La Mercè in Catalonia in 2020

La Mercè in Catalonia in 2020
  How long until La Mercè?
This holiday next takes place in 307 days.
  Dates of La Mercè in Catalonia
2021 Fri, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2020 Thu, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2019 Tue, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2018 Mon, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2017 Sun, Sep 24Regional Holiday
  Summary
This celebration dates back to 1615, when the Mercedians, a Spanish order, established the feast day in honour of the Virgin Mary

When is La Mercè?

La Mercè is a local holiday in Barcelona observed on September 24th each year.

The day honours the Virgin Mary on the feast day established by the Mercedian order in the 17th century.

History of La Mercè

The origin of the holiday dates back to the 13th century. In 1218, Mary appeared to Saint Peter Nolasco and King James of Aragon to implore them to create the Mercedarian (from the Spanish 'merced' - mercy) religious order. The order would attempt to free Christian captives from the Moors, even if it meant the members of the order had to take their place.

The order continued to flourish long after the Moors had left Spain and in 1615, a feast day for Our Lady of Mercedes was established on September 24th in Spain and France.

In 1687 Barcelona was suffering from a plague of locusts. Dispairing at other attempts to stop the ravenous insects, the council which governed the city, voted to ask the Virgin's assistance. The city was delivered from the pestilence and Mary was named as patroness of Barcelona. The intercession of the Virgin has been celebrated with an annual festival in her honour ever since.

La Mercè has been an official city holiday in Barcelona since 1871, when the local government first organized a program of special activities.

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