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Monday, April 14, 2008

Festival of Saint Devote', Monaco

On the 27th of January, we walked down to the port of Monte Carlo, called Port Hercules, and witnessed an amazing event. The Festival of St. Devote'. This is the story of a Christian Woman, who is persecuted for her beliefs on the island of Corsica, and after her death, she was placed in a boat and set to sea. A storm came up and blew the boat into Monaco, landing on the shores near the port. It was believed, that where she was entombed on the shores of devote', miracles began to occur. At some point, a few hundred years later, a poor fisherman tried to steal the relics of the tomb and he was bludgeoned to death by local Christians. The icon of St. Devote' became ever greater, and today, over 1600 years after she fell upon the shores of Monaco, the ritual of her death still remains. Each year, there is a Christian service, followed by a ritual of burning a boat in her honor in the square in front of the chapel of St. Devote'. The crowd was large, and the tradition very honorable. School children carrying torches along with Prince Albert and others of the Principality, set fire to this boat. After wards was a wonderful fireworks display over the harbour, accompanied by music.

The pictures are of the square of St. Devote' with it's chapel in the background. What a wonderful festival it was!!!

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