Festival of San Vicente Mártir in Valencia
San Vicente Mártir is the protector of Valencia. For 5 centuries, he was seen as the martyr of the west and Valencia became the final destination of the most important pilgrimage route in Europe.
On 22nd January, people worship the saint in Valencia. The bells ringing out from the cathedral on the day before the festival remind us it is about to take place, with the chimes at 16:30 and the full peal of bells at 19:30. At 09:00, the chimes herald the Pontifical High Mass, which is held at 10:30 in the Cathedral. At 11:30, the General Procession begins, which starts from the Cathedral. The full peal of bells announces that the Procession and the Statue of the Saint are leaving through the “Los Hierros” Door.
The route commemorates the places associated with the saint’s martyrdom. It goes across Plaza de la Reina to the start of Calle San Vicente, heading towards Calle del Mar and then going down Calle Avellanas. There, the procession passes two chapels dedicated to the saint and a small liturgy takes place, led by His Excellency, the Archbishop of Valencia. Finally, the procession returns to the Cathedral through the “Palau” Door.
The celebrations continue at 20:00 with a Mozarabic mass at Cristo Rey Church, which is the only mass of this type (along with the one in Toledo) held in Spain.