Saint Devote’s Day in Monaco

St Devote’s Day is a national holiday in Monaco in remembrance of their patron saint. The saint is a Christian martyr of the 4th century who suffered death and torture because of her faith.

Saint Devota (French: Saint Dévote) is the Patron Saint of Monaco. Her feast day in the Catholic Church is an annual event that comes every January 26 and 27.

As part of the event, the Prince and Princess set light to a fishing boat in front of the Eglise Sainte Dévote. The site for this meaningful occasion takes place against the backdrop of Monaco’s famous Port Hercule. The boat then floats across the port and there is a religious ceremony to honor her. It’s a tradition that’s been going strong since the reign of Prince Louis II in 1942.

the boat, ready to be burned

History of Saint Devote’s Day

According to tradition, Devota was born in Corsica in about 283AD. s a Christian, she devoted herself to the service of God.

Devota was imprisoned and tortured for her faith during the Diocletian persecution of Christians She was martyred for her faith by either being stoned to death or racked in 303 AD.

Following her death, the governor of Corsica ordered to burn her body so that her remains would not become venerated. Other Christians saved her body and put on a boat bound for Africa, where she would receive a proper Christian burial. During the journey, there was a raging storm and it is said that a dove appeared to guide the boat to the coast, landing safely in the Principality of Monaco on January 27.

Over the centuries, the tale of Saint Devota has become one of the oldest and best-loved traditions in Monaco. Many believe that Saint Devota that the Principality is under her protection in its times of need.

Schedule of Events For Saint Devote’s Day, Monaco

January 26

  • 6:15pm: Start of celebrations on Port Hercule (burning of the boat and setting it in the water)
  • 6:30pm: Arrival of the boat 
  • 7pm: Celebrations at the Sainte Dévote church
  • Later: Fireworks 

Note that the formation and departure of the procession will take place at the Louis Chiron bend, near Le Nautic restaurant , on January 26 at around 6:40pm.

January 27

  • 10am: Mass at the Cathedral of Monaco 
  • 11:15pm: Presentation parade through Monaco 
  • 4pm: Organ concert in the Sainte Dévote church
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