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Sainte Devote celebrations curbed by Covid

Sainte Devote celebrations curbed by Covid

By Stephanie Horsman - January 20, 2021

Regulations surrounding the coronavirus situation have led organisers to make some adjustments to the Sainte Dévote celebrations on Tuesday. Here is how it will work.

Sainte Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco, will still be commemorated on Tuesday 26th January, although celebrations will be scaled back somewhat.

Only those authorised may take part in the Receiving of the Relics, the Procession and the Salvation of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Church of Sainte Devote.

The traditional boat burning ceremony will go ahead on the north side of Quai Albert I however the fireworks have been cancelled. Additionally, the entire celebration will be completed by 7pm in respect of the curfew.

To allow some public viewing, an area will be set up with 150 socially-distanced seats and equipped with a giant screen broadcasting the event. Those in the area are asked to follow health measures and will be required to wear masks.

The public will not be allowed to recover nails from the symbolically burned boat this year, contrary to the usual custom.

In order to access the train station, passengers will be restricted to using the Sainte Dévote corridor from 4:30pm. The Sainte Dévote stairs will also be closed to access at that time.

Meanwhile, traffic disruptions are expected. From 4:30pm to 5:30pm, the road to the swimming pool will be closed between Avenue John F. Kennedy and the Jules Soccal jetty. Between 5:15pm and 6:20pm, punctual traffic cuts will be made on Boulevard Albert 1er and Avenue d’Ostende to allow the event to run smoothly.

Slight delays will be expected on urban bus lines 1, 2 and 6 and interurban transport lines 100 and 110 during the traffic cuts referred to above.

With regard to public car parks, information will be given at the access.

The Sainte Dévote event celebrates the Corsican-born Monegasque patron saint, killed in 303AD during the Christian persecutions of the Roman Empire. Tradition states that, after being martyred, her body was placed on a boat bound for Africa by fellow Christians rather than being burnt as was the edict demanded by the Romans in an effort to prevent her veneration.

Legend states a storm overtook the boat and with the aid of a dove she was guided to the shores of Monaco. In her honour, a chapel was built on the site of the current church. It is said that flowers bloom before 27thJanuary, ahead of season, on the site.

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