Hundreds turn out for annual Santo Cristo Feast

By Manny Correira
Posted 6/6/24

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Santo Cristo Feast Committee, this year’s celebration was one for the books.

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Hundreds turn out for annual Santo Cristo Feast


The local Portuguese community (and beyond) celebrated the Santo Cristo dos Milagres Feast this past weekend in the grandest of styles. Hundreds of people gathered in and around St. Elizabeth’s Church for prayer, delicious Portuguese and American food, and musical entertainment.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Santo Cristo Feast Committee, this year’s celebration was one for the books.

“This feast touches my heart,” said Joseph Tavares, 68, who came to this country from Sao Miguel in the Azores in 1970 and settled in Bristol. “I’ve been a parishioner here at St. Elizabeth’s ever since. There’s a rich history here and I’ve become attached to it.”

The three days of festivities began on Friday with great food and musical entertainment by Legacy Band. On Saturday, following 5 o’clock Mass with the Rev. Vander S. Martins, pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church, presiding, the moving of the image of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres took place with the St. Elizabeth’s Philharmonic Band and procession through the neighborhood. Portuguese and American food and musical entertainment by Tony Borges and the EURO Band also highlighted the evening.

Sunday afternoon’s Feast Mass and traditional procession (including local government officials) in continuing great weather conditions was followed by entertainment by DJ Jose Mauricio and Josephine Couto. A concert by the St. Elizabeth Philharmonic Band was held later in the evening, followed by a raffle drawing, and official closing of the Feast.

The image of the Santo Cristo dos Milagres is really something to behold. When passed in procession it magnetizes people’s faith in such a way, that you have to be part of its legacy to truly understand its impact.

As one parishioner was overheard saying, “There’s nothing quite like this celebration. The Santo Cristo Feast Committee and all the workers involved deserve all the credit for keeping this celebration alive all these years.”

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.