Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Valme

Pilgrimage of Our Lady of Valme

Each Sunday in October
The Romería (pilgrimage) of Our Lady of Valme involves a cross-country pilgrimage. The image of Our Lady of Valme is kept in the parish church of Dos Hermanas, but on this day she is carried in an elaborate procession to the shrine of Valme, on a hill overlooking Seville, Spain. Legend has it that King Ferdinand III stopped here on his way to free Seville from the Moors. He prayed to the Virgin Mary, " valme " (bless me), and promised a sanctuary for her if he was successful.
Accompanied by children in carriages, decorated floats, local men on horseback carrying silver maces, and Andalusian cavaliers and their ladies in regional dress, the cart bearing the statue of the Virgin Mary dressed in a blue velvet cloak is drawn by oxen with gilded horns and garlands of flowers around their necks. The pilgrims walk behind, and there is laughter, hand-clapping, and singing with tambourine accompaniment. Every so often fireworks are set off so the pilgrims in Valme can judge the progress of the procession.
It takes about three hours to reach the sanctuary, then the cavaliers open the gates, everyone rushes inside, the statue is carried in at shoulder height, and the mass begins. Afterwards, there is dancing, singing, and drinking until sunset, when the image is escorted back to Dos Hermanas.
CONTACTS:
Dos Hermanas Municipality
Plaza de la Constitucion
Dos Hermanas, 41700 Spain
34-954-919-500; fax: 34-954-919-525
SOURCES:
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 596