a chartered boat to place a ceremonial wreath beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Sunday concluded with a parade from Sts. Peter and Paul to Fisherman’s Wharf to bless the fishing fleet for the year.

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