The religious celebrations of the 2023 Festa do Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres, [The Holy Feast of Christ of the Miracles] will be held on the weekend of May 12-19, in Ponta Delgada city, on São Miguel, Azores.
Established nearly 400 years ago, the tradition has been held since the 16th century following a severe seismic chain of events on the archipelago.
The largest religious festivity in the region, the feast is also recognized as the second-largest religious celebration in Portugal, following the pilgrimages to Fátima.
This year’s full calendar of celebrations will fall between Friday (12th) and Thursday (the 19th) to include the religious ceremonies and the traditional secular festivities.
The religious ceremonies will be presided over by the newly appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Angra do Heroismo, D. Armando Esteves Domingues,
The event, which lasts for several days, gathers thousands of pilgrims from all over the world to São Miguel island, one of the nine islands that make up the Azores archipelago. Most pilgrims come from the many communities of Azoreans abroad, namely from the United States of America and Canada.
The venerated image of ‘Christ of the Miracles’ will be on display outside the Church Sanctuary on Saturday night (May 13th), and on Sunday (May 14th), after the traditional procession, which will parade through the main streets of Ponta Delgada city on Sunday.
For the celebration, the streets of Ponta Delgada are covered with flowers. The festival includes religious services, music, food, entertainment, and cultural events.
Celebrated each year on the fifth Sunday after Easter, the highlight of the festivities is the veneration of the Holy Image of Lord Jesus, by the people of the Azores, represented by an artistic wooden carved image of the Passion of Christ, carried through the streets by the faithful. The image is worshiped yearlong in the Chapel of the Convent of Our Lady of Hope in Ponta Delgada.
Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres is a time of great devotion for the people of the Azores, many of whom consider this celebration the most important event of the year and an important part of the cultural heritage of the Azores
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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. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.