Saint Devota celebrations
Events to celebrate St. Devota, patron saint of Monaco, will take place on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 January.
These celebrations are among the oldest traditions of the Principality of Monaco, and have permeated the national culture in areas as diverse as religion, folklore, popular beliefs, history, literature, the arts, painting, music, coins and stamps.
The tradition derives from the so-called “Legend of St. Devota”, passed down through a medieval document. It holds a special place in the heart of Monegasques, and has been documented throughout centuries of the city’s history.
According to the legend, Devota, a young Christian woman from Corsica, was martyred by the prefect Barbarus under Emperors Diocletian and Maximian on a date believed to have been in 303 or 304. Her body, removed the following night by believers, was placed in a boat, taken to Monaco and buried in a chapel in the Vallon des Gaumates, near the port, on 27 January of the same year.
In the seventeenth century, under Honoré II, St. Devota became the patron saint of Monaco.
According to an annual tradition established in 1874, a boat is burned on a pyre in the presence of the Sovereign and his family, accompanied by leading figures from Monaco.
On 27 January, the day of the festival, a solemn mass is celebrated in the Cathedral by a religious figure invited by the Archbishop of Monaco. This ceremony is attended by the royal family, the Prince’s Government, the elected assemblies and constitutional bodies, as well as many of the faithful. After the ceremony, a procession involving Penitents of the Brotherhood of Mercy heads towards the Prince’s Palace with the shrine containing the relics, escorted by the Palace Guards.
The procession comes to a halt on Place du Palais. A guard of honour and the orchestra of the Palace Guards greet the procession and an officiant blesses the royal family with the relics. The procession then makes its way to the ramparts where another officiant blesses Monaco and its people. Finally, it returns to the front of the Cathedral where a last officiant blesses the sea and fishermen.
For more information, see: www.saintedevotemonaco.com
Saint Devota celebrations:
THURSDAY 26 JANUARY 2023
10.30 am. Church of St. Devota: Mass of the Traditions, in Monegasque.
* * *
6.30 pm. Port Hercule: Route de la Piscine –
To the right of the museum exhibiting H.S.H. the Prince of Monaco’s Car Collection
* * *
6.40 pm. Quai Jarland – Vallon des Gaumates:
Arrival of the boat and Blessing of the Relics
Procession continues to Place Sainte Dévote.
* * *
7 pm. Church of St. Devota: Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
presided over by His Grace Dominique-Marie David, Archbishop of Monaco and His Grace Guillaume Paris
* * *
7.45 pm. Quai Albert I: Burning of the Symbolic Boat
by the Royal Family
FRIDAY 27 JANUARY 2023
9.50 am. Cathedral: Welcoming of the Relics by Members of the Clergy and the Venerable Brotherhood of Mercy.
* * *
10 am. Cathedral: Pontifical Mass
Following the mass, there will be a procession on the Rocher.
Entrance: Great Organ
Opening hymn: Cantique à Sainte Dévote (Canticle for St. Devota) –
Monsignor Louis-Lazare Perruchot
Ordinary: Festive Mass – Isabelle Fontaine
Responsorial psalm 33: Qui regarde vers Dieu resplendira (Those Who Look To Him Are Radiant) – Jehan Revert
(three sung verses)
Alleluia: No. 2 in F Major – Henri Carol
Credo: III – Plainsong
Universal prayer: Seigneur nous Te prions (Lord, We Pray to You)
Offertory: Great Organ
Anamnesis: Il est grand le mystère de la Foi (Great is the Mystery of Faith)
Communion: Great Organ
Communion hymn: Jesus Remains My Joy – Johann Sebastian Bach
(excerpt from cantata BWV 147)
Prayer for H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince
Solemn Pontifical Blessing
Exit: Great Organ
Cathedral Choir and Little Singers of Monaco
Conductor: Pierre Debat, Chapel Master
Great Organ: Olivier Vernet, Resident Organist
Choir Organ: Jean-Cyrille Gandillet, Resident Organist
11.15 am. Monaco-Ville: Solemn Procession of the Relics
Featuring: Members of the Clergy, the Cathedral Choir, Penitents of the Venerable Brotherhood of Mercy, a delegation from Lucciana Municipal Council and from Municipal Music.
Route: Depart from the Cathedral Forecourt
Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro,
Place du Palais: Blessing of the Sovereign House,
From the Ramparts: Blessing of the City,
Return to the Cathedral via Rue Colonel Bellando de Castro
Cathedral Forecourt: Blessing of the Sea
4 pm: Church of St. Devota
Organ concert given by Silvano Rodi, official organist of the St. Devota organ
Requests for accreditation must be sent before Tuesday 24 January 2023 to the following address: email@example.com
Accreditation gives access to the following events only:
26 January – Quai Albert I: Burning of the boat
27 January – Outside the Cathedral – Exit of the Royal Family
27 January – Place du Palais – Procession
Accreditation for photographers will be granted on a pool basis.
Thank you for your understanding.