Pilgrim weekend in Adeje

The pilgrim walk leaves from the Santa Úrsula church at 9am on Sunday

This Sunday, April 15th, the traditional Rogation, with the patron of the borough, the
Virgen de la Encarnación takes place. This is a pilgrim walk honouring a promise made over 300 years ago in return for divine intervention to save the local populace from a plague of locusts.

The tradition began in the XVI century when Pedro de Ponte decided to carry the statue of Our Lady to the Santa Úrsula church to protect her from pirate robbers. The residents of Adeje were not convinced that this was a good idea, and promised to bring her back to San Sebastian once a year. They also prayed to her for protection from plagues, illnesses and famines. Much of this is detailed in the ‘Libro de Milagros de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación’ (Book of miracles of Our Lady of the Incarnation) in the parish archive in Adeje.

The Adeje council advises those taking part in the traditional pilgrim to make sure they are wearing comfortable clothing and shoes appropriate for the walk, bring water and fruit, ideally wear a hat or cap of some sort to protect from the sun, and make sure they are wearing sun cream.

There will be stops and personnel on hand to attend anyone with a problem along the way.

Department of Communications

A promise kept

Adeje’s holy Patron is brought to San Sebastián, keeping a 300 year old promise
This Sunday, April 30th, known in the Catholic Church as Divine Mercy Sunday, is also the day when the people of Adeje keep a 300-year-old promise to their Patron, the Virgin of the Incarnation. The statue of Our Lady is brought from her home in the Santa Úrsula church to her original church in La Caleta.

The pilgrim walk will begin at 9am from the Santa Úrsula church and walk along the traditional mountain path to the ‘Humilladero’ where, according to tradition, the statue was first discovered. After the stop she will continue to the San Sebastián church in La Caleta where there will be a lunch before a return to Adeje town.

This ‘Rogation’ is a tradition that began in the 16th Century, where the Marquis of Adeje, Pedro de Ponte, decided to bring the statue to the town to protect her from marauding pirates along the coast. The residents of the time where not thrilled at the decision, so promised to bring her back once a year to her original home.

The tradition lasted through the years, during which time residents also prayed for her help in ridding the land of a plague of locusts, in combatting famine and illness and more – all of which is recorded in the Libro de Milagros de Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación (the Book of Miracles of Our Lady of the Incarnation), which is stored in the parish archives.

The first statue of Our Lady of the Incarnation was found in this zone during the first years of the conquest of Tenerife, when the tradition of sacred worship was introduced to the island.

Department of Communications

Sunday pilgrimage marks start of Lustrum year

adeje-rogativa Virgen de La Encarnación (2)


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.

adeje-rogativa Virgen de La Encarnación (3)

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.

adeje-rogativa Virgen de La Encarnación (4)

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.

adeje-rogativa Virgen de La Encarnación (1)