Monaco Celebrates Saint Devota
Celebrations for the Patron Saint of Monaco will take place on 26 and 27 January 2014
These celebrations are linked to one of the Principality of Monaco's oldest traditions – a tradition that has permeated national culture in areas as varied as religion, folklore, popular beliefs, history, literature, the arts, paintings, music, numismatics and philately.
It stems from the legend known as the "Legend of Saint Devota," which was recounted in a medieval document.
According to this legend, Devota (Dévote in French), a young Christian woman and native of Corsica, was martyred by the Prefect Barbarus under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian at a date that we can estimate at between 303 or 304. Her body was stolen during the following night by believers, put in a boat and transported to Monaco, where it was buried in a chapel in a valley known as the "Gaumates," near the port, on 27 January of the same year.
Under Honoré II, in the 17th century, Saint Devota became patron saint of Monaco. The tradition has been perpetuated each year since 1874 – a boat is burned on a pyre in the presence of the Sovereign and the Princely Family, accompanied by Monegasque dignitaries.
Once the boat has been burned, fireworks are let off on Port Hercule.
Programme for the Saint Devota Celebrations:
Sunday 26 January 2014:
10.30 a.m. Church of St. Devota (Eglise Sainte Dévote): Mass of the Traditions, in Monegasque.
Blessing of the Sea
6.30 p.m. Port Hercule: Homage to Sainte Devota
Entry of the symbolic boat into Port Hercule.
6.45 p.m. from the Avenue Président J.F. Kennedy: Procession of Saint Devota
7 p.m. Church of St. Devota:
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, in the presence of T.S.H. the Prince and Princess of Monaco and presided over by His Grace Bernard Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco.
7.45 p.m. Forecourt of the Church of St. Devota: Burning of the Symbolic Boat by the Princely Family and Monegasque dignitaries.
Afterwards, from the Quai Rainier III:
Musical Fireworks presented by the " Flash Art Monaco Entertainment" company.
Monday 27 January 2014
9.45 a.m. Cathedral: Welcoming the Relics by members of the Clergy and the Venerable Brotherhood of Mercy.
10.00 a.m. Cathedral: Pontifical Mass presided over by His Eminence Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Primate of the Gauls, Metropolitan Archbishop of Lyon
11.30 a.m. Monaco-Ville: Solemn Procession of the Relics, presided over by Their Excellencies
Find out more on: www.saintedevotemonaco.com