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Saint Devota Festival Celebrations
January 26 - January 27
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 Devota 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).
Schedule of events
Friday 26 January 2024
10:30 am: Sainte-Dévote Church: traditional mass, in the Monegasque language followed by the Blessing of the Sea.
6:30 pm: Grand Prix chicane: procession of the relics of Saint Devote.
6:40 pm: Arrival of the boat in the Vallon des Gaumates, followed by the blessing of the relics. Continuation of the procession to Place Sainte-Dévote.
7:00 pm: Sainte-Dévote Church: Salvation of the Most Holy Sacrament, chaired by Mgr Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco in the presence of Cardinal François-Xavier Bustillo, Bishop of Ajaccio.
7:45 pm: Quai Albert I: Burning of the boat by the Princely Family.
8:15 pm: Fireworks
Saturday 27 January 2024
10 am: Monaco Cathedral: pontifical mass, chaired by Cardinal François-Xavier Bustillo, Bishop of Ajaccio. At the end, the procession of the relics takes place on the Rock.
6 pm: Monaco Cathedral: candlelit concert of “Tenebrae choir” with the children’s choir of the Rainier III Academy.