• About

    Festa della Madonna della Salute 2022 will take place on Monday, November 21, 2022, in Venice.

    Festa della Madonna della Salute, commonly known as Festa della Salute, is a religious celebration taking place every year on the day of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on November 21, in Venice.

    The feast, dedicated in particular to the locals and less known by tourists, has a strong religious character, taking the form of a pilgrimage which starts from the San Marco sestiere, from the Church of Santa Maria del Giglio, and ends in Dorsoduro, at the Church of Santa Maria della Salute, crossing the Grand Canal on a votive bridge specially built for this occasion.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    Festa della Salute, like many local holidays, commemorates a painful moment in the history of Venice – the bubonic plague epidemic of 1630-1631. The disease was brought from Mantua in June 1630, and spread rapidly throughout the city, killing almost 50,000 Venetians in about a year.

    In the autumn of 1630, the Venetians organized a three-day procession involving more than 10,000 people, during which Nicolò Contarini, the Doge of Venice, invoked the help of the Virgin Mary and made a solemn vow to raise a church called Salute, if the city will get rid of the plague.

    In April, 1631, the Doge was killed by the disease, along with part of his family, shortly before the malady was eradicated. After the plague died out, the government decreed to repeat every year the procession in honor of the Madonna.

    The Church of Santa Maria della Salute was consecrated on November 21, 1687, a date which is celebrated today by Festa della Madonna della Salute. The event, in its current form, brings joy first to children, the neighborhood of the church being crowded with stalls, where toys, sweets and balloons are sold.

     

    CALENDAR OF EVENTS

    On Friday, November 18, the votive bridge will be open, in the presence of Francesco Moraglia, the Patriarch of Venice, and other civil and military authorities.

    On Monday, November 21, Holy Masses will be held in the Church of Santa Maria della Salute at every hour, between 6.00 am and 8.00 pm. At 10.00 am, the Mass will be celebrated by the Patriarch of Venice and, in the evening, starting with 10.00 pm, the Celebration of Compline (the evening prayer) will take place.

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