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Saint Devota Festival Celebrations
January 26 - January 28
The young Devota was martyred around the year 304 in Corsica, in the town of Lucciana. It is said that her body was placed on a boat by fishermen, and washed ashore in Monaco on 27 January.
The saint has always been celebrated by Monegasques, closely linked to Monaco and its Princes, and her image appears in every church in the Principality, and on the currency. She is the protective spirit of the Monegasque identity, whose relics were prayed to in joy and suffering. The first book written in Monegasque by the great poet Louis Notari was naturally titled “A Legenda de Santa Devota”.
Every year, the feast of Saint Devota is celebrated joyfully. The festivities begin on the morning of 26 January, at the Church of Saint Devota, with the Mass of the Traditions pronounced in the Monegasque language.
In the early evening, the Procession of Saint Devota takes place at the Port, followed by the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in the Church of Saint Devota, in the presence of the Principality’s most senior personalities. A member of the Communal Council hands the clergy the relics of the Saint brought in by sea.
Afterwards, a symbolic boat is burned in memory of Saint Devota, by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince and the Princely Family. After the burning, there is a firework display at the Port of Monaco, organised by the Mayor of Monaco.
On the morning of 27 January, a Pontifical High Mass is usually celebrated at the Cathedral by Monsignor the Archbishop of Monaco, in the presence of the Sovereign Prince, followed by a solemn procession on the Rock (blessing of the Palace, the City and the Sea).
This year in connection with the St. Devota celebrations on Thursday 26 January 2023, a number of organisational and safety measures have been agreed relating both to public access to areas where the ceremonies will be taking place (Procession from Route de la Piscine – Ceremony on Place Sainte Dévote – Burning of the boat on Quai Albert I) and to traffic.
- Public access
Checkpoints (where a visual inspection will be made of bags and their contents) and a “public” zone will be set up:
- At 5.30 pm on Place Sainte Dévote for those who wish to watch the procession and the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
- From 7 pm on the north part of Quai Albert I for those who wish to watch the burning of the boat.
- Railway station access
Rail passengers should note that the St. Devota valley will be closed to pedestrians from 5.30 pm. To reach or leave the station from or in the direction of Rue Grimaldi, you will need to use the Galerie Sainte-Dévote. The St. Devota stairs will be closed from 5.30 pm.
- Practical traffic arrangements
From 6.20 pm to 7 pm, Route de la Piscine will be closed from Avenue J.F. Kennedy to the Jules Soccal Jetty.
Between 6.45 pm and 7.45 pm, traffic will be intermittently stopped on Boulevard Albert I and Avenue d’Ostende to allow the event to proceed as planned.
- Transport and parking arrangements
Slight delays should be expected on local (services 1, 2 and 6) and intercity (ZOU services 607 and 80) buses during the traffic stoppages noted above. With regard to public car parks (access/diversion), information will be provided to users (notices will be posted at car park access points) by the relevant organisation.