The Princely Family set the boat alight on Port Hercule on Wednesday 26 January.
It is one of the highlights of the Principality’s calendar. As every year, January 26 and 27 are dedicated to Saint Devota, Patron Saint of Monaco. And despite the health crisis leading to the cancellation of several festivities, including the fireworks, the traditional boat burning went ahead on Wednesday evening at Port Hercule.
Hereditary Prince Jacques started the blaze, hand in hand with his father, Prince Albert II. Princess Gabriella and her aunt, the Princess of Hanover, also set the boat alight. The tradition evokes the boat of Saint Devota, a young martyr who was persecuted in Corsica, and whose body was found in a boat that ran aground in Monaco more than 1,700 years ago.
The story of the young saint is retold in a graphic novel, entitled Devota, illustrated by Eric Stoffel and Frédéric Allali and written by Yvon Bertorello, also author of La Tempête, which deals with the disaster-stricken valleys. The preface was also provided by Prince Albert II and Mgr Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco.
Devota shows a grandfather telling the story of Saint Devota to his granddaughter. The graphic novel, published by Plein Vent, has been on sale since Wednesday at a price of 15 euros; all profits are donated to various Monegasque charities.