How to celebrate Sainte Dévote 2024: a detailed schedule of events

Monaco is set to honour one of its oldest and most revered traditions, the celebration of its Patron Saint, Sainte Dévote. The event is deeply rooted in Monegasque culture, encompassing various aspects including religion, folklore, history, and arts.

This year’s celebrations, on 26th and 27th January, are particularly noteworthy as Monaco will be welcoming representatives of its twin towns – the newly-joined Lucciana, Dolceacqua (Italy), and Ostende (Belgium) – marking 60 years of twinning.

The festivities will commence on Friday 26th January at 10:30am with a traditional mass conducted in the Monegasque language at the Sainte-Dévote Church. This spiritual ceremony will also include the Blessing of the Sea, a significant ritual in the Principality.

The religious procession marking Sainte Devote in Monaco. Photo source: Mairie de Monaco

Later in the evening, at 6:30pm, the procession of Sainte-Dévote’s relics will begin, marking a key moment in the celebration. This procession, starting from the Grand Prix chicane, will lead to the arrival of the boat at Vallon des Gaumates at around 6:40pm. The ceremonial blessing of the relics will take place here, followed by a procession to Place Sainte-Dévote. At 7:00pm, a special service, the Benediction, will be held at the Sainte-Dévote Church, presided over by Archbishop Dominique-Marie David of Monaco and Cardinal François-Xavier Bustillo of Ajaccio. The day’s events will reach a climax at 7:45pm with the lighting of the boat by the Princely Family at Quai Albert Ier, symbolising the legend of Sainte-Dévote. The evening will conclude with spectacular pyro melodic fireworks display at 8:15pm.

The following day, Saturday 27th January, will begin with a pontifical mass at 10am at the Monaco Cathedral, led by Cardinal François-Xavier Bustillo. In the evening, at 6pm, a unique candle-lit concert will be held at the Monaco Cathedral, featuring performances by the ‘Tenebrae choir’ and the children’s choir of Rainier III Academy.

The 2024 Sainte-Dévote celebrations in Monaco are set to offer a reflective yet vibrant experience, highlighting both the Principality’s historical roots and its contemporary cultural connections.

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Main photo credit: Manuel Vitali, Government of Monaco Communication Department