Sunday pilgrimage marks start of Lustrum year

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Rogations are days of prayer in Western Christianity and Lustrums were five –year periods in ancient Rome

The traditional Rogation of the Virgin de La Encarnación taking place this Sunday 19th of April opens the III Lustrum year. The procession, carrying the statue of the Virgin of the Incarnation, will set out from the Santa Úrusla Church in Adeje town at 9am with pilgims accompanying her to the hermitage of San Sebastián in La Caleta, the first home of the revered Virgin. This procession has been taking place in Adeje for over 300 years.

Every year the Adeje faithful stand by a promise made generations ago and at the same time celebrate the coming together of the people of the town, walking across the old path to accompany the statue and after mass spending time together in the plaza of San Sebastián.

According to the Adeje department of culture this year they are expecting a high number of pilgrims and there will be local security on hand to assist if anyone needs it. Among those who will be carrying the statue along the way will be the Porteadores de la Virgin and the Mujeres Adejeras con la Virgin, who take part every year and are an integral part of the event today.

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The walk takes up to four hours to complete with a number of stops along the way where there will be musical, poetic and liturgical interventions. The first will be at the Adeje Cemetery, where those who are no longer with us will be remembered. Following on, the walkers will cross the bridge over the motorway (expect minor traffic delays if you are driving at this time), and carry on to the Portón de la Virgin, through the stone arches near the police station, where there will be another stop.

The third break will be at La Era where walkers can also rest for a while before the last stretch of the walk which will see the statue received by Saint Sebastian, the other patron saint of the zone. The two statues enter the church together where mass will be celebrated. Following mass the official proclamation of the start of the Lustrum Year will take place. The statue of the Virgin will return to Adeje later that afternoon.

As with many of Adeje’s religious festivals this is also a family event, open to everyone, resident and visitor, to take part. Remember to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, use an appropriate sun block and take water with you.

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The origins of the event
The Rogation is a tradition which began in the 16th century when Pedro de Ponto removed the statue of the ‘Virgen de La Encarnación’ from the San Sebastián hermitage to Santa Ursula to protect her from marauding pirates. However the residents weren’t completely happy with the decision and promised that once a year she would return to her original home. The tradition has persisted over the hundreds of years, with the people of Adeje also using the event to make promises to their patron saint if she protected them from plagues, illness, famines, as listed in the Book of Miracles of Our Lady of the Incarnation, which can be viewed in the Adeje parish archives.

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Pilgrimage to La Caleta

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Join the local pilgrims walking with La Virgen de la Encarnación from Adeje to La Caleta

On Sunday May 4th, as well as celebrating Mother’s Day in Spain, Adejeros will be celebrating their revered statue and patron, La Virgen de La Encarnación. The statue will be carried from the church of Santa Úrsula in the town’s main street and carried, with a number of scheduled stops, down to the San Sebastián hermitage in La Caleta, fulfilling an annual promise made over 300 years ago by local pilgrims.
According to the history books, the statue of the Virgin de la Encarnación was brought by Pedro de Ponte to Adeje town in the XVI century to protect her from raiders and pirates along this part of the Adeje coast. The locals, not too thrilled by the decision, promised to bring her down to her original home every year as a pilgrimage, and so the tradition was born. It is believed that the first Virgen de la Encarnación statue was found along the coast of La Enramada shortly after the arrival of the Conquistadors and has been revered locally ever since.
Today the statue still makes that annual trip, in the “Rogativa de la Virgen” in the company of the people of Adeje and beyond, in a four hour journey that is both religious and cultural. According to the Adeje cultural councillor “every year more and more people are taking part …and it is a perfect way for the people of Adeje to share their culture.” She added that the council were grateful for the dedication of those who carry the statue along the way, the Porteadores de la Virgin and the Mujeres Adejeras con la Virgin.
Everyone is welcome to join in the event, but the councillor does advise those taking part to “bring water, fruit, hats and sun protection”.
The pilgrimage makes a number of stops along the way where there will be musical, poetic and liturgical interventions. The first will be at the Adeje Cemetery, where those who are no longer with us will be remembered. Following on, the walkers will cross the bridge over the motorway (expect minor traffic delays if you are driving at this time), and carry on to the Portón de la Virgin, through the stone arches near the police station, where there will be another stop.
The third break will be at La Era where walkers can also rest for a while before the last stretch of the walk which will see the statue received by Saint Sebastian, the other patron saint of the zone. The two statues enter the church together and mass follows.
As with many of Adeje’s religious festivals this is also a family event, open to everyone, resident and visitor, to take part. But do heed the words of the councillor, water and loads of sun-screen.

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