The image of the Virgen de los Desamparados visits Xàbia as part of its centenary celebrations

The image travelled through the streets of the Duanes before transferring to the historic centre where it spend the night in the church.

Sunday 23rd October 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: Álvaro Monfort (XAD)

The Virgen de los Desamparados (English: Virgin of the Forsaken), the patron saint of the Valencia, visited Xàbia this weekend. At noon on Saturday, La Peregrina arrived in the municipality to spend the weekend with the residents and visitors as part of the commemorative acts of the centenary of the canonical coronation of the image as patron saint of the Valencian people. In this way, the Archdiocese of València is bringing the venerated dedication closer to the different municipalities.

The Geperudeta (English: the ‘hunchback’, the name given to it due to a slight forward tilt of the image) was received at Paseo Jaime I in Duanes de la Mar by priests and numerous residents who didn’t want to miss the unusual appointment. Unlike the usual transfers and routes carried out by La Peregrina in the Maremòbil, the modified vehicle in which it normally travels, she was transferred onto a litter and carried through the streets by some of her official carriers and by anyone who has wished to do so.

Last year, La Peregrina surprised all passers-by by touring the streets of Xàbia in her vehicle, without prior notice, as part of the campaign carried out by the archdiocese to “lift spirits” during the pandemic.

This time, the image was accompanied through the streets of Duanes in pilgrimage. The delegation passed through the streets of Virgen de Loreto, Triana, Jaime I and Plaza Presidente Adolfo Suárez to the fishing harbour. There, a floral offering was made in memory of the deceased sailors “whom the mother also welcomes under her mantle”. The residents of the port zone maked the tour of the patron saint by hanging the traditional covers on their balconies, throwing flowers as she passed and cheering the image.

After the prayers on the dock, the image of the Virgin was carried to the parish church of Loreto and positioned in the old cloister to receive the visit of anyone who wished to venerate her.

Later, in the early evening, the boys and girls of Catechesis of both parishes and the young people of Juniors of Nuestra Señora de Loreto led the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Rosary in front of the image after which the Geperudeta wnt on a pilgrimage (but this time in the Maremòbil) towards the historic centre of Xàbia.

The image made a very special stop at the Asilo-Residencia Hermanos Cholbi since one of La Peregrina’s main reasons for the tour is to bring devotion to the Virgen de los Desamparados closer to health centres and the elderly. It continued its journey to the parish of San Bartolomé where it spent the night.

La Peregrina will be in Xàbia throughout Sunday. At 7.00pm, a Eucharist will be celebrated and after which the treasured image will leave the town.