LAWRENCE – As a young mother, Santina Nicoloso Raymond would hold her babies Pierre and Alfio up to the sacred statues carried by members of the St. Alfio Society during their annual Feast of the Three Saints on Common Street.
It was an act of faith to seek blessings for her children and to preserve a centuries-old tradition rooted in her Sicilian hometown.
Sunday morning, Raymond kissed a photo of Pierre before she left her Lawrence home to Holy Rosary Church of Corpus Christi Parish. There, she watched her oldest son, Alfio, accept the red sash that marked his induction into the society. Then he accepted a red sash for his brother, Pierre who died eight years ago in a mortar blast while serving in Ramadi, Iraq. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary. email@example.com