Romaria Grande de São Torcato

1/07/2020 a 1/07/2020

Local: São Torcato

Since 1852, each year, on the first Sunday of July, it is held the Romaria Grance de São Torcato (Great Pilgrimage to Saint Torcato), which is historically considered one of the biggest and most crowded pilgrimages of Minho. In this Pilgrimage it is celebrated the solemn translation of St. Torcato’s body from the Parish Church to His Sanctuary.

The Big Pilgrimage of St. Torcato is, in its essence, an annual pilgrimage to the incorrupt body of Saint Torcato, which is exposed in the main chapel of the Sanctuary raised up to his cult. During three days Saint Torcato is venerated by thousands of devotees who come on organized groups with the purpose of demonstrating their deep devotion to the Saint.

Organized by the Irmandade de São Torcato, this Pilgrimage includes a wide religious program for the entire week that precedes it such novena and masses in the Saint’s honor. On Sunday, late afternoon, there is a solemn procession, which includes a parade of floats depicting the life of the Saint, and the four-portable platform in honor of St Peter, St. António or St. Judas de Tadeu in alternate years, Our Lady of Fátima and Saint Torcato. Next to the Sanctuary, there are tents of the fairgrounds and taverns, and numerous fun activities are performed, namely concerts of popular music and majestic fireworks. The festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and is frequented mainly by the inhabitants of the municipality who move there to take part.
The Irmandade de  São Torcato recovered, in 2018, the secular tradition of preparing in the wood oven a cake compesed by bread with sardines, meatloaf and green soup, with the “Festival do Bolo com Sardinhas” at the St. Torcato’s yard.

This Pilgrimage has left its trace in the literature – in Fialho de Almeida, for example, which describes it, and Camilo Castelo Branco, who has been a pilgrim – and in the art – in tiles of Jorge Colaço, at the atrium of the train station of St. Bento, Oporto, and in the magnificent poster collection that propagated it.

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