Religiosity is widely lived in all the islands of the Azores Archipelago, without exception. The great religious manifestations of these islands date back to the time when natural disasters and great isolation devastated their populations, who found relief in their faith.
The romarias that take men to go around the island on foot during the week of Lent, praying and passing through churches, still derive from and remain from the 1522 earthquakes that devastated Vila Franca do Campo, on the island of São Miguel. Although it is a hard walk, often done under adverse weather conditions, all those who participate in it, describe a feeling of renewal when they return to their homes.
The Festas do Divino Espírito Santo the festivities that take place from April to June across all the islands of the Azores, being, however, lived a little differently in each of them. In all of them there are coronations on Sunday and great moments of sharing the famous Sopas do Espírito Santo, distributed for free to all. Don't be surprised if you are invited during your stay to participate in the festivities together with the local communities and to eat what will be so proudly offered to you!
The festivities of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres bring together, among locals, tourists and emigrants returning to their homeland at this time, thousands of people in Campo de São Francisco, in Ponta Delgada, on São Miguel Island. Among the religious events that take place, an authentic festival of lights, philharmonic bands, carousels and food and drinks delight kids and adults alike. The procession that takes place on the fifth Sunday after Easter follows, according to oral tradition, a procession, suggested by Mother Teresa of the Anunciada, to calm the fury of nature, during which the image of Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres fell and touched the ground without breaking. From then on, every year this procession takes place, moving the faith of many devotees who ask for help to overcome the most difficult moments of their lives. On the Saturday before it, several people walk in a slow procession on their knees and/or barefoot around Campo de São Francisco, while carrying candles that at the end of the route they offer to the church.
In the summer, it will be usual to find festivities in honor of the Patron Saint, in all the parishes of the Azores. Between lights, music and stalls, the Patron Saint is taken outside accompanied by the locals to the sound of philharmonic bands, in processions that are worth watching and/or participating.
Learn more about the Azores at www.visitazores.com.