Tortuga Tours prepares a guided tour of the monastery of Santa Faz of Alicante next Sunday, February 10, 10.30 am. Our tour guide Felipe Cutillas will be at Santa Faz as part of the “Discover Your Province” program of the Association of Official Guides.
Every year (at least from 1525) Alicante celebrates the pilgrimage of the Santa Faz. Alicantinos walk five kilometres from the capital and the monastery. A copy of the portrait of Jesus is carried from the Cathedral of San Nicolás. Upon the arrival of the pilgrims, the original is displayed in the Plaza de la Santa Faz.
The pilgrimage is always the second Thursday after Easter. Many pilgrims wear the traditional black blouse of Alicante farmers and a white and blue checkered scarf (colours of the city) knotted around the neck.
In recent years, a crowd of more than two hundred thousand people participate in the walk from Alicante to Santa Faz, following the Via Crucis, marked with stone crosses.
In the nearness of the church, there is a traditional flea market. The pilgrims go there before or after preparing their food, outdoors, in the fields surrounding the hamlet, on the border between the towns of Sant Joan and Alicante.
Origin of devotion to the Holy Face in Alicante
The convent of the Santa Faz guards the relic most venerated by the people of Alicante when in 1489 the miracle of the tear happened in the Lloixa ravine.
Jesus fainted on his ascent with the cross to Mount Calvary. A woman – later known as Veronica – used her veil to dry Jesus’ face, leaving blood stains on the linen cloth. Years later the face of Jesus was painted on the original material. The relic of Alicante is one-third of the first headband, also safeguarded in Jaen and Rome.
The priest Pedro Mena travelled to Rome and, on his return, brought the veil of Veronica that is now venerated in the monastery. This relic had already saved Venice from the plague during the pontificate of Sixtus IV.
On March 17, 1489, Friday of Lent, the sacred image processioned in prayer for water. From the image of Christ sprang a tear, considered the first miracle of the Holy Face in Alicante, in the place where now stands the church. Just a few days later the wonder of the Three Faces would arrive.
Perfect Alicante triangle
The people of Alicante usually distribute passports of Alicante depending on the enthusiasm for the Santa Faz, the Hogueras of San Juan and the Hercules Football Club. Although of course, this is a joke. And the devotion to the Holy Face far exceeds the limits of Alicante, Elche or Benidorm, reaching many other places.
Guided tour of the Santa Faz in Alicante
Next Sunday, February 10, 2019, you can visit the Santa Faz of Alicante with an official tour guide of Tortuga Tours. The visit will cost 5 euros per person, which are collected for the “Discover your province” program of the Guide Association. We will start at 11:30 at the main entrance of the Monastery.
If you want to visit Santa Faz with your private group, on any other date, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.