Fiestas El Cerval y Romeria del Cerval – Pilgrimage of the Virgin Fatima (May)


Usually each year around May 13th, El Cerval celebrates the traditional Pilgrimage of the Virgin Fatima (Romeria del Cerval).  This is organized by the neighborhood of El Cerval.  It is also in collaboration with Tenencia Alcaldía de La Herradura and the Ayuntamiento de Almuñécar.  The final party will be held in the neighborhood of El Cerval Alto.

Almunecar and La Herradura Fiestas del Cerval (May) - Usually each year around May 13th, El Cerval celebrates the traditional Pilgrimage of the Virgin Fatima (Romeria del Cerval).  This is organized by the neighborhood of El Cerval with the collaboration Tenencia Alcaldía de La Herradura and the Ayuntamiento de Almuñécar.  The final party will be held in the neighborhood of El Cerval Alto.

Who is La Virgen de Fátima (Virgin Fatima)?

La Virgen de Fátima is another representation of the Virgin Mary being worshiped in Catholicism. It has its origin in the testimonies of three shepherd children.  As the story goes, on Sunday, May 13, 1917, the three children went to herd the sheep, near their hometown of Fatima in Portugal.  They described having seen a woman on an oak tree “brighter than the sun”.  She was dressed in white and asked them to return the same day and at the same time for five consecutive months, entrusting them with the recitation of the rosary.  They ran back to their village and announced it to everyone, who were of course in disbelief.

The children announced more appearances and messages, on the thirteenth day of the months of June and July.  In the messages that the children transmitted, the Virgin urged repentance, conversion and the practice of prayer and penance as a way of reparation for the sins of humanity.  On July 13, 1917, in the Cave of Iria-Fatima, the children were entrusted with the so-called ” Fatima secret “.

In subsequent returns, the children were followed by thousands of people.  According to the testimonies of the children, the Virgin emphasized the importance of praying the Holy Rosary for the conversion of sinners and of the whole world.  The Virgin Mary also asked for the construction of a chapel in the place.

The final apparition

According to the writings of one of the children (Lucia), the last apparition of the Virgin to the three shepherd children took place on October 13, 1917.  This was the day on which the so-called “miracle of the sun” occurred (the sun was seen to tremble in a kind of “dance”, according to the testimonies).  This was apparently witnessed by 70,000 people.  Journalist Avelino de Almeida, from the newspaper O Século, repeated in his story: “I have seen it … I have seen it”.

Here is a bit more information on the story.

Agenda for the Pilgrimage of El Cerval – Sunday May 12, 2019

Traditionally, the events begin at dusk.  The thrones and figures are carried from the hermitage, in El Cerval Bajo up to El Cerval Alto.  Along the way, the participants say chants and prayers.  This is a tradition which displays their tradition and devotion each Spring.  At the end, there is a celebration, food, drinks, and some fireworks at El Cerval Alto.  The pilgrimage of El Cerval has become a reunion day for the neighborhood and those born in the area.

Remember that Pago El Cerval is located north of La Herradura.  You may access from the N 340 via the Cuesta del Marchante (Km 305.8).  It may also be accessed by Rio Seco, towards Peña Escrita and then diverted to Pago of El Rescate.  The recommended way to access is via the Cuesta del Marchante, depicted in the map below.

If you expand the map below (upper right corner), you may highlight the driving directions as well as the route for the pilgrimage.

 


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Heidi

View posts by Heidi
Heidi is passionate about travel (50+ countries) and loves experiencing the world with hubby Alan and their 2 kids. In Aug 2012, they left the “perfect American life”, quit their jobs, sold their belongings and moved to Almuñécar. She likes to share all of her favorites things about the area, as well as practical information too. You may also view their family travel blog, Wagoners Abroad, at https://wagonersabroad.com

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