VIRGEN DEL ROCIO PROCESSION 2017 (Almonte, Huelva, Spain)


The Virgin of El Rocío (also known as Madonna of El Rocío or Our Lady of El Rocío, Spanish: Virgen del Rocío, Nuestra Señora del Rocío; also, formerly, Nuestra Señora de los Remedios or Santa María de las Rocinas[1]) is a small carved wooden statue of the Virgin and Child, of which the only carved parts are the face, hands, and the Christ child, which is venerated at the Hermitage of El Rocío (Almonte, Province of Huelva, Spain).[2] The associated annual procession/pilgrimage, known as the Romería de El Rocío, draws roughly a million people each year.[3]
The Virgin was declared the patron saint of Almonte 29 June 1653,[10] and received Canonical Coronation in 1919.[11]Pope John Paul II visited El Rocío and the Virgin 14 June 1993.[12]
At 10 a.m. on Whitsun Sunday, a Pontifical High Mass is said in El Real del Rocío (next to the Sanctuary), where the Virgin was crowned in 1919. On Sunday night, everyone prays the Rosary by candlelight, as each confraternity goes up to the flat of El Eucaliptal next to El Real del Rocío.[1]
Finally, the Immaculate Conception Emblem of Almonte is brought to the Shrine, at which point the Almontese carry the Virgin of El Rocío out into the village streets. The timing of this event differs from one year to the next, so there is always a certain element of spontaneity to it.[1]

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