As happened every year before the pandemic, on Monday, the Virgin of Suffrage left the temple first to make way for the saint who walked the streets of the city under the watchful eye of the faithful, neighbors and tourists. The veneration for Sant Jaume is great and, this year, it was seen again in the streets after very hard months for all the people of Benidormenses; and more, because many faithful and neighbors have been asking the Saint for more than a year to improve everything. Emotion filled those who could see the image up close on Monday.
The procession of the afternoon of the great day of Sant Jaume started at around 7:00 p.m. As has happened with many events this year of Fiestas, the route was modified by the pandemic; that is, to guarantee greater health distance between those who came to see Santa Jaume up close. Thus, the images traveled through Calle Mayor, Calle Carmela Martínez, Plaza del Torrejó, Avenida Virgen del Sufragio, Avenida Martínez Alejos, Plaza de la Creu, Alameda del Alcalde Don Pedro Zaragoza Orts, Calle Mayor and Plaza de San Jaime. Despite changing its route, the procession lasted less than the previous day and was quite fast. During the tour, some sections had less public but streets such as the Alameda were filled with people who were waiting, seated on the terraces of the bars, for the procession to pass in front of them.
In this act the civil and ecclesiastical authorities participated, the Queens Paula Pérez and Sofía Fuster, Ladies, Abanderado, Mayorales de Honor, Mayorales and those neighbors who wanted to accompany the Saint; among them also those known as “manolas” and all with candles in their hands.
As every year, and the reverse of what happens on Sunday of the Major Patron Saint Festivities, in the procession on Monday the image of the Mare de Déu del Sofratge is the first to leave the church to embark on the path on the shoulders of his « mariners’. Then it is Sant Jaume who came out through the door of the square that bears his name on the «costalers» who accompany the saint every year and who carry the 500 kilos of the patron’s image on them. At the door of the temple, this year only a few could see that awaited moment, that of the exit of the image; because the covid measures restricted access to this part and Calle Mayor.
At the end of the religious act, the traditional “stamp” of San Jaime was lit with a fireworks and fires in the background and under the watchful eye of the Queens and the courts of honor. But also without an audience that could not access this last part of the route, nor did it at the beginning of the procession.
After the gunpowder and the discovery of the image of Sant Jaume, the Church was filled to see the apostle enter the temple again. It was time to read the list of Mayorales who will make up the Comissió de Festes Majors Patronals in 2022. A long-awaited reading that has not been done for two years. In fact, the parish priest also recalled it: “I already wanted to read the names of the Mayorales.” The attention was maximum and one by one he read the names of the participants. There will be 66 people who in principle will be part of the entity that will organize the big days of next year. Although it has not yet been revealed who will occupy the position of president.
The day dedicated to patron Sant Jaume began early with the “awakening” from Plaça de la Senyoria to encourage citizens to participate in the Apostle’s Day. An hour and a half later, in a parade, the mayorales left the Casa del Fester ‘Diego Cano Enguera’ to pick up the Major and Infant Queens, Paula Pérez and Sofía Fuster and accompany them to the Plaza de SS. MM. the Kings of Spain where, at 11.30 am, a mass was celebrated in honor of the patron.
In addition to the queens, the religious ceremony was attended by the mayor, Toni Pérez, and the party councilor, Jesús Carrobles, members of the municipal corporation and the regional deputy, Manuel Pérez Fenoll. Representing the Comissió de les Festes Majors Patronals, its president Batiste Rostoll and its president in perpetuity, Francisco Llorens ‘Paco Rosera’. Also that of the Associació de Penyes ‘Verge del Sofratge’, Adrián Romero; and representatives of the city’s social and festive groups.
But one of the most waited moments after two years of a holiday break, was the mascletà on Monday that shot up on Jaime I avenue at 2:00 p.m. and was punctual. As happened on Sunday, the partygoers really wanted to vibrate with the sound of gunpowder that once again filled the sky of Benidorm. Hundreds of people filled the avenue to follow the show, both in the part closest to the beach and at the top of the street.
On this occasion, the pyrotechnics were run by Hermanos Sirvent de Alicante. The Queens Paula Pérez and Sofía Fuster pressed the start button with emotion on their faces. As usual, the highest representatives of the Major Patron Festivities wore this Monday in their skirts and ties the characteristic red color of the apostle. At his side, the courts of honor of both representatives.
In the street a powerful pyrotechnic show sounded that consumed 94 kilos of gunpowder in approximately six minutes and ended with the drawing of the Spanish flag under the blue sky of Benidorm and with a loud sound that aroused applause.
However, this Tuesday will be the fourth mascletà of the Major Patron Festivities. In addition, a Requiem Mass will be celebrated in suffrage for the souls of all the deceased in Benidorm, officiated by the parish priest Don Juan Antonio González Magaña. At 5 pm, a children’s show will take place at the Julio Iglesias Auditorium. The Major Patron Saint Festivities of Benidorm end this Wednesday with various recreational and religious events.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.