Saint Devota (French: Saint Dévote) is the Patron Saint of Monaco and her feast day in the Catholic Church is January 27th.
The holiday is out of appreciation for St. Dedicate, the patron saint of the country who was murdered during the abuses of Diocletian and Maxmilian in the fourth century CE.
Saint Dévote’s Day History
As per custom, Devota was born in Corsica in about 283AD. She was a Christian and had decided to devote herself to the service of God.
Devota was detained and tormented for her confidence during the Diocletian oppression of Christians and was martyred for her confidence by either being stoned to death or racked in 303 AD.
Following her demise, the governor of Corsica ordered that her body be burnt so her remaining parts would not become venerated. Her body was saved from the fire by Christians and put on a boat bound for Africa, where she would get an appropriate Christian burial.
During the journey, there was a seething storm and it is said that a dove seemed to direct the boat to the coast, arrival securely in the Principality of Monaco on January 27th.
Throughout the centuries, the story of Saint Devota has become one of the oldest and best-loved traditions in Monaco, and it is believed that Saint Devota has secured the Principality in its times of need.
The night before the Feast of St. Give, a boat is set burning on the beach. The boat burning is a symbol of an attempt to take relics from her tomb that was impeded by a local fisherman who burned the boat of the thief. A dove is likewise released to represent the miracle that brought St. Devote to Monaco.
Formal services are held and are gone to by the Princely Family and different dignitaries. A parade of the relics is frequently held and the Prince issues a blessing. Firecrackers displays are held at night with a proper dinner at the Monte Carlo Opera House.
On St. Devote Day, special church services are held and the day is spent in the very impression of the security offered by the patron saint.
In Saint Devota (Sainte Dévote) honor a chapel was constructed, which remains in Monaco still. Customarily, flowers are said to bloom before their season on January 27, the saint’s feast day.
On January 27, Mass is celebrated in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception went to by Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene. It is followed by a Solemn Procession of the Relics, to request assurance for the Royal Family and the Principality. Receptions in the Monte Carlo Opera House likewise happen. Albert II, Prince of Monaco partakes in this ceremony.
In 2014 the Monegasque Rugby Federation, in relationship with the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, coordinated the Saint Devota Rugby Challenge. Including teams from Spain and Italy, the free program incorporates educational workshops and circuits for disabled kids, to acquaint them with the game.