This weekend, the patroness of Monegasques will be honoured for two days. The program you ask: Masses, processions, the burning of the boat by the princely family and fireworks – Sainte Devote.
It is the protective soul of the Principality. Since Honoré-II made it the patroness of the country in the 17th century. The legend says that “Devota”, a young Christian native of Corsica, was martyred around 303 by the prefect Barbarus – under the era of Emperor Diocletian, hardly known for his tolerance of Christianity.
Dead without ever turning his back on his faith. While his body was to be burned by his tyrants, some faithful removed his body and put it on a boat to Africa.
But, taken in tumultuous waters, the boat drifts inexorably. A dove then leaves the mouth of Devote to guide it to Monaco. In the heart of the valley of Gaumates, current location of the Sainte-Marie church.
Fireworks in the evening
The Monegasques are attached to this story as the apple of their eyes. And this weekend, as usual and as tradition dictates, they will celebrate their patron saint for two days.
This Saturday, from 10:30 am, the mass of traditions in the Monegasque language will be held in the church Sainte-Dévote with the blessing of the sea. Around 18:40, the same evening, the sailing boat, carrying the relics, will glide over the tranquil waters of the port Hercules. In total darkness. A dove will fly away – a nod to history – while Corsican songs will be played.
At 6:45 pm, after the delivery of these so-called relics and the blessing of the city, the procession will leave the wharf of the United States to take the direction of the Church Sainte Dévote. Followed, as always, by a compact crowd.
There, the Salvation of the Blessed Sacrament will be presided over by Bishop Barsi, in the presence of the princely family. Which, in the wake, will symbolically fire the boat around 19:30. The evening will end, shortly after, by the famous fireworks shot on the water of the port of Monaco.
Procession and Blessings
On Sunday at 10am, in the heart of the cathedral, a papal Mass will be presided over by Msgr, Luigi Pezzuto, Apostolic Nuncio to the Principality. Then, around 11:15 am, the solemn procession of the relics will begin from Bellando-De-Castro Street to Palace Square.
In passing, the sovereign residence will be blessed as the city from the ramparts and the sea and fishermen from the forecourt of the cathedral. The weekend of celebrations will end with an organ concert at Sainte Dévote Church. A sacred and eternal residence of the Monegasque patron.