Consider yourself lucky if you are in Barcelona at the end of September.The annual grand festival La Merce is from the 20th to the 24th of September. The festival celebrates the patroness of this ancient city - Saint Mercedes, or the Virgin Mary. This is one of the best weeks for romance in Barcelona!
The enchanting celebration of La Mercè demonstrates how fierce, talented, and creatively unbridled this proud nation is - the Catalans. And also their love and appreciation of their history.
The history of the feast: The legend says that on the night of September 24, 1218, the Mother of God appeared simultaneously to the King Jaime I, Saint Pedro Nolasco, and Saint Raimundo de Peñafort. She asked all three to create a monastic order, the purpose of which would be the liberation of Christians from the Saracen captivity. It was a time of wars of religions.
A century later, in 1687, an invasion of the locusts struck Barcelona, and the distressed people prayed for intercession at Our Lady of La Mercè with their prayers. And the troubles ceased. The city council declared Saint Mercedes the patroness of Barcelona. However, the Vatican did not ratify this decision for two whole centuries, until 1868.
Since 1902, the inhabitants of Barcelona have celebrated this event in a grandiose scope.
Throughout the whole week, hundreds of events are taking place in the city.