The 2017 Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, [The Holy Feast of Christ of the Miracles], are taking place on the weekend of May19-25, in Ponta Delgada city, on São Miguel, Azores.
According to the “2017 Festivities Program”, the Bishop of Fall River (MA), D. Edgar da Cunha, will officiate the religious celebrations with the Bishop of Angra (Terceira) D. João Lavrador and Bishop Emeritus of Angra (Terceira) D. António de Sousa Braga.
D. Edgar da Cunha, who is Brazilian, will preside over the festivities for the first time. He was appointed Bishop of Fall River in July 2014. Fall River is the home of a significant Azorean community with roosts on São Miguel island.
According the organizers, religious and secular celebrations were scheduled starting May 13 through May 25. Highlights of the celebrations will be streamed live online on the Internet and live on television through RTP/A. In the past years, an estimated 50,000 people around the world follow the festivities online over the Internet.
On Friday, May 19, many religious and secular ceremonies are scheduled thorough out the day. Viewers around the world will be able to watch the lightning of the Santuário da Esperança illuminations and the Campo de São Francisco where most of the traditional festivities take place.
On Saturday, May 20, viewers will be able to watch the Procissão da Mudança and the outdoor celebratory Mass with a sermon by Monsignor António Manuel Saldanha.
On Sunday May 11, starting at 03:30pm (local time), the traditional solemn procession will depart passing by all the churches of Ponta Delgada city. The event will be broadcast live online. For the occasion, the city streets are lined with fresh flowers carpets and windows and balconies are decorated with flowers and draperies.
From Monday, May 22 through Thursday May 25 the celebrations will close with three days of secular festivities.
Established nearly 400 years old, the Festas do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres [The Holy Feast of Christ of the Miracles], is the largest religious festivity of the Azores. The feast is celebrated each year on the fifth Sunday after Easter.
The image of the Holy Lord venerated in the Archipelago of the Azores is an artistic wooden carved representation of the Passion of Christ, open to worship in the Convent of Our Lady of Hope in Ponta Delgada.
The religious devotion to Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres has been held on the island since the sixteenth century following severe seismic events on the archipelago. Today, the tradition still attracts many thousands of Azorean pilgrims living abroad returning home for the festivities.
To watch (in Portuguese) log on to the Festas Website.
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores.