Felipe Reyes and the Lionesses, awarded by San Isidro

Felipe Reyes and the Lionesses, awarded by San Isidro

Felipe Reyes and the Lionesses, awarded by San Isidro
Alejandro Martínez Vélez / Europa Press
Europe Press

The The patron saint of Madrid, San Isidro Labrador, the journalist Raúl del Pozo and the people of Ukraine received the city’s Medals of Honor this Saturday in the solemn award ceremony held at the Palacio de Cristal de Cibeles, for “being part of the history of Madrid, “being the chronicler of chroniclers” and showing “courage in the face of adversity” respectively.

Furthermore, they have been recognized with the Madrid Medal the basketball player Felipe Reyes; photographer and artist Ouka Leele; the Argentine musician Andrés Calamaro; Carabanchel neighborhood activist Lourdes Hernández Ossorio (posthumously); chef Pepa Muñoz; the Spanish women’s rugby team; CERMI; the current president of the Loewe Foundation, Enrique Loewe Lynch; the Mahou-San Miguel company; the NGO CESAL and the founder of the Save More Group, Jesús Medina.

The Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, who during his speech had words for each and every one of the winners, celebrated that “finally this year we will all see each other on the prairie”, after remembering that this was his wish on May 15, 2021, still marked by the pandemic.

“After the example of serenity, responsibility and solidarity of all the people of Madrid comes joy”, said the councilor, who also recognized the “fortitude, solidarity, tenacity and energy” to “beat” the pandemic.

After two years without celebrations, this “is not another San Isidro”, because it is not only the “reunion” festivities, but also coincides with the Jubilee Year on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the patron saint of the capital, a “simple” man and worker, attentive to the needs of his peers, in the image and likeness of the people of Madrid, has valued the mayor, who has once again extolled the behavior of the inhabitants of the capital during the pandemic or the Filomena storm.

Regarding those awarded the Medal of Honor, Almeida highlighted the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the canonization of this “simple man” who lived and worked “on the right bank of the Manzanares” when this town was just “a fortress”, for what to remember San Isidro, “humble farmer” and “father of a family” is to remember “the history” of the capital of Spain.

He also had words for the Ukrainian people, represented at the event by the Ukrainian Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsevto whom the recognition of Madrid has been transferred to the “courage in the face of adversity” and the “resistance capacity in the face of suffering” by Ukrainian society, as well as its “will” to move forward.

Of Raúl del Pozo, the last winner of the Madrid medal of honor, Almeida has said that he is a “master of chroniclers” and “passionate about Madrid”, and has listed some of the most important historical events in which he has been able to be, such as Cape Canaveral, the Carnation Revolution or Russia before Perestroika.

Before Almeida, the deputy mayor Begoña Villacís has pointed out that the two years of the pandemic have been “very hard”, with the absence of celebrations as “a psychological slab”and has celebrated that, today, the San Isidro prairie is once again filled with “chotis in barrel organ, shawls, parpusas and chulapos and chulapas”, thus reviving “the spirit of the festival of the capital” now without restrictions.

He has told the winners that they are going to receive “the greatest honor that a Madrilenian can receive”, and as a “curiosity”, assured Calamaro, one of the winners, it has served as inspiration in politics: “honesty is not a virtue, it’s an obligation”, he has said in relation to one of the mottos of his album ‘Honestidad brutal’.


On behalf of San Isidro, the Archbishop of Madrid, Carlos Osoro, received the award and pointed out to the guests that the patron saint of the capital was “a universal Madrilenian” with a strong international presence, in parishes ranging from the Philippines to Venezuela, and has valued that the saint “dignified” the work and “knew how to do it from a vision conceived from the Christian conception”.

After the ecclesiastic, the journalist Raúl del Pozo has taken the podium, for whom Cibeles is “the statue of liberty” of the people of Madrid and he has said that “leaving Madrid is always a mistake”, while the capital is, in itself, the “city of free love”. “It is the greatest honor of my life,” he added.

Finally, he has been the ambassador of Ukraine, Serhii Pohoreltsev, who received the medal on behalf of his people, highlighted the “demonstration of solidarity of the people of Madrid with the Ukrainians” and he thanked the “welcome” that, in his opinion, the capital is offering to the refugees fleeing the war.

The event was attended by spokespersons and representatives of the Madrid City Council and the Community and leaders, such as the regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, as well as former Madrid leaders such as former presidents Cristina Cifuentes and Pedro Rollán or former mayors Alberto Ruiz -Gallardón, José María Álvarez del Manzano or Ana Botella.

The Chief of the Defense Staff (Jemad), Amador Enseñat and Barea, national deputies such as Ana Beltrán (PP), Edmundo Bal (Cs) or Mireia Borrás (Vox) and renowned personalities such as the journalist José María García, as well as diplomatic personnel from countries such as Ghana, Bosnia, Venezuela, Chile or Haiti and civil society from Madrid.

  • Tagged in:
  • Jose Luis Martinez Almeida
  • San Isidro Festivals
  • Spanish women’s rugby team
  • women’s rugby
  • Spanish selection
  • Rugby
  • sports selections
  • female sport
  • Parties
  • Madrid
  • Madrid’s community
  • Sports
  • Spain
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